Are you an entrepreneur looking to better your business in the coming year? Keeping your business growing is as important as keeping it going. No company can survive if it becomes stagnant, and that's especially true for small and mid-sized businesses operating on thin margins. Here are five solid improvements that will help your company thrive this year.
Cyberattacks cost the global economy an estimated $6 trillion dollars in 2021. Avoid becoming a victim by staying one step ahead of cybercriminals. Boost your digital skills by learning about emerging threats like ransomware and phishing scams. Make sure to upgrade antivirus software consistently across all user endpoints attached to your network. Most importantly, consider implementing a zero trust security architecture. This means insisting on rigorous verification of the credentials of anyone accessing your systems. It may feel like overkill, but these steps are becoming more necessary in an increasingly interconnected global market.
Efficiency is all about making the most of what you have. In business, time is money, and one improvement that can save a lot of time is automation. Tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software can partly automate digital marketing outreach strategies like text-based and email marketing and help to collate customer information. Speaking of information, the use of analytical algorithms can be a less costly alternative to traditional time-intensive market research efforts. With cloud computing and neural network advances making these tools more capable than ever, now might be a good time to shop around.
One persistent drag on growth is a lack of organization. Digital tools also provide a good antidote to this problem. Team coordination and project management tools like Basecamp allow communication and file sharing by sales teams in the field. It's also good to consider keeping your virtual office spaces since holding meetings online helps to counter the need for long commutes and high commercial real estate costs. Giving your workforce the option of working remotely on a flexible schedule remains a good idea, with one Stanford University study showing a 13% increase in productivity by letting remote workers get the job done their own way.
Few flawed business practices drive customers away faster than poor customer service. A recent survey commissioned by call center company TCN found that 42% of customers who had a bad customer service experience took the active step of posting a negative review online. A life phone agent, email and live chat were the top three choices of consumers. Chatbots have been shown to increase overall sales because they're inexpensive and cut wait time, but be aware: 86% of consumers still prefer a human operator, and providing the service people want is critical to retaining customer loyalty. Try a hybrid of the two channels and give customers the best of both worlds.
Even if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, your web presence is often the first taste of your offerings that consumers get. Make it memorable. The layout of your landing page can impact the ease with which customers navigate the page and read the content. Another important factor is the color scheme. Different colors have been scientifically determined to invoke different emotions and impressions in viewers. Another thing to remember is consistency. Don't make the common mistake of failing to update your web content regularly. It's the best way to stay relevant and convey an impression of reliability.
Use these five tips as a starting point for planning your growth. Avoid getting complacent by keeping a constant eye on future opportunities.
Publish Date: March 22, 2022 5:57 PM