Small business champions project to help realise the benefit of digital technology
The Small Business Digital Champions Project has been announced this week by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell.
The project is designed to encourage small businesses across Australia to understand and make the most of the digital technology options available to them, and will be of interest to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector as it works to navigate the data requirements imposed through the introduction of the child care subsidy (CCS).
A number of services have expressed concern in relation to the digital technology, with the ABC reporting that “Operators were so concerned about this aspect of the CCS transition, the Government agreed to delay the electronic sign-in requirement until January 2019”.
“If small businesses are to remain nationally and internationally competitive, they must embrace digitalisation,” Ms Carnell said. “We’ve found the most common impediments to digital adoption are not knowing where to start, fear of technology, finding the time and understanding the benefits.”
Ms Carnell pointed to research showing digitally enabled businesses save an average of around 10 hours per week through implementing digital solutions, and subsequently increase annual revenue by almost a third.
A virtual ‘train the trainer’ initiative, dubbed Digital Champion, will enable small businesses to follow the digital progress of other like businesses, and see what can be realistically achieved in their own setting.
Also announced was the Trusted Digital Advisor position in industry and sector associations, as many small business will turn to these associations for advice and support as an initial port of call.
“The statistics are clearly telling small businesses to embrace the digital world: get online, develop a website, get a social media presence, adopt e-invoicing and identify and use the apps that will make your business work better for you,” Ms Carnell said.