Five Challenges Faced by Small Businesses in the Digitization Process

The most diverse companies can no longer escape the digital, however, some challenges are faced by SMEs. A survey conducted this year by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) with the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), showed that 83% of small businesses still do not use tools for new strategies. The survey also pointed out that small businesses in the industrial, commercial, and services sectors are still slowly adapting to the digital ecosystem.

According to a survey carried out in December 2020 by Sebrae in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), 55% of small business owners, who do not yet use the online environment, the biggest difficulty is the lack of employees with skills and knowledge. 

According to Jefferson de Araújo, CEO of Showcase, a platform that helps small businesses to sell online in an uncomplicated and integrated way with all social networks and digital channels, even if there are some obstacles to be overcome, businesses cannot give up on the first difficulty. Thinking about helping professionals, he listed five challenges faced by small businesses in the digitization process and explained how to overcome them: 

1 – Reduced staff -Having few people to take care of several processes at the same time daily is one of the difficulties faced by these companies, mainly because they cannot have the time to fully dedicate themselves to digital. But that’s because they’re performing activities that aren’t efficient, like answering customers via WhatsApp or Instagram. “This contact with the consumer is very important for the brand, but companies must use technology solutions that can do this in an automated way,” says Jefferson Araújo. 

2 – Knowledge about the ideal tools for the business – Understanding how each solution works is essential, so it is necessary to train and study the subject a lot. “For this, there are several free courses, blogs, e-books and specialized websites that can help professionals at this moment”, says Araújo.

3 – Understand the behavior of new consumers -Training is also the solution when the challenge is to understand the behavior of customers and what they are looking for. “Studying the market through research, participating in workshops and lives, and being in tune with the movements of the target audience results in more assertive decision-making,” says Araújo. 

4 – Change of mindset -For Showkase’s CEO, changing the company’s culture and mindset is one of the biggest challenges. “Entrepreneurs need to understand that the digital transformation is here to stay and requires specific strategies and small actions that must be implemented in the company’s day-to-day activities, as well as incentives for leaders and employees, as this will require a lot of time and commitment from everyone”, points out Jefferson. 

5 – Reduced budget -Although there are high-cost tools, nowadays, there are simple and cheap solutions, such as the social networks themselves, which are good and free sales channels. Platforms to make an online store also exist in the market at affordable prices. “For this, there are companies in the market that help to democratize access to digitalization, giving the same potential as a large brand, to a small store that is in the initial phase of this transformation”, concludes Araújo. 

Although there are challenges, it is therefore clear that there are solutions and companies, even small ones, that can build a successful digital journey.

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