“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse” ― Pat Riley.
These famous lines ring true for every business because if your business is not progressing, you may be going for a downfall. One of the most challenging aspects of managing a business is making progress every day, month, and year.
Don’t be intrigued by success stories of companies instantly making a lot of money because it’s far from reality. Barring a few companies, most businesses may take years to discover how to make profits – if they stay in business. A profitable and progressing business doesn’t happen with a flick of a wand.
It requires constant commitment and never-ending improvement to ensure your business grows with every step you take.
Using the right strategies and tools comes a long way in deciding the success and growth of your company. It also ensures that you are not among the 50% of businesses that fail by their fifth year of inception. In this article, we will discover some strategies that can help you make continuous improvement and progress.
6 Ways to Make Sure Your Business is Progressing
If you feel you’re treading water with your business and not making the desired progress, follow these six strategies.
Giving importance to data privacy
With CPRA and CDPA being the latest addition to an already overloaded data privacy law kit, its high-time businesses take data privacy seriously. While most customers feel comfortable sharing their opinion, location, and photos on social media and other online channels, they are reluctant to share their personal data.
Some examples of personal data include an identification number, telephone, credit card information, account data, number plate, customer address, or any information that reveals a customer’s identity. Caring about data privacy laws is imperative because your customers prefer doing business with brands that are less prone to cyberattacks and remain compliant with all data privacy rules and regulations.
According to research, the average cost of non-compliance to data privacy laws is close to $9.4 million. A business looking to grow and improve its performance cannot afford this cost and a hefty lawsuit from customers whose data was compromised in an online attack. You can grow your brand by protecting your customer’s data.
With customers connecting everything to the internet using smart devices, protecting your customer’s data is your best bet for accelerating the progress of your business.
Focusing on knowledge management
Did you know that your employees spend two hours every day looking for information they need to complete their job-specific responsibilities?
It could result in productivity loss and eventually stagnate your business’s progress. That’s where knowledge management comes in. Effective knowledge management is critical for the growth and success of your organization. Why?
When your employees find all information related to their job under one roof, they don’t have to spend time searching for information.
Also, the same research states that when a company focuses on managing the knowledge received from different sources and sharing it using a knowledge base, it reduces the search time by a whopping 35%. So, for building a knowledge repository, focus on using the best knowledge base tools.
From uniting your entire team’s knowledge at a single place to enabling effective collaboration between your team members, it may be the tool you’ve been looking for. Also, when you have all information stored in one place, it enables faster and better decisions, increases employee productivity, prevents duplication of work, and reduces knowledge hoarding, thereby helping a business reach its desired goals.
Focusing on customer service
Today, customer service is no longer synonymous with solving customer complaints. Excellent customer service should be a part of your business’s DNA from day one. It’s the one thing that can serve both as a deal-maker and deal-breaker.
With cut-throat competition, your customers require nothing but the best services and products – or they will take only a few minutes to shift to your competitor.
With 90% of customers using customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a particular company, it makes sense to provide experiential and seamless customer service.
Providing fantastic service reduces the churn rate and increases customer retention, which eventually means constant business. It can also help in generating more sales and marketing opportunities and meeting your customer’s requirements.
Brands that invest in providing great customer service are the ones who successfully turn their customers into brand advocates. All this eventually boils down to increased business growth.
Automating complex tasks
According to Michael Gerber, “You must work on your business, not in your business.” If you’re someone with this mindset, you need to change it before moving to the next sentence. Why?
Instead of focusing on carrying out day-to-day activities profitably, focus on achieving your business’s goal. To progress one step further from your current business position, remove the bottlenecks from your processes. Though there is a thin line of difference between busy work and productive work, you must spend your workday on the second rather than on the first.
Automating your everyday and complex tasks help in completing repetitive physical or digital processes with minimal intervention from humans. Getting bigger is more about becoming more organized.
With companies losing 20-30% due to inefficiencies, automation procedures, invoice generating, tasks and processes could be the difference between a progressing and stagnant business. Process automation helps a company stay afloat during the rapidly changing digital world. It’s essential as your business may not enjoy the luxury of time.
When unexpected situations arise, automation can help provide business continuity, thereby taking your business to another level.
Focus on customer perception
Did you know that one in every three customers leave a brand they once loved after one bad experience?
As your business is a living entity, your existing and potential customers will have some opinion about it. Their perception of your brand changes drastically. Some may perceive your brand as valuable and approachable, while others may think of it as a brand that is difficult to connect with.
Deliver quality services and products, and your customers will sing a heap of praise for your brand; mess it up, and you may see your brand trending on social media to provide a poor customer experience.
Such is the power of customer perception that results in a significant difference in your growth rate. From retaining existing customers to attracting new ones to boosting employee morale, customer perception helps you understand the way customers see your brand.
So, focus on building a positive perception because once a customer forms an opinion of a brand, whether positive, negative, or neutral, it becomes difficult to alter it. Furthermore, a brand with positive customer opinions usually progresses faster than others.
Work on brand activism
One of the simplest ways to connect with your existing customers and attract new ones is by showcasing that you’re passionate about causes that can make the world a better place to live in. Brand activism is slowly paving the way for exponential business growth. Often, customers prefer businesses that voice their concern for the betterment of society.
By selecting brands that align with their core values, a customer votes in favor of businesses they want to see survive in this rapidly changing digital world. Interestingly, their purchase behavior is reflective of their firm commitment to justice, peace, and sustainability. Today, customers are less likely to buy from brands that do not align with their core values.
In 2020, ‘Black Lives Matter was a trending topic and soon became a global movement. Netflix wholeheartedly supported the movement by launching a collection of videos and documentaries on racial injustice. The social media post received a massive response, and the brand established itself in the minds of its customers.
With nine in ten Millennials shifting their brand preference to those associated with a cause, working on brand activism can help you accelerate your business growth. Regardless of whether you choose to donate money to a specific group, volunteer for a cause, or make public announcements supporting a cause, look for ways to provide meaningful contribution and share it with your customers on social media and other channels.
Your business may be averse to changes but by implementing these six strategies, you will be in a better position to grow your business exponentially. The right strategies can prevent costly lawsuits, increase employee productivity, alleviate potential human errors and turn your customers into brand advocates.
While you may not use all of these strategies at once, most successful businesses find a way to use them over time. So, to gain momentum, choose one or two strategies that align with your existing strategy of running a business.
Key takeaway: Success is not something that you can shop around. Businesses looking to leave a lasting impression implementing necessary changes are as essential as running a business smoothly.
So, if you brought your business this far to let it stagnate, you can overlook our strategies. Otherwise, follow them religiously. Which of these six strategies did you find helpful? Please share your thoughts with us!