Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to ability to expand from their limited local customers in the UAE and can have access to many more across the Middle East and numerous other countries worldwide. This is achieved with the help of digital technology that creates an online presence for businesses to reach these other potential customers.
SME’s in today’s world have been encouraged to accept the digital world that will provide these businesses with a larger platform to sell their products and services.
Technology has created a new realm where retailers today not only have to worry about competing with neighboring stores but also compete with the various online retailers that offer shipping products in a minimum amount of days and most likely at a more competitive price.
As many other businesses are changing their business model to digitally see their products, it is beneficial for SME’s to also follow suit and explore their options online and how they can differ from their competitors. Retail sales have been around for more than a hundred years and technology has managed to disrupt this norm and has shifted the way this sector works. Today retail sales in the UK is done majority online with a staggering amount of over 50 per cent. This huge shift is mainly due to the change in buying behavior and how people prefer to shop for goods and services today.
Customers have a higher buying power nowadays as information is easily accessible to them enabling them to make more informed purchasing decisions and creating a larger demand for products and services. If companies are able to consistently stay in tune with what a consumer’s needs and wants are, then they will be able to stay competitive in today’s market.
In the UAE and other regions the recent dip in oil prices has been difficult and challenging for many SME’s in the global perspective. The decline in oil prices means the rise of the dollar and the fall of the commodity prices. This is why SME’s need to change their way of doing business in order to survive and overcome the economic challenge, one of the ways being is creating an online presence.
Microsoft in particular is very keen on helping SME’s and is trying to suggest ways in which these businesses can use the digital world to help reach their targeted customers in the best way possible for their individual business. The technology that is being used by companies to conduct their business has been around for many years however, it is due the increase in accessibility that has surged the popularity of such a medium. Large multinational organizations were the only ones that had the funds before to use this technology back then. But today cloud technology has allowed this model of distribution to reach to new inventive breakthroughs which is more the reason behind as to why smaller businesses have a digital presence, rather than the technology itself.
Technology can help SME’s from reinventing their whole business model and help manage their cost structures in order to overcome or endure the economic crisis currently being experienced in the UAE.
The advantage of an SME to take such a drastic shift from their business model is that is a lot less time consuming as compared to a large corporation. It is estimated to only take a couple of months as they are more dexterous and able to drive change has a more rapid pace.
The five steps that SME’s needs to undertake are:
- Drive the new business model