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Digital technology is a powerful driving force, revolutionising business, lowering costs, and extending reach. Undergoing digital transformation can be a struggle, especially for small businesses that are already time and resource-poor. By necessity, small business owners have to juggle working both in and on the business which requires a huge range of skills. 

The key to small business is a healthy and happy owner. You'll find resources to help your work in the business in the Ahead for Business hub below; addressing stress management, business stressor screening, and developing a wellbeing plan.

As well as this, the Small Business Digital Champions Project helps you work on your business in order to be more effective, competitive, and ultimately, more profitable. Below you'll find information, practical advice, and guidance for you and your business on how to successfully adopt digital technologies (across a range of topics) when working in the disability sector. 

About the Small Business Digital Champions Project

In 2019 the Department of Jobs and Small Business appointed NDS as one of 15 Australian Industry Associations as part of the Small Business Digital Champions Project. Our role is to establish a trusted digital advisory service to our members and to promote the benefits of 'going digital'. 

 

champions trophySmall Business Digital Champions Contest - Extended (now closed)

Lockdowns, curfews, restrictions on face-to-face activities - what a year!

As a disability service provider in your own business, how has technology helped your business during COVID-19? 

We are looking for your digital success story. If COVID-19 caused a business problem and technology solved it, we want to know.

Did you get a website, start using Social media, automate a system or process, or start using Zoom/Skype/Messenger Video etc for client meetings?

If you have answered yes, then simply tell us:

  1. What was the problem your business experienced?
  2. What technology was your solution?

  3. What was the outcome for your business?

Enter the Small Business Digital Champions contest and in return, you’ll be in the running to:

  • Win a $500 JB Hi-Fi voucher from the Small Business Digital Champions Project.
  • Gain exposure for your business.
  • Help others by sharing your experience.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Please note: Entries closed 18 March 2021.

Case Studies

This collection of case studies from both within the disability sector and other sectors will inspire you to undergo your own digital transformation and future-proof your business. 

Digital Transformation: Ideas worth spreading - Embracing IT

Presenter: Suzie Jones, CEO & Co-founder, CYNCH

How we used ZOOM to connect with our staff and clients

Presenter: Melinda Burgess, CEO, Menzies Group

Cerebral Palsy Alliance - Digital Transformation to improve client services

digital transformation“Our digital transformation strategy is about focusing on our clients as the centre of our business and providing the digital enablement, both internally and externally, to support our rapidly evolving services and client needs,” Dru von Drehnen, chief information officer of Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Read more. 

  Mission Australia - Remote Service Delivery, learning from adaptation during COVID-19

Remote Service Delivery 1COVID-19 and physical distancing restrictions have meant rapid adaptation of many community services. The service design team from Mission Australia shares how they supported services to quickly adapt to this new context, some of the resources that were produced, and opportunities and challenges that emerged during this time. Sign up for this free webinar to hear more about this case study. 

  

As part of the Small Business Digital Champions project, a series of video case studies were produced to showcase the digital transformations of some of the small businesses involved. Read on to find out more. 

Archer Locksmiths

Archer Locksmith 900x600

Archer Locksmiths went digital and it has saved so much time for all staff. Moving from paper to a digital platform has helped the team digitise quotes, jobs, invoices, and receive payments immediately. With just a mouse click, details are uploaded into the accounting software, making it so much simpler for the business to manage. Catherine's message for other small business owners is clear, 'don't put it off, just do it.' View Archer Locksmiths case study.

 Aurora Marketing

aurora marketingAurora Marketing have made some big changes to the back-end of their business, simplifying their processes and making working remotely with up-to-date information possible. “The digitally transformed business is one that is much more professional, much more cohesive. We're more efficient, and we're delivering higher quality, better calibre work. So it's been a real eye-opener to me, to realise how broad digital transformation is, and how a small business could be so dramatically impacted by small things, that have actually made a really big difference to how we operate” says owner Leann Webb. View Aurora Marketing case study.

 Heart Health and Fitness

heart healthDirector and lead exercise physiologist Nicole Gordon, has transformed her business with the support of a network of trusted advisors and vendors. She has introduced an online booking system to her new website which saves significant time in manually managing client appointments. Her different systems are now integrated, making her business operations as seamless as possible, again saving time and also providing Nicole with a better picture of her business’ financial and customer information.

“One of the big learning curves for being in a small business is knowing that I don't have to do everything. It's possible, but you don't get the most out of your business. It's really hard to grow if you're doing every single thing, so being able to outsource what I'm not comfortable in doing or what someone else could do better definitely helps” says Nicole. View Heart Health and Fitness case study.

Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action 

kangaroo islandFor this adventure activity business, embracing digital tools and integrating their systems has helped simplify processes and save time. Their 'shoot and scan' system helps manage inventory in seconds, customers are served quicker with the new point of sales system and the time taken to reconcile the tills at the end of the day has reduced by 75 percent. Saving time doing back-of-house admin means the Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action team gets to spend more time delivering awesome experiences to their customers. View Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action case study.

MummActiv

mummactivWith the assistance of digital technology, Joanne Shepherd has been able to run her business from home so she can stay at home for her kids. MummActiv is a pregnancy nursing activewear and swimwear line so it was important for Joanne to tap into this niche market. Her digital marketing strategy focussed on this market and website traffic has increased. Joanne has also used digital tools to transform her sketches into digital designs so manufacturers can bring her visions to life. View MummActiv case study.

Shoalhaven River Cruise

shoalhavenAutomatic GPS commentary, drone footage and digitised work health and safety practices - just some of the ways that Shoalhaven River Cruise has transformed their business. View Shoalhaven River Cruise case study.

 Trust the Process

trust the processVeterans, Peter and Matthew, started Trust the Process to help bring simplicity into other business owners' lives. To simplify their own processes, Trust the Process have integrated their Customer Relationship Management system to their newly developed website. Now they can better understand their customer interactions from first contact through to securing customers. Working with a website vendor allowed them to create a website that epitomised their brand and services showcasing simplicity and clarity of web design and content. View Trust the Process case study.

As part of this project, NDP ran a competition where we asked how member small businesses used technology to adapt during the COVID.

Our members were asked three questions.
  • What was the problem your business experienced?
  • What technology was your solution?
  • What was the outcome for your business?
We had a swell of entries. Congrtulations Leanne McMurtrie from CCSTAS who was selected as our winner.

Here is a selection from businesses with fewer than 20 people.

Here are NDP Digital Champions 

 

Digital Technology Topics

Below is a list of digital topics. Each one has been broken down to help you understand what it means, how it can help your business, and provide you with the resources and connections to experts to help you implement it in your business. 

cogsAhead for Business

This digital hub recognises the support that small business owners need and provides a collection of resources for maintaining your mental and physical health. 

Find out more. 

Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) 

Looking for advice for your small business? ASBAS offers small businesses low cost, high quality advice on a range of effective small business solutions.

cloudCloud Technology & Applications

Find out how moving your business to a cloud-based system can save you money on expensive equipment. 

Find out more. 

Safety First


cybersecurity

 

 

 

 Free - Cybersecurity is complex but critical to get right. Watch this cybersecurity overview.

 Cynch offersfree and discounted member services are available through

 

SEOSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Improving your Search Engine Optimisation means you'll rank higher in search results and generate more web traffic. 

Find out more.

social

Social Media

Find out how to create a social media strategy and generate more leads.

Find out more. 

website

Website

Find out why mobile responsive web design and disability accessibility are key.

Find out more.

Deloitte Expert Series

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems support businesses to collect and store information about their customers and the interactions that have occurred. It allows business owners to analyse their customer base in terms of demographics and purchasing habits and then better target marketing activities, personalised communication and ultimately, build ongoing loyal relationships.

Technology enables this single source of truth to be accessed by all staff, maintaining a clear understanding of a business' customer base.

 

Cloud Computing

The cloud allows businesses to access their data more flexibly, from anywhere, anytime. Instead of purchasing an asset like a server, data is stored remotely and securely.

Users access their software as a service rather than it being stored on a single device. Using the cloud means that data is available in real-time and all staff can access it wherever they are, better supporting flexible, remote working arrangements.

 

Online Presence and Digital Marketing

Developing and maintaining an online presence is a must for small businesses. It allows customers to access information about the business, purchase or enquire about goods and services 24/7 and is often the main way a customer will find out the business exists.

Businesses need to tailor their online presence to their target market in terms of what social media platforms they use and the type of content on their website. Investment to become digitally present online helps develop brand awareness and reach more customers.

 

Systems Integration to Reduce Duplication

Businesses usually have a range of systems in place to manage different processes. For example, a business may have different brands of accounting software, job management platform, inventory management system and customer relationship management system.

But when these systems are able to natively talk to one another, this has many benefits for the business. Admin time and data errors decrease as information doesn't need to be entered into multiple systems. As data flows between systems, business owners have access to real-time information that can help inform business decisions. Investing time up front in better understanding systems will pay dividends in the future.

 

Going Digital for Increased Efficiency

Research shows that the most digitally sophisticated companies have significantly higher revenues, better profits and better staff potential than the least digitally sophisticated companies. Businesses should use technology to support their growth, it's just a matter of finding the right digital solution.

Find out what happened when very small cheese shop who used Facebook to promote a two-for-one offer.