Business improvement is an ongoing task for companies that want to grow their sales, recover from a bad year, and stay competitive. Here are 10 business improvements to consider now.
The year 2021 will be a year of operational change and business improvement for most businesses as they adjust to changes in buyer behavior brought about by the pandemic. In thinking about how to do business going forward, it’s important to remember that successful business improvement starts with establishing your goals. After that, you decide what you need to do to reach those goals in light of how the business environment will be changing in coming years.
With those criteria in mind, here are 10 business improvement ideas that will help your company now and for years to come.
- Expand your digital marketing efforts – Mandatory shutdowns and social distancing guidelines in 2020 proved to a lot of business owners that they weren’t prepared for the worst. Businesses that already had an online presence succeeded and were able to pivot their operations to focus on online sales. They were also able to expand their digital marketing operations more quickly to scale. Going forward, it is more imperative now than ever to figure out how to incorporate digital marketing into your business plan.
- Consider remote working – Depending on the type of business you run, implementing a remote work policy can improve your business in two ways. It can improve employee job satisfaction and may reduce your overhead costs. Many companies were forced to allow their employees to work at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also found out that some of those employees were . You don’t have to send your entire workforce to work at home, but you might think critically about which employees could benefit your company more by have a remote workstation. Some companies have instituted a partial remote work policy by having half the office at home and half in the business location throughout the week, even going so far as to remote work in shifts. Figure out how remote work can make your company more productive, efficient, and profitable and use it as an opportunity to downsize your office space and lower your overhead.
- Build e-commerce into your sales funnel – People have changed the way they make purchases. Savvy small businesses realize they have to change the way they sell if they want to stay competitive. Even before the pandemic, the trend was toward e-commerce. There are some industries that have almost gone entirely online. Others effectively use integrated marketing to reach customers through omnichannel means, touching customers across all devices and in brick-and-mortar stores. Figure out what works for your industry and your business and build e-commerce into the sales funnel.
- Keep the store, the office, and the warehouse clean – Because of the pandemic, people are more conscious of cleanliness. If your store is dirty or messy, they may walk out before shopping. Employees may not want to work in an office that is not tidy and sanitized. Even warehouses need to be cleaned more often just to show your employees and customers that you care about their well-being.
- Get creative with your content marketing – Online marketing has become more competitive, which means the old-fashioned tools of generic blogging no longer work. Longer blog posts are more likely to be indexed by the search engine, audiences prefer more graphics, and video content is on the rise. A good mix of content styles and techniques will make you look like a brand that knows what it is doing online and help increase the number of visitors that turn into buyers.
- Reduce your tax burden – The tax code is very complex. If you don’t have a professional CPA or accounting firm advising you on how to save on taxes, you should hire one and make business decisions that lower your tax burden, which translates into more profitability.
- Use productivity tools – In 2021, everyone wants to be more productive. You can be more productive as a business leader and make your business more productive by using such project management tools as Slack, Trello, Hootsuite, and more. Automate what you can and use productivity tools to manage your time so that you can focus on the things that are really important and that drive value for your business.
- Build an omnichannel sales funnel – Customers are not just in one location anymore. They may or may not shop in your brick-and-mortar store. They will likely interact with your website from their laptops, their mobile phones, and their tablets. In fact, about half of all website in 2020. The businesses that will succeed going forward are those businesses with omnichannel sales funnels.
- Focus on data – of good decisioning. Before you make important marketing, sales, or financial decisions that affect your business, short-term or long-term, make sure you have the data that supports your decision.
- Hire the right people – Your business is your employees. Many companies choose employees based on skill, but what is far more important than skill is culture. When you hire staff, make sure they are a good fit for your company culture. You can train people to do the work and help them build their skills, but you cannot train them to adopt your values. Make sure their values line up with your values from the beginning so that you build a company with a consistent culture through and through.
Continuous Improvement Equals More Profit For You and Better Value for Your Customers
The surest way to succeed in any business is to adopt a continuous improvement attitude. Never rest on your laurels. Strive for excellence and achieve it. You can start with writing a mission statement and every business decision you make should go to support that mission statement. That includes work processes, the products, and services you sell, how you market the business and your core offering, and the employees you hire.
If you have not created your marketing plan for 2021 yet, you are a little behind, but you can still get it done. Plan your work, then work your plan. May you have a happy and successful year in 2021.