Every business can benefit from investing in digital solutions - but unfortunately, digital transformation can be expensive, time consuming and complex.
The solution: Government grants and incentives
To help fund and enable business digitisation the Australian Government offers a number of grants and incentives. Many of these grants were initiated to help businesses adopt innovative digital technologies during the pandemic, when they needed it most.
While the pandemic may be out of the 7 o'clock news, digitisation should still be a priority for all Australian businesses.
So to help businesses apply for these grants we've listed them at the bottom of this article. These could save you thousands of dollars and vastly improve your business, so it's worth taking the time to check if you're eligible and apply if you are. Importantly, there's no limit to the amount of grants you can apply for if you're eligible.
How to use government grants for digital transformation
Every business has its own unique needs when it comes to digital transformation. Before applying for any grant it's important to figure out what yours are so that you can ensure your investment is as impactful as possible.
To get you started here are a few ideas that will increase employee productivity and help you better serve your customers (and attract new ones).
Build a better business website
If your business doesn't have a website, creating one should be at the top of your to-do list. On the other hand, if your business does have a website, understanding and improving it is still vitally important.
Your business website should assist you in collecting data on prospects to help you better understand and target them in future. It should also enable you to target prospects differently based on which stage of their purchasing journey they're in and help encourage them to purchase or enquire.
What's more, if you're selling online it's important that your website's e-commerce platform provides users with a seamless and intuitive buying experience.
Adopt an intranet
An intranet or extranet can improve the productivity of contractors, employees and other stakeholders by providing one centralised, easily accessed location for digital resources, collaboration tools and data.
Stakeholders in many businesses can only access data and tools if they're in the office, which can harm productivity and make working remotely difficult or impossible.
But with an intranet employees can access everything they need and collaborate with other stakeholders from anywhere at any time - as if they were in the office.
Tools like Microsoft Sharepoint enable you to store all your company records in one place, act as a source of news, provide shared calendars and to-do lists, shared document management, content workspaces and much more.
Instal virtual office technology
Old office technology like pbx phones systems and customer data spreadsheets simply don't meet customer expectations in 2022 and beyond. Customers and stakeholders today expect to be able to easily connect with the relevant person in your business without leaving a message or wasting their time.
Collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams can help make this easier, along with cutting edge phone systems like GetNext's Fusion Telephony.
That means your employees can be just as productive and professional even when they're working from home or even overseas.
Update your office hardware
If you don't have the right hardware your employees won't be able to fully enjoy the benefits of your business' digital transformation. For example, you might have desktop computers and phones hardwired into your office internet and phone lines, making it impossible for employees to work remotely.
Let Bright Labs enable your business' digital transformation
If you'd like help figuring out what you're eligible for, developing a strategy to meet criteria and ensuring you maximise the impacts of grants, Bright Lab's digital experts are happy to help. Send us a message or download our digital transformation whitepaper to find out more.
Here's a List of Australian Government grants and incentives for your business
Temporary full expensing / Instant asset write off
Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion can immediately deduct the cost of new eligible depreciating assets. Speak to your accountant to find out what exactly you can use this for - examples could include new devices for your staff or even a new e-commerce website.
This is available until 30 June 2023.
Australian Small Business Advisory Services - Digital Solutions (Current)
This service provides small businesses with low-cost, high-quality advice on a range of digital solutions. There is also support for improved access to digital training for business and staff.
Small Business Grants - City of Melbourne
Grants of up to $30,000 are available for eligible businesses with less than 20 employees, who have innovative proposals to grow their business (or start a new business) or to tap into export markets.
Click for Vic
Specific to the Tourism industry, Click for Vic is a state government initiative promoting online ordering of products offered by the Tourism industry. The program doesn't provide funding to businesses, however provides eligible businesses free promotion to a wide audience.
Subsidised internships for Victorian businesses
This program provides businesses with a $5,000 wage subsidy to host a digitally trained candidate as an intern for 12 weeks. Businesses are not obligated to hire the intern after the 12 week period.
New South Wales
Returning Women to Work
A one off grant of $5,000 is available to assist women returning to work after a period of absence. Why does this qualify to be in our list of digital incentives? The grant can be used for purchasing technology to support the work of the individual, in addition to paid training related to any digital platforms they may need to use as part of their work.
Funding for regional and remote digital businesses to drive technology-led ideas
This grant of up to $15,000 provides funding to regional and remote digital businesses in select industries to help them implement new technology.