Among the immense number of changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid acceleration of digital transformation is among the most significant and enduring. With city centers shuttered, vulnerable individuals sheltering at home, and consumers generally avoiding in-person interactions, business transactions were forced to move online.
If you buy into the conventional wisdom that this transformation was inevitable and only hastened by the necessity of circumstances, then it follows logically that we’ll never go back. Indeed, even as the Western world prepares for post-pandemic life, it seems that the mass migration of business processes into digital spaces is going to be a permanent one.
Over the past year and a half, companies of every size found they had to undergo digital transformations, or they’d be shut out of the market. Demand for contact-free payments, for example, soared, with 78% of consumers preferring to use mobile or online payments instead of making a payment in person.
About 35% of consumers changed their shopping habits because of the coronavirus, and that trend applies to service consumption as much as the purchase of physical goods. Perhaps even more poignantly, 60% of service providers report that online appointments now make up more than half of their total business.
SMBs joined the hasty rush onto the digital bandwagon, with 33% offering online services for the first time. Now that the initial panic is over, they need to consolidate their changes, organize their new digital capabilities, and learn how to best put them to use.
SMB owners need your help
Now more than ever, newly-digitized SMBs need your assistance. They’re looking for guidance and support from business coaches, consultants and advisors in fields ranging from finance to marketing, to help them manage their digital tools and understand how to offer the right digital services.
Whether you’re a time management coach, an established app development shop or a fledgling social media marketing agency, in order to provide the correct assistance, you need reseller programs with white-label platforms that you can put to work to help your clients. The tech you choose isn’t just a product that you’re sharing with your clients, but a means to assist them to grow their own businesses.
It’s important for service providers to SMBs to approach this period with the right mindset. Your aim should be to teach your clients self-reliance, not to maintain their dependence on your help. Sometimes, advisors can fall into the trap of thinking that educating clients to carry out their own tasks risks undercutting your business, but the opposite is true.
Empowering your SMB clients towards independence only adds to the value you deliver, because you’re positioning yourself as a trustworthy guide and supporter. When you teach your clients to fish, to borrow a metaphor, you’ll see them return for more help with more complex tasks in the future, and recommend you to their friends and acquaintances, because they’ll have confidence that you have their best interests at heart.
Alongside the right educational mindset, you’ll need the right tools and platforms. Here are three tech platforms that enable you to deliver the help your SMB clients are looking for.
1. vcita xperts
The comprehensive SMB management platform vcita is offering a new reseller program called xperts, which has some important functionalities for business consultants and advisors looking to assist their SMB clients. You can use the platform to work together with your clients by setting up tasks for them to complete, like planting new lead details into the messaging framework for clients to make immediate contact.
Resellers can log in as their clients to guide them step by step through new digital workflows like online scheduling, accepting online payments, and running email marketing campaigns. Additionally, the master dashboard tracks onboarding metrics and follows your clients’ progress, so you can see if they’re succeeding in gaining key digital competencies and step in swiftly to offer help and training as soon as it’s needed.
Finally, the xperts platform allows you to use your own workflows in your clients’ accounts. You can use these to speed the path to value for your newly digital clients and save customized templates to give them a step up when they come to create their own marketing emails or promotional texts.
Data is a fundamental component of every kind of digital strategy, so switching to digital analytics is crucial for every kind of small business. But it can also be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for SMB owners who get nervous around graphs and analytics.
AgencyAnalytics has a while label, all-in-one analytics reporting platform that helps business consultants to direct their clients through the maze of data. Work on it together with your clients to help them set up and refine their digital marketing in a holistic manner and track KPIs across email, social media, landing pages, and more.
With the help of the platform, you can show, not just tell, your clients which metrics to track, what to do with the data they gather, how to prioritize marketing tasks, and more. Help them gain the skills and confidence to manage their marketing data alone, or at least to take control over the simpler tasks so that you can focus on higher value assignments.
In 2021, a static “brochure” website isn’t enough. Your clients need efficient, hard-working sites that support a range of digital tasks, including landing pages, payment processing, and checking availability or stock. Weblium helps you use templates to quickly design websites that are mobile responsive and multi-talented.
But it goes beyond that. By using Weblium, you can escort clients through the web development process so they can grasp what goes into an effective website. Teach them the basics of how to tweak web elements and appearance, so they can manage their own business sites in the future and create simple child sites for a business sideline (a capability that’s especially important post-COVID, when so many SMBs have had to pivot or develop side businesses).
You’ll still be needed for more complex web design projects that require coding or specialist knowledge, but when you’ve taught clients the basics of web design you’ll encounter fewer arguments over your decisions.
The right tech places you in a position of trust
The hasty, COVID-19-accelerated digital transformation left many SMB owners unsure of what to do next with their newly-digital business. Using the right platforms to educate SMB clients, enable them to carry out simple tasks themselves, and equip them with the skills they need to manage their digitally transformed company helps position you as a trustworthy mentor and teacher. These and other similar tools empower you to grow your own business proposition and boost your bottom line.