The business landscape in Canada has changed. To best serve your customers and streamline operations, a snazzy website is no longer enough. How can you adopt new technologies to stay competitive in the digital economy?
Enter the federal government’s new Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), designed to help small and medium-sized businesses undergo digital transformation.
Not sure what’s involved? 108 ideaspace is a government-approved Digital Advisor, and we’re ready to support your digital transformation journey.
What is the Canada Digital Adoption Program?
Throughout the pandemic, the government has provided much financial assistance to Canadian businesses. But money alone won’t help you up your digital game. What about strategic digital transformation guidance?
In the 2021 Budget, the federal government allocated a whopping $4 billion to the Canada Digital Adoption Program, to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt new digital tools.
4 Benefits of the Boost Your Business Technology Stream
The Boost Your Business Technology stream combines funding, access to key industry experts and wage subsidies.
- Up to $15,000 to hire a Digital Advisor to create a customized digital adoption plan
- Access to a marketplace of government-approved Digital Advisors
- Up to $7,300 for youth placement wage subsidies
- Up to $100,000 as a zero-interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Who is Eligible for the Canada Digital Adoption Program?
To be eligible for the Boost Your Business Technology stream, your business must:
- Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
- Be a for-profit, privately owned business
- Have between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
- Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years
5 Benefits of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation goes way beyond your website and social media presence. It’s a holistic approach that factors in both customer-facing and internal technologies, and how they can best work together to keep your business competitive.
#1: Systems Integration Boosts Efficiency
Does your company have a patchwork of different computer systems? If they can’t speak to one another, you may be wasting valuable time on admin work. Seamlessly integrating your software and web-based systems makes everything more efficient, reducing errors and increasing productivity.
#2: The Right CRM Saves Time and Money
Does your Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) match your business needs? Your company may have purchased a CRM years ago, and it may be time for a refresh. The right CRM can automate repetitive tasks, make targeted communications a breeze, and keep key client information right at your fingertips.
#3: Mobile-Friendly Websites Improve UX
Does your website have the same look and functionality whether viewed on mobile, tablet or laptop? If not, you’re missing out on the over 80% of users who now surf the web on their cell phones. If your website is not mobile-responsive, 61% of users will never return. Improving the user experience (UX) reduces frustration, keeping customers on your website longer.
#4: Custom Apps Grow Revenue
Does your company have a custom-made app? Customers now expect them, and they can really boost your company’s legitimacy and authority. Apps make it easier for customers to engage with you, ramping up product sales and further improving the UX.
#5: Videos Increase Customer Engagement
Are you using video on your website and social media channels? Video is the highest performing type of digital content, but it takes solid know-how to get the nuances right. Video scripts, visuals, production and distribution strategies that are tailored to your business goals gives your brand personality, increasing customer engagement.
Getting Started with the Canada Digital Adoption Program
Are you ready to reap the benefits of digital transformation? Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Complete the Application and Digital Needs Assessment
Start the free, online application, which includes a Digital Needs Assessment (DNA). The DNA assesses your business’ digital readiness and produces a report comparing your digital maturity to an industry-specific benchmark. This is valuable information for the Digital Advisor that you will retain later in the process.
Step 2: Secure a Digital Advisor, Submit Your Digital Adoption Plan, Get Funding
Once the government confirms your eligibility (with 10 business days from when you submit the application), you have 6 months to accept their grant offer. When you accept, you gain access to the Digital Advisor Marketplace System. You have 9 months to choose a Digital Advisor and submit a Digital Adoption Plan and Advisor’s invoice to receive the grant funds (up to 90% of the eligible costs, to a maximum of $15,000).
Step 3: Apply for a Zero-Interest BDC Loan
While the program grant helps you pay for a Digital Adoption Plan, you may need more funds to implement the plan. Once your grant payment has been confirmed, you have 6 months to apply for the BDC loan (up to $100,000).
Full information on how to apply for youth/recent graduate wage subsidies (up to $7,300) is not yet available. But much like the process to find and secure a Digital Advisor, successful applicants will gain access to the Youth Placement Intermediary’s Portal.
The pandemic has sped up digital transformation by several years – and you can’t afford to get left behind. To truly grow and thrive in the digital economy, you need a bulletproof Digital Adoption Plan. With over 25 years of experience supporting Canadian companies in digital transformation, we would love to help!
As a government-approved Digital Advisor, we can create a Digital Adoption Plan tailored to your company’s unique needs and help you put it into action. Get in touch at [email protected] or 1-888-802-1147 x102, and let’s get started on your digital transformation journey!