design business digitalization – 3 levels

design business digitalization

You most likely also want to become more digital in your business. My clients all want to increase the level of their design business digitalization, but are often unsure where to start, and how to go about it.

In this article, I will share some of the key benefits that come with embracing digitalization. I’m also sharing the 3 levels of digitalization; what they mean, and how you can simply embark on your digitalization journey without stress and overwhelm!

  • What does it mean to digitalize a business?
  • What are the different levels of design business digitalization?
  • What are the benefits of digitalization?
  • Where should you start?

Let’s dive in!

What does it mean to digitalize a business?

Digitalizing a business means leveraging technology to improve customer experience, streamline operations, and optimize processes. It involves the use of digital tools such as mobile applications, websites, social media, and analytics to collect data and gain insights into customer behavior.

Digitalization also helps businesses to identify new opportunities for growth and innovation. Digitalization enables companies to provide better services to their customers while improving communication between departments and stakeholders.

One of the key processes we always digitalize is the customer onboarding process. It’s so critical you get it right, and since your customer onboarding should always work in the same manner, there are really no reasons for not digitalizing it.

design business digitalization
The different levels of design business digitalization

What are the different levels of design business digitalization?

Some might think that the only way to digitalize your business is to create an online course, but that’s just not the case. In design, or in any business, there are different ways to digitalize your offers.

Further on, there are different levels of digitalization, and every business owner should be able to find the level that suits them.

Level 1: Foundationally Digital

Your business is foundationally digitalized. This could mean that while your customer-facing processes are non-digital, the internal operations are digitalized. For example:

  • you use digital tools in your design work
  • you have set up your payment, accounting, inventory, and customer acquisition systems so you can scale
  • you run your office and internal communication with the help of modern tools and systems
  • and so on…

Level 2: Partially Digital

Your business is partially digitalized. For example:

  • you offer premium services with materials you send digitally
  • you sell physical products online
  • you have a systematic onboarding process for your high-end clients
  • you use communication tools to enhance the customer experience
  • you use project management tools to keep track of your client projects and purchases
  • you have a portal for your VIP clients
  • and so on…

Level 3: Fully Digital

Your business is completely digitalized. For example:

  • you sell courses (if you like to teach your expertise)
  • you sell downloadable products
  • you sell tools and gadgets
  • you sell audio products
  • you sell music or images
  • you have a blog/media site selling ads or other people’s products
  • and so on…

Read more about how to create digital products for your interior design business.

Which one of these levels suits you?

Not all businesses aim to go fully digital – in fact, most companies want to offer high-end, high-touchpoint services to their clients. However, digitalization is a necessity for all businesses regardless of the business model, maturity, and size.

What are the benefits of digitalization?

In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly relying on technology to improve their operations and reach new heights of success. Digitalization offers many benefits that can help companies become more efficient, save time and money, and increase their customer base.

From automating mundane tasks to providing better customer service and insights into customer behavior, digitalization has the potential to revolutionize how businesses operate. By leveraging digital technologies, companies can create more efficient systems that enable them to be more agile in responding to changing customer needs. Digitalization also enables businesses to reach new markets and expand their reach globally. As a result, companies can increase their market share and profitability.

New exciting business models or improve current business

Many Avenue clients want to turn their local businesses online. We have helped restaurant owners build food portals, interior designers create online courses, and artists set up e-commerce stores, to name a few.

Whatever your expertise and current business are, there is a huge potential in digitalizing some or all parts of your offer suite. As mentioned, you can use digital tools to improve your customer experience, make your business highly efficient and profitable, and increase your personal joy running it.

Onboarding is one of the key activities to systemize and digitalize. In this mini-program, you can learn how to design your excellent onboarding process!

Where should you start?

The best way to get started with digitalization is to define your vision for the future. What do you really want? Has your life changed since you started your business, and do you now have other needs or possibilities than when you go started?

Many of our clients at Avenue experience big lifestyle changes. Covid definitely accelerated digitalization in most industries and was the main method for many of our clients to save their businesses.

But, your digitalization game plan doesn’t have to be connected to some catastrophe – most often it’s about you and your family deciding that you want to live a certain type of lifestyle, such as working from home or being able to travel with your family.

Then again, you might not really want to change things, you just want your business to be streamlined and effective. This is particularly important if you’re looking to grow and scale, and you don’t have a big team. For sure, companies with hundreds of employees also need to digitalize, but the need for digitalization is far bigger if you’re running all your operations with two, or a few hands.

So, decide why you want to digitalize. Then think about what kind of business you’d like to have. Would you like to have a fully digital business or a partially digital one? If you want to turn your business into a completely digital one, then your business model and revenue streams, focus, and investments are going to change drastically. It’s not a bad thing but requires some new strategies and tactics.

Once you have decided on these, then get to work. It will take time, but is eventually worth the effort! If you need help, let me know!

This article is presented by Avenue – a boutique consulting and coaching company helping design + wellbeing professionals and brands grow, scale, and go international. Read more about our program and consulting