I am always fascinated with the ever changing landscape of business and the economy.
What drives our world economy, backwards and forwards, drives the changing landscape of business as they are forever tied to one another.
Embracing constant change is vital to long term business survival. The concept that “change is unnecessary because we’ve always had success with our current system” might sound logical but as change influences your suppliers, customers and costs you must adapt or eventually you’ll die.
Take Border Books as an example. They adapted too late to new technologies and after 100 years in business they died. http://business.time.com/2011/07/19/5-reasons-borders-went-out-of-business-and-what-will-take-its-place/
2 examples of changes in the landscape that you need to register:
That “I.T.” stuff:
I hear a generation of business owners say “I don’t like that I.T. stuff”. To me that’s like saying “I don’t like money in my pocket”.
Internet Marketing is changing rapidly and there is an overload of information and “experts” who will tell you their way is the best way. All the more reason to start adapting NOW so you can do your research, establish relationships, build trust and find suppliers who’ll offer you the right solutions for your industry and business.
One solution you’ll be considering is social media which can be either a great branding exercise or a sales generator depending on your business type. My smallest client-account became one of my biggest by promoting her business on Instagram. They sell bathers and so the visual nature (and young audience) of Instagram was perfect for them. Instagram allowed them to show case what they sell, build a fan base, build trust and create word of mouth marketing. In essence, marketing fundamentals remain the same but platforms, tools, campaigns etc change.
An very new platform for service based businesses to generate revenue uses primarily facebook and linkedin to engage people interested in your service through a sophisticated campaign, strategy and software suite. So new I have not actual links to offer up however I’d be happy to put you in touch with some new players-in-the-market should you touch base.
Other internet marketing solutions include SEO, SEM and Email marketing.
On the flip side, with regard to reducing what you spend in your business we are spoilt for choice with software which turns laborious tasks into automated ones. Manual labour replaced by technology.
Businesses are being crushed by rising overheads and some of them you simply can’t control but others are well within your control with the latest and greatest software. If you’re still doing data entry and filing there’s a good place to start. Xero accounting software (which replaces MYOB and Reckon) clicks onto suites like receipt-bank, invoice smash and more https://www.xero.com/add-ons/
Businesses who take the leap into the best available software can increase their productivity output AND reduce expenses.
The key when it comes to technology is analysing your needs thoroughly to get the right solutions for you. Which granted, is easier said than done. For a hand with this, touch base.
I read about how businesses, small, medium and corporate are adapting to the problems we face now that we have so many ways to communicate with each other.
Hands up if you LOVE reading your emails? I can hear lots of sighs and see no hands up! Email is ridiculous. There, I said it! We send ridiculous emails to one another rather than pick up the phone and have a conversation. In a community environment (ie: managers, staff) email is just not effective for the types of communications we need to have.
If you use email every day and as a primary way to communicate calculate how much time do you spend each day on it. Then ask yourself how many sales you made during that time from it? It’s easy to lose 2 hours a day on email and that my friends are ridiculous.
So how do you adapt to the modern way we communicate. Start doing your research on alternatives and make decisions about how you’ll manage your communications. I use bloomfire to primarily communicate with my staff. Every communication (post) which can be written, as a link, an uploaded document or video becomes part of our wiki, our knowledge base. If a team member has a question they ask in bloomfire and the answer becomes knowledge. I can use knowledge to create a series for training, add knowledge to the staff induction series and more. Much smarter and just one way to organise you communications. http://bloomfire.com/
Alternatives to email include other enterprise social platforms like jive. https://www.jivesoftware.com/
For more about the past decade visit http://www.nextiva.com/voip/top-10-small-business-trends-of-the-past-decade.html
Or just “google” way and start adapting.