Business Accountants: Boosting Small Business Growth: Overcoming the ‘Digital Drag’


Small businesses, from your local plumber to your beloved café, play a vital role in our communities. They fuel job creation, drive economic growth, and provide gathering places for people to connect. However, many of these small businesses face a significant hurdle referred to as the “digital drag,” preventing them from realizing their full potential.

There is immense potential of these businesses. If they were to embrace digitalization at the same pace as the top 20% of tech adopters, they could generate an additional billions in revenue and create hundreds and thousands of new jobs.

Challenges and Opportunities: Regrettably, only 30% of small businesses (with 0-9 employees) have increased their utilization of digital technologies since 2019, in stark contrast to the 69% growth rate seen among larger SMEs. However, the small businesses that did embrace digitalization during the past four years experienced an impressive 8.1% increase in revenue, while the slowest adopters faced a decline of 4.7%. This discrepancy underscores the tremendous opportunity for the micro-enterprises to thrive by adopting digital tools and strategies.

Tips to Overcome the ‘Digital Drag’: If you find yourself caught in the “digital drag” and overwhelmed by the array of technological options, consider the following tips to help select the right technology for your small business:

  1. Set Clear Expectations:

    • Foster acceptance of new technologies by addressing psychological and behavioral barriers. Ensure that your team understands what is expected of them and how the technology will enhance their work.
  2. Prioritize the Right Tech:

    • Begin with technologies that will have the most significant impact. Consider not only what the tech can do but also how it aligns with your company culture.
  3. Predict Trouble Spots:

    • Anticipate potential challenges. Early planning can uncover hidden threats and help prevent initial hiccups.
  4. Balance Costs and Benefits:

    • Create comprehensive lists of both costs and benefits. An objective assessment will reveal the value of change and alleviate resistance.
  5. Put It into Practice:

    • Explore relevant training and support resources provided by industry associations and groups. Collaborating with a mentor or advisor, like an accountant or business coach, can be invaluable for developing a digital strategy and enhancing crucial skills.
  6. Learn and Adapt:

    • Seek insights from professionals, such as accountants and business coaches, who can share experiences of other businesses that have embraced digitalization. Learn from both their successes and challenges.

Embracing digitalization is the key to unlocking the growth potential of small businesses. Overcoming the “digital drag” may require effort, but the rewards are substantial. By making informed technology choices and building a digital-savvy team, small businesses can thrive in the digital age, boost their revenues, and create more job opportunities.


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