If there is one lesson small businesses have learned this year, it’s that the right technology is essential to staying relevant and competitive. 

Before you plunge into a digital transformation, you might need some tips and expert insights into which tools are right for your business today, and tomorrow. That’s why we’ve updated our Small Business Growth Toolkit, to help you make decisions that will clear your path to business growth. 

While recent events, including lockdown restrictions, have made the going tough for small businesses, we are here to help navigate a challenging road ahead.

The right way to embrace technology

While new technologies have huge potential to help businesses adapt and grow, people and processes must be front and centre for those models to work, says SCOUTS New Zealand’s Chief Executive Joshua Tabor.

With COVID-19 looming and 13,000 young members and 5,000 volunteers depending on them, SCOUTS New Zealand knew they wanted to deliver youth-led, adult-supported adventure and personal development experiences.

We also wanted to scale the delivery of those experiences and we wanted continuity of service, no matter what other disruptions arose,” says Tabor.

“Change enablement was just as high a priority as implementing new software.”

The organisation provided guidance to volunteers into the language, concepts and processes involved in upgrading digitally. Just as importantly, it made sure its volunteer base, that spans five generations, knew how much their contribution was respected.

“For a long time, they had worked stoically under inefficient systems that didn’t do justice to their time or effort,” says Tabor. 

The organisation empowered volunteers to connect and collaborate in real time through Salesforce Chatter, while enabling them to analyse and nurture leads in a more effective and efficient way through a new sales funnel

Why you should invest

The moment your employees can see the positive impact software is having on their ability to do their job, is the moment you can start using technology to grow.

Kitchen Mania is a family business with a team of 50 people who design, manufacture, deliver and install kitchens around Auckland. Eighteen months ago, they began looking at what cloud-based software could offer them.

“Salesforce became the pretty obvious choice because it gave us the ability to scale up in the future,” says general manager Greg Arnold.

However, with a diverse group of staff, some adapted to new systems quickly and could see the benefits, while others were slower to come on board, he says.

The proof was in lockdown.

While he describes it as a scary time, Arnold says Salesforce’s software “made things literally as simple as picking up our computers, setting up at home and continuing work there.

“Within an hour the whole team was up and running.”

Arnold says platforms such as Salesforce’s customer relationships management (CRM) platform, Sales Cloud, has also helped exceed customer expectations.

“We have already introduced a paperless version that allows us to follow a customer’s progress, which replaced our archaic folder filing system. 

“We want to keep improving our processes and communication back to the customer,” he says.

“Having an IT structure that allows us to take on any (growth) opportunity that comes forward is a massive positive.”

For SCOUTS New Zealand, a Scouts-specific digital platform means the organisation can now augment what happens in the Scout hall, on the river, around the campfire and in the community.

Tabor says they are also on target to achieve the goal of 25,000 members by 2025.

It’s time to pick up those growth plans you laid aside during 2020. 

Get ready for growth – download the Small Business Growth Toolkit today.

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