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Next-Level Business Requires (Digital) Transformation

Even as a Start-Up, you must think beyond business-as-usual because business is as customers drive it. That means your Start-Up must transform to more people-centric, innovative, and responsive in your teams, processes, and profit centers. Staying ahead of customer and market demands to remain sustainable competitive in your industry is what’s called digital transformation.

An advantage you have as a Start-Up is that you likely can move with greater agility than larger, more established competitors. You may be closer to your customers because you’re still sorting out their pain points. You may not have the same kinds of technical debt. You may even be a cloud-native organization, using cloud-based applications and solutions to be digital-first. All those things are to your advantage… and yet, you still need to consider the best way to evolve in meeting your market and exploiting your potential opportunities.

As you already know, business is not about the transaction, the ‘deal’, or the ‘close’; instead, it’s about the relationships between your customers and your Start-Up brand, employees, and company. Today, these relationships are cultivated by leveraging technology to automate routine tasks and identify personalization tactics through mining your data. Technology also streamlines employee workflows and processes so they can operate at peak performance with the ability to connect effectively with customers and each other.

There is a misconception that “digital transformation” means “technology upgrade”; however, that is not the case. The idea is that businesses will become digital-first for less paperwork and greater intelligence and efficiency to better deliver their solutions and serve their audiences. The ideal technology is ambient, or invisible, when it is integrated into and across eXperiences. Mass personalization at scale is becoming more refined as artificial intelligence (AI) enters the picture. As a result, new products, processes, and services will emerge so your Start-Up can meet as-yet-unknown opportunities and marketplace conversations. And that is the real meaning of digital transformation—uplevelling business on every level to build capacity in adapting to emerging needs and opportunities.

How to know if your Start-Up needs digital transformation


If you feel like you have everything in place and are waiting for a competitor or a market disruption to tell you it’s time to uplevel, you’re probably already behind what you need to remain competitive. The idea is that your Start-Up is ready to take advantage of new opportunities and possibilities by upgrading your teams’ skills, workflows, and technologies sooner than later.

Digital transformation should be a continuously ongoing process because it never ends. Instead, it helps you get to your next level of frictionless operations, future-proofing your infrastructure and people-centric solutions and services. Here are five considerations to help you decide if it’s time to initiate digital transformation initiatives in your Start-Up.

1. Do your business and IT teams work in alignment? 

Teams across your Start-Up must be not only aligned but responsible for achieving organizational targets together. Each must be, at the very least, familiar with the others’ operations, processes, and projects. They should know who works in the team and have connections within other teams as a course of daily business. There needs to be open, consistent communication throughout your Start-Up to ensure everyone is pulling toward your business targets.

2. Do your employees know they are customer service agents first?

Every employee serves your customers from their expertise. Accordingly, they need to make customer needs and wants their priority, whether or not their role is publicly customer-facing. Customer-centricity is not just a buzzword; instead, it’s the key to the only sustainable business advantage your Start-Up has – your brand’s eXperience. Knowing what your customers want, need, and expect is the only way you can deliver today and forecast to be ready for their ‘tomorrow’ conversations.

3. Is your data available in a work-from-anywhere environment?

Employees (and customers) are doing business from wherever they are so it’s vital your Start-Up makes the information they need accessible as they are needed. Make sure your technologies are cloud-based, secure, meet your usage needs, enable team collaboration, and leverage artificial intelligence for insights and efficiency. 

4. Do you have functional silos? 

Digital transformation breaks down silos, whether they are based in technology, performance, or corporate culture. Your employees need to be able to share workflows, processes, and insights, and adapt with change. As your Start-Up learns from data, customer trends, and disparate input, the intelligence and insights gained need to be accessible across your organization. 

5. Do your leaders have the skills to create a transformation strategy?

It can happen that team and business leaders lack the cross-functional skills needed to take into consideration aspects of next-level strategic planning to ensure your Start-Up stays relevant, competitive, and valuable to your customer market. That can leave a gap that will slow, stall, or even stop parts of your Start-Up’s growth journey. Invest in your employees to ensure they stay on their growing edge for the benefit of your Start-Up. And invest in a system that can help progress accelerated momentum to meet your business goals (like, the SavvyX Methodology – and yes, that’s a shameless plug!).

The time is now for next-level success

For many companies, digital transformation is merely about digitizing, streamlining, stabilizing, and cleaning shop on where they are today just be get current with best practices. However, innovation accelerators in every industry are happening. That means companies, including your Start-Up, have very little ‘wiggle room’ when it comes to making the needed investments of time, technologies, and resources to optimize their infrastructure and ensure people-centricity on every level.

Your Start-Up cannot afford to wait until conditions are perfect to initiate digital transformation. You cannot ‘do’ digital transformation like everybody else does it because there is no one-size-fits-all approach – your Start-Up is unique in how you got where you are and where you want to go in your future. And you can’t afford the luxury of not knowing what you don’t know about digital transformation.

There are two ways you can initiate a transformation process in your Start-Up. One, you can hire big-gun expensive consultants to take time in becoming familiar with your organization, then advise you on what to do. Or two, you can jumpstart the process by getting the do-it-yourself SavvyX Methodology that will walk you through what a business advisor would tell you to do. The SavvyX Methodology is a cost-efficient way to get expert guidance on what matters most in accelerating your time to value through a unified go-to-market strategy. (Obviously, we vote for the latter… it is literally the reason we put this whole program together—to help you get predictable results and compress your time to value in a cost-efficient way.)

So let your customers drive your business. Respond by being ready through digital transformation so you can deliver increasingly targeted value to your customers. Enjoy the rewards of long-term relationships - and next-level business success. 

About Lynn Scheurell

Lynn Scheurell is an authority on strategic business growth. Lynn is known for her unique perspective, positive empowering mindset, and abilities as a high-value communicator. A natural teacher, she translates complex concepts into simple clarity for practical insight and meaningful connections and relevant eXperiences. 

Photo: Photo by Reza Rostampisheh on Unsplash