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Running a business is a trying process. Even if you have been CEO for years, or even decades - you still seem to learn new processes and tricks on the daily. Chances are you already know that learning is a continuous endeavour, critical for success.
Living in the digital era, the business world has never been more edgy or competitive. Being the decision maker responsible for driving your enterprise down the road knowing what small decisions are the right ones, can be tough. Through this article, we plan to give you a bit of insight to make it just that much easier to notice small things that could make a huge difference.
- Keep Your Eyes Peeled for New Technology
If there is an area of your business that seems overly time-consuming or tedious, chances are fairly high that modern technology has an answer to your woes. With every passing year, there are more software alternatives to traditionally painful but necessary duties pertaining to business operation.
One such example is software that can enhance operational efficiency via centralizing machine data from across the business. This allows for convenient visualization of how well the business is performing, translating to improved customer satisfaction, profitability, and overall operation.
- Improve Work Culture
Having a competent team can do wonders for the company, and it starts with the hiring process. In fact, smart hiring practices are associated with improved market share. To attract the best employees, you want to cultivate a comfortable and interesting work culture. We have entered a renaissance of sorts when it comes to work culture models.
Trends like working from home are becoming increasingly prevalent - and for good reason. The opportunity for schedule flexibility and remote work grants employees a sense of freedom and gratefulness for their job, helping to ameliorate feelings of complacency or discontent.
To further empower workers, you want to indoctrinate a sense of autonomy, which builds trust. Micromanaging does little else besides make employees uneasy and distant since it subtextually communicates doubt and distrust. It’s fine to check on progress every now and then or after a task has been completed, but nobody likes a boss that hovers over your shoulder and pesters incessantly.
- Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is perhaps the most cost-efficient and effective marketing tool of our time. When used wisely, it can place your brand in front of the eyes of millions at little to no cost to you. Well-seasoned advertisers will tell you that brand awareness is always the goal to be sought, with psychological research reinforcing this assertion. In short, the more people can see you, the more their preference for your product is facilitated.
Social media, especially when implemented as part of a more comprehensive marketing strategy, can drastically increase your market share. A social media presence starting from scratch may take some time to build momentum, but with social media users projected to reach 3 billion by 2021, you can rest assured that this is well worth the investment of time and effort.
Another benefit offered by social media is the ability to cross-pollinate with businesses or entities complementary to your own. This leads to a mutually beneficial relationship in which both sides capitalize on the followers of the other.
- Streamline Shipping
If your business reaches a size where the use of rented space is feasible, this can save lots of time and money - especially if you are running the business far from a metropolitan area. You can also offer discounts on bulk orders more easily this way, and thus incentivize further transactions. This is one of the strategies that Amazon employed to great success, and allowed them to keep prices to an irresistible low. Also, be smart with your packaging. Find the best way to package your products that is effective and environmentally friendly by using recyclable packaging.
- Shorten Your Work Week
Just because the 40 hour work week is the industry standard does not mean you need to abide by it. After all, it’s your business. There are situations (especially for new startups) in which a shorter work week makes more sense from a monetary perspective; for one thing, it’s less time you need to pay workers for, while also giving them sufficient time to recuperate and give you their best work the following week.
Because an overhead is one of the biggest drains to your overall profit and success, coming up with clever ways to reduce this can wildly improve your margins. Never assume that the norm is the only way to operate.
Looking for ways to develop your culture and improve productivity and employee engagement? Find the benefits of including your team early in the strategic planning process: