Four basic steps any company can follow.
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We all know digital innovation is just technology that improves how the world works or compliments a product we already have.
But here’s the question: Have you fully manipulated this ever-evolving aid so as to make your corporate life as hurdle-free as it should be?
If the answer is either “no” or “maybe”, read on…
Related: Why Digital Transformation Is An Effective Crisis Response
1. Look at what you already have in place
Even if you’re a smaller company, you can often modify or build on your protocols through the digital innovation process. In Schluter Systems NA’s case (a manufacturer of accessories for tile installation), we had been doing interactive in-person workshops to demonstrate products, answer questions and network. Those workshops were aimed mainly at educating, over driving sales, and the content was solid.
2. Identify new immediate needs
Look at possible clients outside of your normal audience, starting with individuals who are closely affiliated with your main niche.
Most of the people who were going to Schluter’s workshops were industry professionals. But when COVID-19 made in-person events difficult, these professionals suddenly had to interact more online. Schluter had always seen do-it-yourselfers as important, but attending in-person propositions was often not feasible.
Tellingly, a poll of 1,000 American entrepreneurs on behalf of knowledge commerce platform, Kajabi, found that despite the pandemic’s challenges…a full 78% of respondents used lockdown as an opportunity to further plan how to grow their businesses once things returned to some sense of normalcy.
By turning the events digital, including them suddenly became possible. Schluter could now offer the education the group needed, while at the same time providing several live workshops to our industry professionals. We still had in-person options whenever possible. They were safe to conduct with added health precautions and the addition of digital allowed us to include a new demographic.
Related: 4 Tweaks to Make to Your Website to Sell More
3. Identify problems that keep people from buying
Add to your resources or adjust your infrastructure accordingly.
We knew the company needed to go online, so we spent money on software licenses and cameras while testing thoroughly to make sure technical difficulties wouldn’t crop up.
Within this, we kept the customer experience a priority. By using multiple camera angles, the event became more visually interesting and appealing. We also pulled in multiple expert leads who could ensure the event had good content.
With all of these things working together, the back-and-forth between our audience maintained a high level of energy and we were able to educate, validate and adapt based on real-time feedback.
4. Actively promote the new method, tool or infrastructure
Once you have a new innovation like Schluter’s online events going, you’ll likely need additional work to solidify it as the new standard. For example: Software must be updated or you might need a different way for users to complete a transaction if you discover a potential security flaw.
You also need to get your leadership to promote the digital innovations in whatever ways are possible while they simultaneously stop supporting old options. This can be as small as asking a team member to use a specific application or as broad as a marketing campaign sent to thousands of customers. But having consistent, top-down modeling makes an enormous difference in whether others make full use of it.
Related: Digital Transformation Is Essential in the New Normal. Is Your Company Ready to Start It?