How Australian SMBs are adopting technology to tackle challenges

Artificial Intelligence November 27, 2022
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The modern-day small business owner has a lot on their hands. With shrinking operating budgets, increased competition, and a growing digital world, many SMBs still need help to keep up with the changes that come arm-in-arm with all of these challenges. The Australian SMB space is still replete with conventional, low-tech business owners who need a firm grasp of the modern technology available for their enterprise’s benefit. The least we can say about them is that they are victims of ‘digital sensory overload’.

SMBs have embraced technology to address some of the most common challenges they have faced in recent years. A company can implement technology solutions to reduce costs, improve operations, and increase collaboration across departments at all levels.

Top Challenges Faced by Growth-oriented SMBs of Australia

The growth of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Australia is a key driver of the economy. However, despite their importance to the Australian economy, many Australian SMBs are facing significant challenges. These include:

Top Challenges Faced by Growth-oriented SMBs of Australia

How growth-oriented SMBs are leveraging technology to Scale Up Revenue, Profits and Cash Flows

Growth-oriented Australian SMBs are harnessing technology to put themselves on the list of fastest growing businesses that could become tomorrow’s unicorns.

In Australia, the traditional approaches to growth have been replaced by a new approach that is focused on technology. In order to overcome their challenges, Australian SMBs are using new solutions and technologies such as cloud computing, ERPs, e-commerce stores, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to accelerate their growth. These methods are also helping them in improving their productivity and efficiency while reducing costs at the same time. Let’s see how they are doing it with use cases;

1. Tech Initiatives To overcome customer front-facing issues.

The tech-based systems and processes that companies use to manage their operations are becoming increasingly efficient, but they still require a lot of time and attention. One way that companies can make this process easier is by automating much of the work.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to struggle with understanding how they’re tracking and whether or not they’re moving in the right direction. It’s easy to feel like you’re just spinning your wheels when you’re stuck in a cycle of collecting data without knowing what to do with it. But there’s no reason to lose hope!

The best way to get started with this type of system is to start small—you don’t want your first foray into tech-based systems and processes to be too daunting or expensive! A good place to start is by using a CRM (customer relationship management) system like Salesforce. This type of system allows you to keep track of leads, track sales information such as what kind of product was sold or how much was made on each sale, and manage customer satisfaction if necessary.

You can use technology to handle your customer reporting and start making decisions based on real data instead of guesses and assumptions. Here are some examples:

– You can use analytics software that automatically collects information about your customer’s behaviour on your website and then visualizes it for you in an easy-to-understand way. This will help you determine which parts of your site are most popular and how much time people spend there. Then you’ll know exactly where your strengths lie, so you can focus on improving those portions of the site while keeping an eye open for ways to improve others.

– You can use a CRM system that tracks all incoming leads and automatically collects information about them as they come through the door. This includes their name and email address (if they gave it ), the type of product or service they’re interested in, their contact information and more.

SMB’s are using automation to improve their efficiency. This means reducing or eliminating steps in certain processes so that employees don’t have to spend as much time on them. Automation also helps businesses save money because it reduces overhead costs associated with maintaining equipment and keeping track of supplies like paper and ink cartridges.

Businesses are also investing in software platforms that allow them to collaborate with other businesses (or even customers) in order to share ideas or work together on projects. This type of platform allows them access different types of information at any given time–from customer feedback on products or services all over social media sites like Facebook and Twitter right down through email communication between employees inside your company itself).

Some of the examples are;

– A smartphone app can help you manage your business from anywhere at any time. You can send text messages, email marketing campaigns and more to customers who download your app.

– You can use a website builder to create a simple, easy-to-use website that puts your most important content front and centre.

– You can use an email marketing tool to send newsletters and other updates about your business to customers who want them. This can help you build relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more.

Use Cases:

Case 1: Samadhi Builds

 

Samadhi Builds is a Brisbane-based construction business specializing in renovations and extensions. They opted to gather and utilize real-time data on their business to boost their profitability and integrate new digital tools to streamline their operations.

Through the use of an integrated smart building system, they were able to improve their operational efficiency. This enabled them to reduce costs and increase profitability while improving customer satisfaction.

Case 2: Shopping Mart

 

With the help of technology, a top shopping mart’s inventory levels have gone down. For example, the mart’s central warehouse uses an inward sorting system and operates outward packing activities. The mart also uses technology in merchandising and inventory management. With this technology, the mart can forecast sales more accurately and implement an Auto Replenishment System to replenish stores.

Case 3: Cataract

 

Cataract on Paterson is a fine dining restaurant in Launceston, Australia. The business was looking to grow and improve its booking system and website. They implemented an online booking platform and updated their website. These changes helped to grow the business and reduce manual errors.

The restaurant had been using an old booking system that required staff members to enter data into a spreadsheet and email it to customers. This process took up valuable time and resulted in many errors in data entry. Cataract on Paterson decided to switch to an online booking platform, allowing them to manage bookings from one location and save time by eliminating manual data entry.

2. Technology initiatives to create new revenue growth drivers

 

A growth driver is something that helps your business grow. It might be a new product or service, or it could be an existing product or service that you’re able to offer in a new way. Either way, it’s something that will help your business grow.

For example, we recently worked with an Australian SMB that was facing challenges with increasing sales. They had a great product and wanted to get it out there in front of customers at events like trade shows. They could have gone ahead and printed their own brochures and sold them at these events themselves, but we suggested something different: print-on-demand technology. This allowed them to create a digital version of their brochure so they could sell it digitally instead of printing physical copies.

This saved them time because they didn’t have to print anything ahead of time or worry about running out before an event ended. It also saved money on printing costs because everything was done digitally. And it helped them get more traffic because they could share their brochures online so people could read them from anywhere—even on their phones!

Some examples of growth drivers include:

 

– A new app that allows customers to order and pay for food using their phones (like Uber Eats)

– An online store where customers can buy products directly from the company’s website (like Amazon)

– A new sales channel that allows customers to purchase products from another company at an affordable price (like Groupon)

Use Cases:

 

Case 1: Adventure Bay Charters

 

Adventure Bay Charters is a popular South Australian tourism attraction that allows visitors to get up close and personal with penguins, sea lions, and more. The business had been operating for years before experiencing issues with its analogue booking system. Clients had to wait too long to be seen, which led them to make more bookings. The company needed a solution to help them transition away from the old system and return to what they loved: providing an unforgettable experience for their customers.

Adventure Bay Charters has made the switch to digital systems and is spending more time with their family on land instead of working in the office. The business has been able to save time and money since making the switch—and now they’re even more efficient than ever before!

Case 2: Shopping Mart

 

A shopping company has launched a WhatsApp campaign management tool, which enables the company to create personalized marketing campaigns for specific customer cohorts. The company is aggressively investing in its Omni channel initiative, allowing it to reach new customers through digital marketplaces like Amazon.

3. Technology Initiatives to improve backend process

 

Small business cloud providers such as Cloud ERP can be instrumental in supporting business expansion by optimizing processes such as accounting and inventory management.

Automating tedious back-office tasks such as financial consolidation helps to free up time for SMBs to focus more on business opportunities.

As a small business owner, you’re probably already aware of your challenges as an entrepreneur. From keeping your books to handling payroll, there’s a lot you have to do to keep your company running smoothly.

Luckily for you, innovative tools can help make managing your business more efficient and enjoyable. One of these tools is automated accounting software.

Automated accounting software takes care of tedious tasks like financial consolidation and reporting, so you can focus on more important things. That means you can focus on growing your business and improving customer experience instead of dealing with tedious back-office tasks!

For example, automated accounting software is a cloud-based application that can handle various tasks. It can help you manage financial data for multiple companies, generate reports about your business and provide insights into your finances. You can also use it to create invoices, track expenses and manage inventory.

A well-managed inventory enables you to prevent overstocking or losses due to selling out-of-stock items, both of which can affect your profit margins.

One example of this is Amazon which has heavily automated many back-end processes within its company but still remains focused on what matters most: customer service and experience. Another example is Zappos which has also automated much of its back-end processes while remaining focused on customer service and experience.

Use Cases:

 

Case 1: Adventure Bay Charters

 

Adventure Bay Charters is a popular South Australian tourism attraction that allows visitors to get up close and personal with penguins, sea lions, and more. The business had been operating for years before experiencing issues with its analogue booking system. Clients had to wait too long to be seen, which led them to make more bookings. The company needed a solution to help them transition away from the old system and return to what they loved: providing an unforgettable experience for their customers.

Adventure Bay Charters has made the switch to digital systems and is spending more time with their family on land instead of working in the office. The business has been able to save time and money since making the switch—and now they’re even more efficient than ever before!

Case 2: Leafe’s Gifts and Crafts

 

Leafe’s Gifts and Crafts is a small family-owned business that sells locally-made crafts and homewares. They are known for sharing their love of these products with customers, who are often amazed at the high quality of the product and the stories behind them.

To meet the demands of their growing customer base, Leafe’s sought a new way to manage their accounting and inventory. They needed a solution that would allow them to streamline their processes, increase productivity and improve customer engagement.

Technology helped the business transition from pen and paper to online accounting, a tablet-based point-of-sale system and an e-commerce website.

Case 4: Finance & Investment Company

 

A top financing and investment company uses technology to complete credit assessments and provide loan approval to new customers in a shorter period of time. This helps them differentiate themselves from the competition.

Case 5: Pathology Lab

 

A top pathology laboratory has been implementing automation in its sample testing with intelligence from in-house data analytics to enable faster results and less time variability.

Pathology Lab

Top factors limiting SMBs from adopting digital solutions

Small businesses want to be able to offer the same services as their larger competitors, but they often don’t have the resources to make it happen.

Despite the fact that SMBs are more aware of the benefits of adopting digital solutions than ever before, they are still struggling to make the leap.

This is because they lack knowledge of software technologies and clarity in understanding the cost benefits of digital solutions. Additionally, many SMB owners do not have enough technology expertise and budget to set up their own IT department within their own business.

Here are the top factors that are limiting small businesses from adopting digital solutions:

Top factors limiting SMBs from adopting digital solutions

“Insufficient knowledge of software technologies, Lack of clarity in understanding the cost benefits of digital solutions, lack of technology expertise within the organisation is the top reasons that limit SMBs from adopting digital solutions”

The digital era is upon us, but not all businesses are ready to embrace it.

While SMEs have traditionally taken a more conservative approach to technology adoption, their aversion to change may be preventing them from gaining a competitive edge in this new market.

But the good news is that more and more Australian SMBs are leveraging the services of IT companies to implement digital solutions. SMBs like yours can benefit from partnering with a credible IT infrastructure services provider who can help them fulfil their digital transformation needs.

Conclusion

 

From scaling their business to solving problems and improving efficiencies, Australian SMBs are certainly not running scared when using technology to improve their work. For many smaller businesses in Australia, embracing newer technologies isn’t always a question of whether they should or can. It’s a question of when and how they will.

A partnership between a small business owner and a tech-savvy partner enables the business owner to consolidate finances, customer outreach, and even social media activity in one place—giving him or her more time and energy to pursue new opportunities.

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Sonika January 12, 2022
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