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!
- Digitalizing a business means leveraging technology to improve customer experience, streamline operations, and optimize processes.
- There are three levels of design business digitalization:
- Level 1: Foundationally Digital (internal operations digitalized)
- Level 2: Partially Digital (some customer-facing aspects digitalized)
- Level 3: Fully Digital (business offers primarily digital products/services)
- The benefits of digitalization include increased efficiency, cost savings, improved customer service, and the potential for global market expansion.
- The decision to digitalize should align with your vision for the future and business goals, whether that means partially or fully embracing digital strategies.
- Digital transformation in interior design has revolutionized the industry through visualization tools, automation, sustainability integration, and customization opportunities.
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 is no reason not to digitalize it.
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 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 client portal for your 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 e-design
- 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…
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 business owners want to turn their local businesses online. I 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.
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 got started?
Many of my clients experience big lifestyle changes. COVID-19 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!
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Frequently Asked About Design Business Digitalization
What Is Digital Transformation For Interior Design?
Digital transformation for interior design refers to the use of digital technologies to enhance the entire process of designing, planning, executing, marketing, and selling interior design projects.
Digital transformation in interior design has revolutionized the way interior designers work, enabling them to visualize and present designs more accurately and efficiently, collaborate with clients and stakeholders more effectively, and streamline the entire design process from start to finish.
It has also made it possible for designers to create more sustainable and environmentally friendly designs by using digital tools to optimize energy efficiency and reduce waste.
How Technology Has Changed The Interior Design Industry?
Technology has had a significant impact on the interior design industry. Here are some ways in which it has changed the field:
Visualization: With the help of advanced software, interior designers can now create 3D models of their designs. This allows clients to visualize the end result before any work is done.
Automation: Technology has made it possible to automate many aspects of interior design. For example, smart home technology can control lighting, temperature, and even window treatments.
Sustainability: Technology has also made it easier for designers to incorporate sustainable materials and practices into their designs. From energy-efficient lighting to eco-friendly materials, technology has made it possible to create beautiful and sustainable spaces.
Customization: With the help of technology, interior designers can now create highly customized spaces. From custom furniture to personalized lighting, technology has made it possible to create unique and personalized interiors.
What is the importance of digitalization for design businesses?
Digitalization is essential for design businesses as it allows them to improve efficiency, enhance customer experience, and explore new opportunities for growth and innovation. By leveraging digital tools and technologies, design businesses can streamline their operations, offer more personalized services, and reach a wider audience.
How can digitalization improve customer experience in design businesses
Digitalization can enhance the customer experience in design businesses by providing convenient communication channels, easy access to design concepts through 3D visualization, and efficient project management. It also enables businesses to gather customer feedback and insights, leading to better-tailored design solutions.
Can digitalization help design businesses expand their reach beyond local markets?
Yes, digitalization can enable design businesses to reach a global audience. Through online platforms, social media, and e-commerce capabilities, businesses can showcase their work and attract clients from different geographical locations, thus increasing their market reach.
Is digitalization limited to selling digital products or services only?
No, digitalization can be applied to various aspects of a design business. While offering digital products or courses is one level of digitalization, businesses can also use technology to improve internal processes, project management, marketing, and client communication.
Do all design businesses need to go fully digital to benefit from digitalization?
No, not all design businesses need to go fully digital. The level of digitalization can vary based on individual business goals and preferences. Some businesses may choose to digitalize internal operations while maintaining a more traditional approach to client-facing services.
How long does it usually take for a design business to complete its digitalization journey?
The timeline for digitalization varies depending on the complexity of the business and the desired level of digitalization. It is an ongoing process, and businesses may implement digital tools incrementally as they grow and evolve.
What are the potential cost implications of digitalization for design businesses?
Digitalization may involve initial investments in acquiring digital tools, software, and training for employees. However, over time, the benefits of increased efficiency and improved customer experience can outweigh the initial costs.
Can small design businesses benefit from digitalization, or is it more suitable for larger firms?
Digitalization is beneficial for businesses of all sizes, including small design firms. In fact, digital tools can level the playing field, allowing smaller businesses to compete effectively with larger ones by providing better services and reaching a broader audience.
How can design businesses ensure the security and privacy of their digitalized operations and customer data?
Ensuring data security and privacy is crucial for any digitalized business. Design businesses should invest in secure and reputable digital tools, use encryption and secure payment gateways, and implement strong data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information.
Can you recommend some essential digital tools for design businesses to get started with digitalization?
Some essential digital tools for design businesses include project management software, 3D visualization tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, social media platforms for marketing, and e-commerce platforms for selling digital products or services. The specific tools will depend on the unique needs and goals of the business.
What Are The 7 Principles Of Digital Transformation?
The 7 principles of digital transformation are:
Customer-centricity: The focus should be on the customer and their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Agility: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and quickly respond to new opportunities and challenges.
Data-driven decision making: The use of data and analytics to drive decision-making and improve business outcomes.
Innovation: The ability to create new products, services, and business models using digital technologies.
Collaboration: The ability to work across silos and departments to create a more integrated and collaborative organization.
Empowerment: The ability to empower employees to take ownership and responsibility for their work and to encourage experimentation and risk-taking.
Continuous improvement: The commitment to continuous learning, experimentation, and improvement to stay ahead of the competition and deliver value to customers.