Member Article

UK SMBs need to take a chance on tech or fall behind

This year has seen small businesses subjected to immense challenges, rarely witnessed in reality outside of a gaudy spoof movie. With supply chain issues, labour shortages and COVID-19 restrictions to contend with, SMBs have faced many challenges to adopt and invest in technology for their business. UK’s SMBs need more help than ever to leverage their capital in a smarter way that enables them go further.

Integrating tech doesn’t have to mean changing the fabric of who businesses are. Instead, it can enable businesses to offer a more efficient, flexible and optimised service for their consumers that saves them money, boosts productivity and allows them to maintain a sustainable strategy for the future.

Recent research conducted by Dropbox and Enterprise Nation has shown that by taking the plunge to adopting tech tools, business leaders can save 150 hours every year. Despite the leaps in digital transformation stimulated by the pandemic, SMBs need to dig deeper to utilise the digitisaiton.

Many businesses still rely on out-dated methodologies due to a lack of expert advice about the benefits of technology or are reluctant to invest due to lack of capital or guidance. However, this doesn’t have to hold them back.

Time is money: how comfort can kill SMBs

For all businesses the age-old aphorism, time is money, rings true, but for SMBs time is everything. When it comes to technology, we know exactly how much money losing time costs. The study showed that if small businesses adopt better technologies, they could gain £8.1bn a year in saved time.

Technology has given businesses and consumers the ability to make menial tasks quicker, collaboration smoother and transparency more widespread. In fact, one of the perks of embracing technology is that you can make it work around your needs and not the other way around.

This is why it’s unsurprising that video conferencing (66%) and cloud storage (59%) were seen as the most important tech tools for keeping businesses going over the past 18 months. However, the report highlighted that some technologies such as e-signature, mobile document scanning, and project management tools are yet to be as widely adopted, despite their role in optimising processes.

Smaller businesses are usually the ones that have the least amount of time to waste and so exploring new digital tools is essential for businesses growth.

Making the digital future accessible

Since 72.2% of businesses couldn’t have survived the pandemic without tech, it is critical to ensure that SMBs, in particular, have the tools needed to adopt new technologies. Two of the biggest obstacles in preventing further adoption is the widespread lack of information as well as accessibility to advice and guidance.

With only 34% of businesses with 1-10 employees very active at keeping up with technology trends, compared to 64% of businesses with 50-250 employees, there is a glaring gap. SMBs need to know what technology can do for them and most importantly, how to adopt it in a way that caters specifically for the way they want to work.

Money and knowledge should not have to be an obstacle in reaping the benefits of tech tools, especially when there is such a large prevalence of free services available. Businesses wanting to take the next step to change how they use technology should take the leap and test what the market can offer them. Companies like Enterprise Nation can help SMBs access everything from peer groups and free learning sessions free guides and templates for implementing tech.

Although the journey towards a more accessible digital world has begun, it has a long way to go before it reaches its end.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Dropbox UK .

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