Business Success is hard to quantify, and it is never an absolute destination that you reach. Even when you feel that you have succeeded in your original goals for your business, the marketplace never stands still. If you get yourself established in a niche, it will only be a matter of time before somebody tries to copy you. The only way to stay ahead of the game is continuous improvement and innovation, and bringing your own unique personality into what you do.
This can include finding cost-effective ways to expand your company, finding gaps in your industry so your business can improve, or maybe trying to create the next revolutionary product or service that your customers never knew they needed. It’s always important to keep adapting your business to keep up with the changes within your industry and what the customers are wanting.
This can include adapting to societal expectations such as sustainability, fairtrade or embracing diversity in all its forms. Making these changes to suit the needs of customers and others within the industry not only shows that you care about the impact you are making but also that you are able to listen and evolve. There is always room for improvement when it comes to running a business, and constant change is necessary if you want to stay relevant.
Begin by Being Open to Change
Many businesses fail due to not being open to change. Some businesses believe that trends are temporary and some will never make a permanent impact. There are plenty of large and notable businesses that have made that mistake. Blockbuster is one of the cautionary tales, and there are many bricks and mortar booksellers that were swept away by the success of Amazon.
Whether we like it or not, the future is digital, and customers are continually demanding more and more innovative digital solutions and products. Twenty years ago, it was OK just to have a website – now you need to make sure your website works on desktops, phones, tablets and maybe even digital speakers. Maybe you also need a blog, a podcast or an app.
Over the twelve years that I’ve been blogging, social media has evolved every year too. In 2010, when I started there was really just Facebook and Twitter to consider – Pinterest and Instagram had only just launched and were not yet established as credible marketing platforms. Then Google Plus came and went again… Who would have thought that TikTok would become so popular? Having started out as a novelty platform for young people only, it is rapidly joining the mainstream, and more and more companies are having success with a presence there.
Create a Marketing Plan
No matter what product or service you’re offering, needless to say, you’re going to need a proper marketing strategy to achieve business success. Digital marketing seems to be the thing that most people focus on, but in certain industries, you may also need to consider more traditional methods of reaching your customers too.
Marketing is a very complex profession now, and unless you are an expert, it’s probably a good idea to look into hiring a marketing agency as your business gets bigger. Effective marketing will help you to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds, and it never hurts to keep up with marketing trends so your brand can get discovered by others.
Keep your Resources up to Date for Business Success
Try to keep your resources up to date as far as possible, including computers, operating systems, software and anything else which evolves in your industry. It is worthwhile to set aside a budget for continuous investment, in order to stay on top of the latest trends. When you do purchase new kit, make sure that you learn what is new with it and how to set it up properly – for instance, you could follow illustrated steps to learn how to install the latest Mac OS on your new computer.
That’s not to say that you have to have every new shiny thing that comes out, but neither should you drive your plant, machinery, and equipment into the ground until it breaks and has to be replaced. There is a trade-off between cost and efficiency for every item – make sure you keep these two conflicting drivers in mind as you make your regular investments.
Give Yourself and your Team more Freedom
Innovative work practices and employee benefits are definitely one area in which a company can distinguish itself from the competition. Then pandemic has shown us that working from home can actually work well in some industries and that the pattern of working 9-5, five days a week, is not always the best for each employee nor for the business as a whole.
If, as an employer, you can be flexible with working times, locations, holiday times, maternity leave policies, and other employee-related matters, you will probably find that you have a more fulfilled, passionate and committed workforce, who will work hard alongside you to achieve the business success that you have defined together.
Having freedom and time away from work allows the mind and the body to rest. This not only prevents burnout, but it also gives you space to dream up new ways for the company to become innovative and distinguish itself. Having a happy team will lead to more productivity and more commitment to the job. So look into improving your work-life balance and also that of your team.
The idea of monitoring trends may sound dull, but it needs to be done if you want to stay competitive. Monitoring trends means keeping up with what your customers are wanting, but also what the general public is after. For example, in recent years there has been a trend of sustainability. This is due to customers wanting to purchase and consume products that are not harmful to the environment. Some trends come and go, while others stick around forever. In the end, it’s best to stay authentic to yourself but you should always monitor trends and hop on any that you and your brand personally believe in.
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