Want Success In The Digital Economy? Turn Your Small Business Into A Live Business

Penny Delgadillo Valencia

Part 1 of “The Road to Live Business” series

We all engage in increasingly digital lifestyles. As we tap, swipe, and click our way through life, we are making decisions in real time. There’s no time for waiting in lines. And there’s definitely no patience for long delivery times, inconsistent information, and, above all, customer service glitches.

Having grown up professionally in many born-in-the-cloud startups and small businesses, I’ve seen firsthand how a brand can emerge as a significant competitor by making the right decisions, seizing hidden opportunities, anticipating problems, and delighting customers. However, this can only be accomplished if the company is driven by insight, action, and flexibility to address every step of the customer journey.

Running live in the digital economy

During our recent SAPPHIRE NOW event, SAP launched our new campaign – Live Business. It was exciting to be there and see the buzz. After talking to several attendees from small firms spanning across industries and backgrounds, I kept hearing a recurring theme: Being a Live Business is a mandate, not a competitive differentiator. And it’s not just for the big guys – it’s just as important for small and midsize businesses.

To understand how companies are responding to the digital economy’s call for growing, ever-evolving entities, SAP commissioned Forbes Insights to conduct the study “Doing Business in the Moment: How SMBs Run Live in the Digital Economy.” This research features a range of experts, thought leaders, and small and midsize business owners who are watching this environment unfold.

Forbes Insights took a thorough look at how firms can transform into a Live Business and the advantages awaiting those that successfully make the leap. Here’s what we learned:

  • E-commerce is enabling even the smallest companies to participate in the digital marketplace, helping them operate with greater agility and anticipation.
  • Most small and midsize businesses feel that anything less that real-time is wasted time – and the technology to eliminate lagging processes and information flow is within their reach.

Now that our world is full of ubiquitous connections, data, and innovations, hyperconnectivity has changed the game. Customers demand simple, seamless, and personalized experiences at every touch point.

And every business, no matter its size, must run at this pace and deliver these expectations. No one is immune.

What every small and midsize business should know about running a Live Business

A Live Business goes beyond customer-facing processes in operations, production, sales, marketing, and the supply chain – procurement, finance, and HR must run live too. To build the brand and provide the level of service that customers expect, every area of the business must be a trusted, hyper-social, and relevant adviser. The ability to view the business in its entirety – from HR to sales – through analytics allows the nimbleness needed to make decisions, take action in real time, and plan for long-term growth.

Operating a business from a live perspective is the key to driving success and adapting to changes along the way. And by uniting decision influencers and their data across the company with predictive, real-time analytics, there’s no limit to what a small and midsize business can accomplish.

This is what digital transformation was always meant to be: A path to becoming a Live Business.

To learn how your business can become a Live Business, check out Forbes Insights’ recent report “Doing Business In-the-Moment: How SMBs Run Live in the Digital Economy.” Over the next six weeks, we will share additional insights from this research. Be sure to check every Tuesday for new installments to our blog series “The Road to Live Business.” 

Penny Delgadillo Valencia

About Penny Delgadillo Valencia

Penny Delgadillo Valencia is the Senior Vice President of Global Audience and and Strategic Partner Marketing at SAP. She is responsible for the organization’s transformation into a world-class global audience marketing function, and oversee teams responsible for end-to-end engagement with line-of-business, industry and technology buying audiences, including thought leadership, campaigns and programs, services and support, and influencer relations.