If there is one constant in life it is that nothing stays the same.
This is especially true in business; Change is the constant, especially the past few years. Consider,
- A global pandemic that few saw coming
- A mass pivot online, both in terms of work but also the hyper-acceleration of ecommerce
- The advent of remote work, remote teams, and a workforce that got so used to working from home that it emptied out offices, building, indeed whole downtowns
- The highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, followed by record low unemployment and a need to attract and retain top talent
- The first bout of significant inflation since the 1980s
So yes, the fact is, change happens. That’s not even a question. The question really is:
Are you ready for it?
Some businesses are, embracing the inevitability of change. They think ahead, create systems, and – especially important – like and are eager to adopt new technology. And, while other businesses may not be as future-centric, it is not for a lack of knowledge, but rather, one of priorities. Sometimes change either seems too big, or it’s simply a matter of the day-to-day challenges of running a business requires putting forecasting in the to-do pile.
But here’s the thing:
Change does not have to be scary. In fact, it can be small steps that lead to big change, if you do it right.
Be a Trimtab
Think, for a moment, about an ocean liner.
These ships are big, really big – some as much as three football fields long and weighing up to 300,000 tons. When headed in one direction, that is a lot of momentum. And the question I would like you to ponder is this:
How does such a vessel change course? (and if you think I am making an analogy about your business, you’re right!)
Most people think that to head in a new direction is simply a matter of the captain up on the bridge turning the wheel, and then the wheel turning the rudder, and the rudder then turning the ship. Right?
That is actually physically impossible due to of the huge amount of water pressure on the rudder.
What actually happens instead is that when the captain turns the wheel, the wheel turns a mini-rudder (called a “trimtab”) that sits atop the bigger rudder. The trimtab turns, relieving the water pressure, and then the actual rudder sets the ship on a new course.
It’s the little change that makes the big change happen.
It’s Time for Your Digital Financial Transformation
Combined, these two facts – that change is coming our way whether we like it or not, and that taking small steps toward change like a trimtab – means that it behooves savvy businesses to think ahead and begin (or accelerate) their digital transformation now, before the next pandemic (or whatever) hits.
The good news is, change is easier when you begin small.
In this case, let me suggest that an easy win would be to start by adopting digital financial processes, e.g., how you manage expense reports and vendor invoices. This small change can have a big effect and be a great way to help your business be better prepared for tomorrow—just like a trimtab.
How? Here’s just a sample of the benefits:
- Streamlined financial processes: Implementing digital finance tools like automating how you manage vendor invoices and expense reports can automate repetitive financial tasks, which, in turn, streamlines processes, reduces manual errors, and saves time for finance leaders and their teams.
- Real-time financial insights: Digital finance tools provide real-time access to financial data, allowing businesses to better monitor cash flow, track expenses, and view financial reports instantly.
- Cost savings: Digital finance tools can help save costs associated with paper-based processes and physical storage of documents.
- Improved forecasting and budgeting: With access to historical financial data and real-time insights, businesses can create more accurate financial forecasts and budgets, allowing for better financial planning and resource allocation.
- Security: Finally, while data security is essential for all businesses, smaller businesses often lack robust cybersecurity measures. Embracing digital finance tools from reputable providers such as my friends at SAP Concur can offer better security against financial fraud and data breaches.
And if you don’t look up, be a trimtab, and embrace technology and change? Like the Titanic heading towards that iceberg, it may be a tad too late to try and change course when the need for change is upon you.
Better? Proactively set up your business for success by checking out the tools at https://www.concur.com/en-us/small-business.