Some months ago in 2020, we did not think it possible for businesses to carry on without any human contact and most of the communication tools we use today seemed far-fetched. But COVID-19 time-jumped the world into a future imagined only possible in the movies.
While we are not certain of what the future will hold for business, what we can say for sure is that the digital revolution is upon us.
The term digital revolution has been thrown around lately, but just what is this revolution all about?
The Digital Revolution
Much like the industrial revolution transformed the world in the 18th century, the digital revolution spells the use of technology to transform the way we do business.
For instance, the change in the way we communicate; we no longer have to hop on to planes to seal deals. We now have online business models, that allow anyone to sell anything from anywhere in the world.
The rising use of artificial intelligence such as bots have also taken the financial services space by storm. These are just a few examples of how our shift into the online world will shake up the world, hopefully for the better.
As the world shifts into the digital realms, many businesses in Africa are still stuck in brick and mortar settings, using traditional payment methods and even marketing through old school means.
Granted, many challenges keep Africa behind in terms of technological development. However, if there is any silver lining to this pandemic it is the increased use of the internet on the continent.
Small businesses face a lot of financial challenges from the get-go, especially for African businesses. Despite this, there are still opportunities to establish and grow digitally compliant businesses at minimal costs.
The name Google is a familiar term for a lot of people. It is the most widely used search engine and you can find the answer for almost anything by googling.
A simple how-to search reveals more than 18 billion answers in less than a second! Everyone is using google for solutions, you should too.
But how will google benefit you as a small business owner?
Here are some of the solutions that Google offers that can help your small business establish an online presence and grow.
How To Use Google to Digitally Transform Your Small Business
1). Google My Business:
You can make your self known in the online world by registering your business on Google My Business at no cost. It gives you the tools to show your customers where to find you and what you offer. It also allows you to show your location on maps so that customers can find you easily. The setup and verification processes are fairly straight forward.
You can even set up your free business website using Google My Business. It lets you write a description of your business that will show up when someone searches for your company.
The Q & A feature makes it easier for your clients to ask questions about your products and will show up on google search. Customers can book appointments and you can post your product descriptions and videos.
2). Google AdWords:
With Google AdWords, you can get your advertisements to appear on Google search results. For example, if you sell cakes your advertisement would appear whenever someone searches for a cake shop in the locality.
You can even set your ads to appear regionally or globally.
The good thing about this system of advertising is that you don’t have to pay for it before it becomes useful to you. Google uses a pay-per-click method and you will only pay for advertising space when someone clicks on the add.
3). Google Analytics:
If you have a website already up and running this is a powerful tool to track the success or failure of your site. With analytics, you can find out how many people are visiting your website and how many actually stay. Where your visitors are located and if they are completing an order.
This exceptional tool helps you to improve your site, target your customers better, and to improve conversions.
4). Google Drive:
If you are like me, you probably hate to save files as you work and then lose everything when the power goes out during load shedding.
With Google Drive, you can create your documents, your spreadsheets, and your presentations, plus they are automatically saved as you work.
What’s more, google allows you to share your documents allowing your team to work together in real-time even from different locations. No need to upload and download documents back and forth which is not only tiresome but wastes a lot of data.
5). Organic Search:
By using the right keywords and search engine optimized content, Google can rank you high and have your business appear in customer searches. All you need to do is to put some content onto the internet.
Write a blog, post some videos, or increase your social media presence. With the right keyword combinations and strategy, new customers will be able to find you.
6). Google Digital Skills for Africa:
As a small business owner, you are usually an all-rounder in your company. You run the finances, marketing, and everything else in between. You need to learn all these skills at a low cost.
Google Digital Skills for Africa offers you the opportunity to learn a host of different marketing and business-related concepts in a short space of time, mostly for free.
There is no denying that we are still in the ‘dark ages’ as a continent when it comes to electricity and connectivity. Nonetheless, the digital revolution opens up the playing field for Africans to become players at an international level.
Setting up these tools within your business will require a small financial investment on your part, but they could well be the stepping stones to digitally transform your business and catapult it into the future.
What are your thoughts on these low-cost ways to digitally transform your business? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
About The Writer
This is a guest blog post submitted by Evelyn. She is a freelance finance and business content writer for hire. She leverages her education and financial services background to create informed and compelling content. You can find her on LinkedIn or email
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