Here at Xero, we see the benefits of digitisation every day. Whether analysing trends across an anonymous dataset of more than 500,000 customers, or speaking to a single business owner about their passion, we see its positive impacts daily.
We also see the many barriers that still stand in the way of widespread digital uptake.
Research finds a fear of change
Within the Australian government, a taskforce was stood up to explore how more businesses can thrive in an increasingly digital economy. Chaired by entrepreneur Mark Bouris, it spoke with small businesses across the country to learn their concerns and ideas on how they can better engage in a digital future.
It found a lack of understanding and time and fear of change are significant barriers, along with an overwhelming amount of information. It also found that advisers – namely bookkeepers and accountants, such as those in our Xero community – are the most trusted source of advice to small businesses.
In response, the government recently announced an initiative designed to counter this fear and lack of understanding, and equip Australian small businesses to thrive. And today I am proud to announce that Xero is a major partner of this important national project, Small Business Digital Champions.
Experts unite to mentor champions for change
As a former ministerial advisor in Canberra and current Xero Small Business Advocate, I am delighted to play an active role in the project as one of 15 digital champion mentors. Jason Robinson – director of RBK Advisory and Xero accounting partner of the year – will join as another. For me, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate how the perceived complexity in implementing digital systems and tools is so often misplaced.
As I do, I will leverage the expertise and human touch of Xero’s expert adviser network to show how the digital journey can be not only profitable but enjoyable, tailored to every individual.
Change does not need to be revolutionary to make a real difference. As we found in our Xero Small Business Insight report From little things big things grow, incremental gains can have a significant impact on a business’ bottom line and the time investment is takes to get there.
Promoting healthy profits, productivity and economic ecosystems
To the 100 businesses that volunteered to be mentored across their digitisation journey, I respect your decision to chart a course into the unknown – for yourself and the many who will follow in your footsteps. Because the more businesses that digitise, the more productivity, profits, employment and wage growth we can all create – bolstering the health of communities and entire business ecosystems along the way.
I look forward to the 12-month journey ahead, and connecting with the deep expertise of the Xero ecosystem to advocate for the gains and simplicity of technology, together.