Welcome to the digital-first world. Today, most business activities are performed online. If you’re not operating your business at least to some extent online, you’re falling behind. Luckily, it’s not too late to transform your business for the new digital landscape. In fact, according to Forbes, small businesses can increase their own revenue by as much as 25% with a digital-first strategy.

What do you need for your digital transformation strategy to be successful? Here are some of the best must-haves that matter in 2019 if you want to see a big change. It’s time for a new era of success and change.

1. Chatbot

One of the newest trends in customer service is chatbots. Chatbots are automated responders that are able to handle minor customer concerns and questions. Some can even do a variety of actions like helping with customer orders, shipping, or scheduling a call.

Why are chatbots so essential in 2019? Because you need a way to be there for your clients and customers 24/7. Of course, you likely can’t afford a team of support specialists who can be waiting for calls and messages at all hours of the day. Chatbots don’t take days off and they’re always there to help right when it matters most. Some common chatbot options include LivePerson, Live Chat, and Amazon Lex.

2. Digital Project Management

Aside from focusing on your customers, you need a way to help your employees as well. A successful business is one that’s organized, focused on the most important tasks, and collaborative. This isn’t always easy, especially if you’re utilizing remote workers or if you don’t keep a clear schedule.

Digital project management tools like Trello and Monday help keep everything organized in one place. You can assign users to projects, set deadlines, and store project files all in one spot. These projects can be accessed from anywhere on the go, keeping everyone in the loop and more productive.

3. Digital Outsourcing

Are you doing all of your business tasks in-house? Is this the most productive use of your time? If you’re a small business, you might find yourself feeling spread thin as it is. Investing in third-party outsourcing can be a big asset for your business. Thanks to the internet, you no longer need to find outsourcing agencies and contractors in your local area. You can rely on the best experts from around the globe.

When you outsource tasks to other professionals, you have more time to focus on what matters most for your business. While small businesses often assume they can’t afford to outsource, it turns out that the opposite might also be true. Outsourcing a few hours a week could save you both time and money while generating more revenue for your business.

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4. Marketing Data

Another important digital transformation has to do with data. You might hear buzz terms like “Big Data” being thrown around a lot, but what does that mean to your business? Even small businesses can benefit from big data. How are you using the data you have? How are you collecting data in a safe, secure way that matters for your business?

If you don’t know how to answer those questions, it’s time to create a strategy for collecting and utilizing data about your users. How do you use this data? The more you understand your data and their wants, the better equipped you’ll be to create products and services suited to them and their needs. Experts like WGroup can help you develop the right strategy for your business.

5. Cyber Security

Finally, focusing on cybersecurity is one of the most important musts for 2019. No matter how large or small your digital transformation strategy is, you need to keep an eye on security. A startling 43% of all cyber attacks are posed at small businesses, so nobody can afford to overlook security.

Whether you invest in security apps, software, or a consultant, make sure security is a high priority for your business moving forward. In addition, educate your employees about data security and how to protect their devices when at work and at home.

Prepare for the Future of Business

The future of business looks bright for those who are proactive about transforming to a digital-first environment. Creating a new digital strategy can be intimidating if you’re not sure where to start. These must-haves above are a great foundation, and you can always grow as you learn what matters most to your customers.

In this day and age, it’s all about adapting to customer needs. For most businesses, that means knowing how to thrive in an online world. There’s simply no room to wait for the future to come to you. It’s time to get serious about taking your business to the next level.

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