SMEs and The Age of Digitization


The year is two thousand & nineteen, nearly everyone that you come across thinks speaks and even acts in a way that is heavily influenced by our digital world. From keeping in touch with family and friends, to the way in which we perform simple tasks such as ordering food from our favourite fast food restaurant, our human lives now revolve around digital platforms. One of the biggest areas wherein digitization is driving change, is the way in which we do business. 

Technology has rapidly grown over the past two decades, and our models of doing business have changed to embrace these advances in technology and to take advantage of the digital age. Big business such as the banking industry, insurance and even agriculture are now known for delivering services to their clients through cutting-edge technology, as well as being the leaders of innovation through digitization. But what effect has this digitization had on the small-to-medium-sized businesses? 

To fully understand the impact of digitization on SMEs, we must look at all areas of operation as well as what it takes for a business to survive in this vastly digitally connected era:

The Business Landscape

The growth of the internet and its different technologies thereof, has given birth to a new kind of business landscape that allows virtually anyone with an idea to go out to the market and start providing some form of product or service. It has now become much easier for a start-up to go from production to market, as the various available digital platforms allow a different kind of exposure to potential clients- an exposure that is not only limited to a business’ local geographical location but potentially the entire world! Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram allow for businesses to carefully refine their target market through social media engagements and analysis, enabling them to adjust marketing strategies to a formula that guarantees success. This means that the potential for business is virtually unlimited and engaging with clients has never been easier.


Survival of The Fittest

The allure of seemingly infinite business opportunities does have a blind spot. With the barrier to entry being so low, it means that anyone can now compete for market share in whatever industry they are in. This now forces SMEs to be more creative in their approach and delivery.

with the fish now being spoilt for choice as to which bait to go for, only the most convincing and attractive bait will get the fish, leaving the others high and dry”

Finding Your Edge

If you have a business idea and would like to get it to the market, chances are there is someone out there willing to pay you for your services. With the cost of getting started in business and the number of resources needed being at the touch of a button, digitization has made it easier for SMEs to get started and to engage with potential clients from all across the globe. However, this does mean your business is drawn into a pool of other SMEs who are battling for market share, which forces businesses to think outside the box and become more creative. This can only be good for the consumer and the whole SME sector as a whole. 

Teboho Mailula – World citizen


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