We know small business owners are at varying points on the technology spectrum.  Some have embraced technology to operationalize a majority of their operations while others have continued to manage with minimal technology intervention for a variety of reasons.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is altering the business landscape and is accelerating how businesses leverage technology to provide services and or products to clients.

Shopify Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke recently shared in a Fortune interview that “the number of small stores using Shopify’s ecommerce platform rose by 62%” from mid March to April 2020.  The shift to use ecommerce has not only affected large retailers but also smaller ones like community grocery stores, specialty stores and farms that have all gone online as consumers have shifted buying patterns to accessing stores virtually versus in person.

As a small business that is looking at how best to innovate given the current situation, there are a number of ways to find help.

  1. Initially, conduct an assessment of approaches that will best suit your business. Digitalmainstreet.ca published a great article on what to consider when setting up your business online
  2. Second, consider investing in a business plan that helps map out a strategic approach to support your business’ technology transition in a way that best helps your company succeed given current client paradigm shifts.  Your business plan should help you in developing a framework for:
    1. Determining the feasibility of your ideas and approach for your online business
    2. Understand your business’ sales and marketing approach based on local, national and international competition
    3. Awareness of potential benefits, issues and risks and mitigation steps to help navigate the business as it adapts to a digital presence
    4. Overall resourcing, timeline and budget to support your business
  3. Third, assess how your business can leverage technology to be more nimble, agile and efficient. Review what resourcing changes may be required to harness your technology transformation.
    1. Deeper understanding of your business needs that will help map out what kind of technology is best suited for your company and industry
      1. Assess various technology resources to determine what is most applicable to your business
    2. Closer look at human resourcing to understand how comfortable your existing team is with technology and their capacity to adapt to change and cloud based software
      1. Having the right team is one of the key ingredients in managing a successful online presence as you need resources with a variety of skills (communication, technology, business, marketing, supply chain) to support the business as it grows and morphs into an online venture
    3. Digitalmainstreet.ca has put together a starter kit for businesses looking at technology transformation and provides guidance on key areas like websites, content, cloud software etc.
  4. Finally, connect with Fuel Accountants for a discussion on your current financials and how best to invest finances strategically to support your business technology transition based on your business plan.

It’s important to recognize that you and your business are not alone. As your accountant and business advisor we are here to help you succeed.

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