Unpacking The Impact Of The 4IR On Small Business In South Africa
There is no shortage of information on the 4th Industrial Revolution so my aim with this article is not to repeat what has already been said but rather to unpack what some may see as a complicated technological advancement they should be involved in but are not sure how.
The 4IR is basically about automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet and that is what I will cover providing you with simple solutions to become a participant rather than a spectator. Small business owners can grow their business by riding the 4IR wave and it is not complicated.
The advancement of technology and the Internet continues to expand local, national, and global reach for business owners in ways that only a few years ago was not possible. The future is here… is your business ready? Let’s get you ready!
The 4th Industrial Revolution, also known as 4IR or Industry 4.0, for the small business owners concerns only the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems.
- Internet of Things. This is also known as IoT and it refers to a network of interconnected smart devices allowing each device to interact through sending and receiving data, with other devices on the network.
- Internet of Systems. This relates to the online systems your business has access to that are linked to the Internet and in turn with all devices linked to the network.
This is where this article will focus on as it has the biggest growth potential for small business owners. This is where small business owners can grow their business beyond what was possible in that you can reach a bigger local, national, and even global market.
What you need to know…
The best way for small business owners to ensure they participate in the opportunities available through the 4IR is to ensure they have a strong, impactful online presence through a website and social media networks.
This provides any business with the platform to showcase their business, products, and services to a wider audience then has ever been possible. It does not require a big investment, time, or resources to achieve this but, it is well worth the effort and will certainly attract more prospects, leads, and customers to your business.
The systems that small business owners can leverage and take advantage of will help speed up processes, automate certain client interaction, automate lead generation, provide access to a much bigger client base, reduce costs, and free up time to allow the business owners to spend more time working on their business instead of in their business.
These are systems such as website plugins, autoresponders, online scripts, online content management, client follow-up, order taking and completion, and the ability to network with more prospects and businesses than ever before.
Data and ICT networks are the drivers of the 4IR and we are becoming a globally connected digital society. Business owners can take advantage of this technology as a tool to scale their business further then was possible when they first started. It is merely a case of identifying the skills required, finding the gap between those and your current skills, then source the training required to level-up your knowledge.
Why you need to know this…
Small business owners that don’t embrace the 4IR and adapt to the change will find their competitors out-performing them with relative ease. The digital world offers opportunities to reach more prospects, leads, and customers and it’s time to take advantage of this revolution.
Creating an online presence doesn’t mean you are running your business online but rather that you are spreading your brand further than ever before and getting your products and services in front of more prospective clients.
This does not require you to be a technology specialist as with the right training, any business owner to create and manage their online presence with relative ease. Most of the skills required can be learned and applied quickly and once in place, takes minimal time to manage but, the rewards are more valuable than your investment.
How to participate in the 4IR…
The first step is to determine what is missing from your business having an online presence then identify the training and resources you require to get this up to date.
The next step will be to access training on the strategies used successfully online to spread your brand and attract new prospects, leads, and customers.
This is where e-learning plays a big role in that you can obtain the skills required online and you can study at your own pace. The right e-learning platform will also provide you with training on how to scale your business to the next level and will ensure you have access to support when you are stuck or have questions that need attention.
This is where the Business Growth Network becomes a valuable resource as you will have access to training, tips, tools, resources, support and a growing professional business network unlike any other.
The Business Growth Network is a unique platform providing you with access to valuable training through Business Growth How-To Guides, training on business growth strategies, continuous support from a business transformation specialist and you will join a growing network of business owners who are on the same journey.
This platform is the only network that provides business networking to more start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners than ever before by making use of technology and the Internet. Benefits include business growth training on a weekly basis, unlimited access to business growth how-to guides, weekly video training, live broadcasts, the opportunity to market your products and services to all members in South Africa and Africa, opportunity to create joint venture partnerships and… get support from the network of business owners who are the same journey as you.
The choice is yours…you are either going to participate in the 4IR or you are going to be a spectator and watch how your competitors out-perform you. What will your choice be?