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Proof that digitizing your business leads to profit growth

Average reading time: 3 minutes

Turns out it pays off to explore life beyond Microsoft Word. To move away from paper. To collect data in a systematic way. To invest in digital technologies. Really, to make digital a priority.


Not convinced?  Read BDC’s report and learn about the 19% of Canadian SMEs that are embracing digital and seeing positive results. Not only is the research recent (like this month recent), but it’s Canadian—score!


This report is for you if you’re: 

  • A small to mid-sized business owner looking to digitize, or use more digital technologies
  • An employee pushing for digitization at your organization
  • An owner or employee of an organization helping companies go digital

The gist of the report, if you can’t read the full 30 pages now: 


Businesses that are putting the money and time into digitizing their systems and processes are reaping the benefits.  BDC refers to these companies as “digitally advanced”.


To clarify, when a business is digitizing it means that they’re using more and more digital technologies to run their business. Examples of these technologies, as outlined by BDC include:

  • Customer-facing technologies: social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), e-commerce websites
  • Back-office technologies: project management software, accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, web and social analytics

A key takeaway: The businesses that are really crushing it—the ones that have achieved a sort of full digitization—have a strong digital vision. They have leadership buy-in and they’re open to change. In other words, it’s great to use digital technologies, but it’s even greater to have a company culture that embraces them.


The businesses that are really crushing it—the ones that have achieved a sort of full digitization—have a strong digital vision. 


Here are 4 key insights from the study: 


1. Up your digital game and become a leader. Only 19% of Canadian SMEs are considered “digitally advanced”—and that number drops to 15% in BC. Fun fact: When it comes to digitization, Quebec is doing très bien (26% of companies in Quebec are considered advanced).

2. Up your digital game and watch your business grow. Businesses with a higher “digital maturity” are 62% more likely to experience sales growth. What’s more, they’re 52% more likely to enjoy profit growth.


3. Up your digital game and channel your inner Edison. Okay, this number is crazy. Companies embracing digital opportunities are 329% more likely to innovate. If that doesn’t make you want to stop what you’re doing and find out whether or not your business is digitally with-it, I’m not sure what does. 


4. Up your digital game and budget for the transition. Companies with 20-99 employees invested ~$54,000 on digitization last year. Companies with over 100 employees spent ~$259,000. 


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Source: BDC’s “Digitize Now” Report. Page 12. October 2018. 


Okay, okay—we get it. If you’re not embracing digital, you’re going to fall behind (like the 25% of not-so-digital businesses that have seen sales drop over the past 3 years). 


So, what’s next? The report ends off on a productive note with some steps for digitization, like nailing your digital vision, identifying bottlenecks, and investing gradually. 


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Source: BDC’s “Digitize Now” Report. Page 20. October 2018.


As you’ve probably gathered, we’re big fans of BDC’s work. This report is a gold mine for powerful statistics that can help move Canada’s digitization movement forward. So get reading—and then more importantly—get digital.


RTOWN’s goal is to help you take advantage of all of the digital technologies out there (you know, the ones that help your business enjoy sales and profit growth). We specialize in social media, SEO, and websites. Let’s get your digital show on the road.