The importance of integrating your systems and your processes to maximise your marketing activities
The Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant offers up to $10k to qualifying businesses. It is all about supporting small businesses that have been affected by the recent restrictions. The aim of this injection of cash is to help these businesses adapt and sustain their operations and build resilience. It will also stimulate the economy with $200 million being put into the system by the government.
The initial round of applications closed after just 3 days. Unfortunately many were rejected because the application didn’t meet the criteria.
There was such a rush to get applications in. I wondered how business owners were going to get the greatest benefit from their potential $10k investment. I think that business owners were so busy doing “we have to get our applications in they didn’t spend enough time in the planning.
I wanted to walk you through some of the expectations for the application. The adaption grant has a very strong emphasis on these planning/design activities:
What is the business problem that this new grant aims to address? It is about adaptation. Changing the structure or function of your business so that it is better able to survive. They are looking for those businesses who can thrive in an environment of constant change. Those businesses that are willing to change when things get uncertain. Those businesses with an edge over their competitors with a versatility they do not have.
COVID-19 has highlighted a problem for small business that big business has been wrestling with for a good number of years. Fragility doesn’t survive in an environment of constant change.
What does fragile look like? In short, it is a business that cannot adapt to change. There are many dimensions to a fragile business. At the core though, is a misalignment between the “mechanics of the marketing” and “the mechanics of the IT that underpins the marketing”.
There is little or no alignment between Business and Technology. It is as if the two are never meant to work together when in fact they dovetail beautifully. Allowing ‘departments’ to talk to each other gives you the opportunity to measure your actions far more effectively. With SMART goal setting comes intelligent and informed decision making. That is one problem that an integrated system will address.
The main problem faced by small and medium-sized businesses is simple. The investment in IT solutions is not in alignment with your business model. This includes Websites, SEO, Social Media, eCommerce and POS. It also includes Payment Gateways, CRM, Cloud Software, Productivity Tools, Automation and Integration. Your business strategy, capability, processes and human resources all need to be addressed to do this seamlessly.
Adaptation is about transformation and development. What does this look like for a small business that does not have a big business budget? The methods adopted by a big business can be as effective when applied to small business. Small businesses are already lean and do not have the corporate politics found in big business. These can be what leads to the failure of digital and marketing integration programs.
Reassess your why and make sure this communicates in your application. Convey:
Your business plan
Your business model canvas
Your value proposition
What does your business do? You need to be really clear about what you do and how you do it! To answer this question you must look at:
Your value chain
Your customer journeys
Your business capability
What are your business processes and how do they interact to make sure that you can deliver what you say you are going to? Look at the activities you undertake to deliver services to customers? How you do things is not static and of course, this varies from business to business and industry to industry. Your business requirements for a job management system or customer relationship management system that works in conjunction with your marketing activities are unique to you. Your needs are not the same as your competitors and definitely not the same as businesses in other industries. Cloud software will help meet your requirements.
Your people are critical to your business success. An analysis of business capabilities and processes will clarify the role of key human resources. It will help identify any issues or gaps that we can help you address through outsourcing and/or innovative technology solutions.
Adaptation is about transformation. This may start with Business Design and then aligning your marketing and Technology in a fit-for-purpose for your business.
If you want to chat to someone about doing an application feel free to give us a call, 1300 802 803