When was the last time you bought a CD, pulled into a motel or hailed a cab? Life before Spotify, Airbnb and Uber seem a distant memory. Commerce isn’t what it was 10 years ago, and advances in technology are allowing start-ups to think outside the box and get a head start on more traditional companies.
Outdated business practices and approaches can quickly leave your business lagging behind so make sure you take advantage of this digital age we live in and allow your business to thrive by following these nine remedies and business growth strategies.
1. In-house vs Outsourcing
Old business is very hands-on. Delegation is key but if you think outsourcing is just about directing your customers to an overseas call centre, you’re wrong.
Consider the tasks you currently undertake in-house and think which of those could be done remotely, perhaps at home or by a sub-contractor. Whether it’s sales, or cleaning, graphic design, communications or admin, most tasks can be outsourced which means you save valuable business resources, time, space and increase profits.
2. Manual vs Automation
In today’s society, there’s no need to be staying at work late to get on top of things, unless of course, you are running your business on outdated systems or with outdated staff!
Automation will allow you to simplify and streamline your systems and processes and with so many options available you should be able to automate almost every aspect of your business, and particularly those labor-intensive processes. This is a long-term solution that could benefit your business greatly.
3. Slow-moving vs Fast acting
There’s a difference between ‘we’ve always done it this way’ and ‘this isn’t working so let’s change it.’ Traditional businesses can be slow to move but when there is a change, it’s normally sudden which can cause upset to the dynamics. New businesses tend to be more proactive by tracking and measuring what’s happening around them constantly, so they can make subtle changes when it’s necessary which are easier to incorporate.
4. Managing vs Leading
Managers direct. Leaders influence and inspire.
When you have a team that is inspired, encouraged and rewarded appropriately, it can transform a business almost immediately.
5. Company oriented vs Customer-oriented
There has been a shift in focus and in part that’s down to the online review platforms that can now make or break a business.
It’s not to say that businesses haven’t focused on providing great customer service in the past, but more than ever there has been a shift in the level of bend-over-backward service to keep up with demand. Business is now offering personalised experiences backed up by quality products and services. They listen to their customers and take full advantage of data and technology to understand what makes them tick.
6. One size fits all vs Targeted solutions
The one-size-fits-all mantra is no longer relevant in today’s business. Customer demands are different and so your offering must reflect these changes. By offering targeted solutions, you’ll have a greater impact, even though your focus may be narrower – you’ll have a better chance of customising a solution for a particular market.
7. Walk-in vs Online
Some businesses choose just to trade online while others benefit from having both a physical shopfront and an online business. It’s down to preference and what you want to achieve as a business.
There are still many benefits of a bricks and mortar business. Consumers like to have the option of being able to try before they buy and experience the products in person before deciding and have their purchase immediately. However, many online stores are providing next day delivery which can keep costs down with reduced overheads.
8. Traditional media vs Social media
While social media has become a way of life, there is still a requirement for traditional media otherwise we wouldn’t have the likes of newspapers and magazines.
Traditional media is static with little interaction between the source and its audience. The message is put out there but there’s no ability to interact with the story, whereas social media can engage with customers and allows the conversation to flow amongst the audience which can create further valuable insights and feedback.
Social media can provide up to date, relevant information while traditional media is old news almost immediately, however, social media does invite the masses to get on the bandwagon if something isn’t right!
Both have their places, it’s just important to know when to use them and the messages you’re wanting to deliver through these channels.
9. Spending cash vs Cashless trading
Despite being around for centuries, the concept of bartering continues to grow. It’s become a much more sophisticated practice, although the principles are the same. The old model of direct bartering relied on both parties having something that the other wanted. The restaurant owner could find a builder to do his renovations, but it would take years for the builder to earn back his work! With the introduction of cashless trading systems like Bartercard, businesses can now utilise a system that keeps track of all their transactions without a direct swap.
Businesses tap into Bartercard’s online marketplace to help them get new customers, attract more business and is designed to expand your business and your profits by keeping cash in your pocket. For more information on how Bartercard could assist your business, get in touch.