The COVID-19 crisis has forced the world to change how it conducts business overnight. As we all begin to move forward together and reopen our doors, new priorities and practices are beginning to take shape. Some will change our interactions with customers. Some will alter our long-established processes. Nearly all will in some way affect our bottom lines.
New opportunities will undoubtedly arise—as will unfamiliar challenges. Those who keep an open mind will be best prepared to tackle both. Now is the time to find, and work with, a trusted partner to make sure you have a solid plan of action—and the funds to help you navigate uncertainty.
For most businesses, two of the most common challenges will be planning and funding. If you uncover an opportunity, how will you finance it? If you experience a challenge, where can you turn? Finding the right solutions to balance these potential changes to income streams will be essential, as will managing debt and cash in a safe and efficient manner. A crucial first step is having a banking expert on your side to help you map out your financial strategy.
For most professional services practices, two of the most common challenges will be planning and funding. If you uncover an opportunity, how will you finance it? If you experience a challenge, where can you turn? Finding the right solutions to balance these potential changes to income streams will be essential, as will managing debt and cash in a safe and efficient manner. A crucial first step is having a banking expert on your side to help you map out your financial strategy.
One of the biggest ways you can transform your firm right now is by adopting new technologies. However, in most cases, it’s not an overnight process—nor should it be. Technology can advance your business by leaps and bounds, but you need to have a comprehensive plan for implementation. Otherwise, those shiny, new digital capabilities could end up pushed to the back of the proverbial desk drawer and forgotten.
There are a number of strategies for implementing digital transformation. But the thoughtful approach to adding innovations requires asking strategic questions.
First and foremost, what business problem are you trying to solve? Are you still hanging on to an outdated way of working that’s holding back your staff? Have you neglected a service or tool that could potentially make things easier for your clients? Or are you simply looking to streamline existing services?
It’s also critical to consider any associated costs. Be sure to take a good hard look at it from both sides though—Can you afford to do it? Can you afford to not do it?
Analyzing how you currently work and asking the tough questions will lead you to better answers. And better answers will lead you to more personalized technology solutions.
Once you’ve identified the area(s) you’re looking to improve, you can then move on to identifying your available options. Depending on the size of your firm, you may want to consider launching a pilot program to test the chosen technology. This will allow you and your team to work out any bugs before unleashing it on the masses. Another added benefit of testing new tech with smaller teams is that everyone who participates becomes a source for information—someone who can be leaned on when it comes time for the larger scale rollout.
It’s essential that whatever tech you decide to adopt—be it project/case management software, treasury management solutions, or any of the available digital tools and apps—you must invest in the training to make sure everyone feels comfortable with the new way of working. Not everyone has the same level of comfort with technology, and if your decision is introducing a new way of working, it may take a while before everyone arrives at the same level. Don’t let this discourage you or your team. Thriving tomorrow requires training today. So be prepared to invite questions, then listen to and interpret feedback to help you fine tune how the new tech integrates into your current processes.