For a small businesses to survive in today’s digitally connected world, one must be able to adapt and pivot and face digital transformation challenges for small businesses. In other words, small business owners need to be willing to take on a digital transformation for their business to stay competitive.

Now, making the transition from a brick and mortar business or a traditional storefront to digital initiatives won’t be without its challenges. But don’t worry, as very similar to how one has started their business by developing a business plan, the key to success for your digital initiatives, is to know these…

Top 10 Digital Transformation Challenges for Small Businesses and Ways To Overcome These

1. More competition

While more companies shift to online platforms, this also means that you’ll have to face more and tougher competition in the market.

As a starting small business, you’ll probably be facing business giants and other starting businesses. So, you have to be fully prepared and keep an open mind.

One of the things you can do to increase your advantage in the competitive digital business world is to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals. You should also always keep track of the latest trends.

Read More: The 15 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail

2. Weak internal communication

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One of the challenges that entrepreneurs face in digital transformation is ineffective communication among the employees.

It is necessary to establish clear and effective communication among your team members since digital transformation needs optimization of company culture. 

3. Investing in the wrong technologies

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The right tools will help you further your business. However, during the stage of digital transformation, business owners face difficulty in choosing the appropriate set of technologies for their business. This is completely normal since digital transformation is a process – it takes time.

As a business owner, you have to be attentive in looking for the right tools for your business. You can hire tech specialists who can provide the right tools tailored for your business. You can integrate flexible tools to make it easier for you to adapt digitally. 

4. Insufficient customer data collection

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Another digital transformation challenge for small businesses is not collecting enough customer data such as engagement, behavior, and location. 

These customer data are useful to understand your customers’ preferences for your business to survive in the digital environment. However, when you are still new, there are times that these are neglected.

To counter this problem, you have to use and implement data analytics to understand your audience preferences. Data analytics helps provide important insights into different aspects of your business. 

5. Focusing only on short-term wins

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Celebrating small wins along the way is okay. However, this can also pose a problem, especially for starting small business owners.

You have to remember that there is a right time for celebrating short-term wins, such as getting your desired number of followers. But, don’t get fixated only on those.

You have to remind yourself of long-term goals. You have to move on immediately from those small wins for you to advance in your next goal.

6. Changes in customer experience

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The customer’s journey in purchasing a product changes over time, especially when technology continues to advance. This can pose a challenge in digital transformation for small businesses since they have very little time to adapt to the recent trends.

The customer’s only associate themselves with brands that give them a satisfactory experience. While some business giants easily get a better grasp of the changing demands of the customer, small businesses may experience lagging off since they are still new.

To counter this challenge in your starting business, you have to constantly check the market trends and customer preferences by conducting market research. 

7. Lack of IT skills

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It is already a given fact that when you venture into the digital platform, you must have excellent skills for you to use tools well for your business. The lack of IT skills and experts might affect your business performance. 

If you’re having a hard time learning basic IT skills, you can always partner with dedicated experts in the IT field to help you advance your business digitally. 

8. Existence of new channels and platforms

Customers nowadays jump from one channel to another to try how it works and determine whether it suits their taste.

Because of this, new small business owners also have a hard time pinpointing the right channel to reach their target audience since there are several potential platforms in the digital environment. 

To solve this problem, you can take your time by performing market research to know what channels your audience prefers. 

9. Poor analytics

Another digital transformation challenge that small businesses face is poor analytics. There is a lot of significant data to collect, but failure to identify which ones are crucial for your business would result in a disaster. 

Choosing the right analytics system will help your business. Take AI and chatbots, for example. Companies have been using these to personalize conversations with customers. You can consider these. 

10. Ineffective Digital Strategy

When going into digital transformation, you should have a solid strategy as this is the backbone for your business.

Some entrepreneurs fail to do so because they think that having a good strategy isn’t necessary. But, keep in mind that a solid strategy will help you keep track of every step of the way.  

Go Digital: It’s Worth The Risk!

Voila! There you have it – the ten digital transformation challenges for small businesses you would likely face as a starting business owner. These challenges may scare you at first, but rest assured that going digital will help your business in the long run.

With thorough preparation and planning, accompanied by passion, determination, and consistency, going digital is worth the risk. 

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