We work with lots of MSME(1) owners. When we meet, we discuss lots of concerns, success stories and future trends that would shape up businesses. We have seen a recent awakening about ‘Digital’ among most of the MSME owners. That is why we thought of sharing some thoughts that can help any MSME owner to decide his/her own strategy of going Digital.
We all know if full well now that all MSME’s are struggling to find way out from the Covid-19 impact as they have suffered very badly in this pandemic situation.
There are limitations on their sales guys — they can’t travel — they can’t meet customers in their offices, as most of the potential customers avoid personal meetings these days. The immediate solution is giving presentations on digital platforms like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom!
Well, this is what everyone is doing. But this has increased the load on customers so much that they have started “avoiding” such virtual meetings!
There are certain shortfalls of such meetings (if you succeed to have one with your customer!)
1) Customer may not be fully concentrating on you (They choose to keep the video off for this reason only!)
2) There can be issue related to connectivity, which makes such meeting boring and inconsistant
3) A buying decision is never taken on such presentations, as buying is indeed a complex process!
4) Developing relationships in such meetings is impossible, as you are missing the most important aspect of business communication — the body language (it comprises more than 50% part of your communication)
5) It is important to socialize with the customer apart from business talks. How will you do this in a formal virtual meeting? How will you develop personal relationship?
So, many MSME owners get puzzled, as they think — more the number of virtual calls by their sales team, more chances of success!
It may not work!!
Is there any way out then?
Yes, there is. When one door closes, another opens! There are ways of doing business differently. This has, in fact, nothing to do with Covid really. This was happening in the Pre-Covid time already!
Way of doing business is changing rapidly. See who are the successful businesses in recent times. Few years back, we hardly cared for names like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, 1mg, Spotify, Reliance Jio, Flipkart, Netflix, Instagram, PayTM etc. Today, these companies are changing the way business is done.
In 2006, Humby coined the phrase “Data is the new oil”. He elaborated by saying that, like oil, data is “valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. (2) Large traditional corporations like Reliance Indutries Limited (RIL) are realizing this & gearing up for the new rules of the game. Being Asset Light, being debt free — these are some of the new ‘in-things’
What should MSME’s do?
Follow the new leaders! Try to learn from the new business methods. The simplest one is to go more and more digital!
If you have a good digital presence, your chances of doing well in business increase multifold — and by good, we mean — effective. There are many business owners, who do not have a planned digital strategy and fall prey to self-declared experts in Digital domain who are the so called ‘SEO/SEM’ people. These guys offer cheap solutions — but it takes your business nowhere!
In the next article, let’s see why this happens & what could be the right way to go digital.
Reference: (1) MSME stands for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, (2)Wikepedia
© Nitin Kirloskar