Digital tools are increasingly vital to business operations. In fact, Forbes reported that over 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy in place or are developing one — meaning the permanent adjustment to the world’s digital economy isn’t far away.
However, many small businesses worry that they can’t keep up with the digital trends. That’s why Krystal Hardy Allen, founder of K. Allen Consulting and a Grow with Google Digital Coach, believes businesses must embrace and maintain a growth mindset to continue thriving.
“Be absolutely open to trying a variety of new digital tools, and then determining which of those tools feels right and fits best for them and their unique business model,” said Allen. “I have seen such a tremendous return on investment for business owners who are committed to always learning more, always growing and being willing to evolve their practices.”
Allen shared a few simple and practical ways to capitalize on a growth mindset and adopt helpful digital tools to advance your business.
Seek out continuous education opportunities
Allen always advises her clients to be diligent about continuous learning. This doesn’t necessarily mean signing up for advanced degree programs — in fact, there are plenty of free professional development opportunities available to you through companies like Google and many others.
[Read more: 5 Free Online Classes for Entrepreneurs]
Be absolutely open to trying a variety of new digital tools.
Krystal Hardy Allen, Grow with Google Digital Coach
Identify and educate yourself on specific digital tools that will improve your customer journey
In her coaching practice, Allen has seen small business owners struggle with adapting digital tools that fit their unique customer or client journey. She urged entrepreneurs to identify which tools can be most useful in improving that journey, then educate themselves on how to best leverage them for their business.
“Entrepreneurs who are able to recognize the way that digital tools can enhance the existing customer and client journey had the greatest experiences of success and growth,” she said. “These digital tools are there to take what they’re doing to the next level.”
Allen shared an example of her clients implementing tools like Google Forms to demonstrate how a small change can make a big impact.
“Business owners who have traditionally provided one-hour consultations for free … are [now] utilizing Google Forms to capture a lot of that information well in advance of those calls,” she said. “[This] has reduced their consultation time down to only 20 to 30 minutes maximum, making things far more efficient than they ever were before.”
Allen encouraged business owners to keep an open mind when committing to digital growth, but cautioned against implementing every available tool, especially all at once.
“It is not about adapting every digital tool under the sun,” Allen said. “It is about finding the right tools that help you, as a business owner, increase your effectiveness, which ultimately helps you increase both your revenue and your impact.”
[Read more: A Guide to Continuing Professional Development]
Learning about yourself can be a big part of the entrepreneurial journey, too
While learning about and adopting digital tools, entrepreneurs also need to learn about themselves to succeed on their journey. Allen teaches her clients how to reconcile different aspects of their identities within the frame of entrepreneurship, as well as about the technical aspects that are needed to succeed.
“[I] really delve into addressing the emotional, the mental and often, the inner dynamics of what it means to be an entrepreneur — navigating imposter syndrome, navigating challenges in the way that they impact you as an entrepreneur,” said Allen. “For instance, I am a woman and I am Black, and I’m also a first-generation college graduate. So all of those different aspects of my identity also come into play in the way that I experienced being an entrepreneur.”
You can learn more about the Grow with Google Digital Coaching program here.
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Published June 30, 2021