Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

Ensuring your business can ever be one step ahead of the curve first requires it to be absolutely located within the present. Businesses might not be present in their aesthetic or theming, but in their practical running and development, they need to be. Even businesses that pride themselves on the age of their product ingredients such as decades-old whisky will never used decades-old solutions to business problems that are considered today. It’s put simply in the phrase: modern problems require modern solutions. This means that if you ever hope to push forward, you need a solid base from which to push.

As a business leader, it can be hard to keep your finger on the pulse. The trends of business life often seem to flow around us, and it can be hard to decide if we want to jump into this tide or to try to follow this while also dictating our own unique spin on things. With the following advice we should help any new business keep on top of the pressing trends current in 2019:

Changing Consumer/Business Relationships

The business relationship has started to shift between the customer and the business they hope to interact with. While the same time-honored laws of interpersonal trade still apply, that is consumers will likely offer you money to purchase your good or service, you have to provide a sense of immediate aftercare for this transaction. Complaints should be recorded efficiently and capably, and acted on if they have any merit. Bringing your support context to them through the use of social media IM features is one of the norms that more and more companies have started adopting, because it reduces the load on your call centres and can help the client feel as though they’ve been given a wise and fair speed of treatment.

Some businesses offer a money back guarantee if the customer isn’t happy with the good or service, and social media has given people of all kinds the power to denounce or appreciate that which your business does. If you look at any online review website, you’ll see the business trying to carefully respond to negative reviews, perhaps apologising for their experience and offering them a better time if they come in next. The power has absolutely shifted in favor of the consumer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means that more departments need to operate with PR in mind, and any business decision must be made in the light of the consumer, as they have more power to affect your bottom line than ever before. It just takes one highly-followed person to positively or negatively tweet about you to affect your share price slightly. For this reason, pay attention to this changing relationship, and do what you can to preserve it.

Data Management

Data management is essential to consider in the modern day. Not only are vast amounts of data created in the daily functioning of your firm, but not all data is created equal. Some is simple and basic, some is highly sensitive. Some is generated by the activities your firm embarks upon, some data is freely given to you in order for a customer to interface with your firm accurately. Some data is relatively useless and simply a by-product of the IT functioning of your office, some can be analyzed in order to predict spending patterns and just who you should be advertising to.

Data is perhaps too vast a term to gain any immediate definition of. But handling all of this data well, adhering to the most present data collection policy and ensuring a privacy disclaimer on your website and sales contracts will ensure that you are both trusted and  held to the standard necessary to function with this at your side. Using a service such as the Gartner master data management report can help you learn sustainable methods of handling data, taking a quite intimidating proposition and turning it something you will thrive in.

Corporate Espionage

Corporate espionage seems like a silly thing, as if it was only localized in noir movies in the late 50’s.  We think of a long shadow against the wall in a smoky office, as a spy ruffles through the papers to find out just what his neighbouring business is up to. Unfortunately, this quite attractive image isn’t the reality in the modern day, but corporate espionage does still exist, and is much more refined than you might know. It all takes place in cyberspace.

While staff vetting is of course important, most system trespassing is now done online, and can be prevented by using VPNs, ensuring staff exercise a high level of personal security over their workflow modules, and that high-profile messages within the top levels of your firm are on a need-to-know and encrypted basis. Keeping tight control of the narrative at the top can ensure that your business is always in control of that it hopes to keep secretive.

Accelerated Innovation

Innovation seems to happen at rocket-speed in the modern day. This is great for consumers, but sometimes worrying for businesses. Businesses often worry that their competition will somehow develop a new method of crafting their product that will cut costs significantly, undercutting the price of the competition to a strong degree. Sometimes a company releases a product so successful that its actual presence becomes the moniker of what that product category is – such as how ‘iPhone’ became more than just its brand name in common parlance.

The only counter to this you have is to invest in your research and development, to constantly experiment and generate your take on the winning formula. But also, to become known for the brilliance surrounding your effort, such as your excellent customer support, or your willingness to be a positive player in your industry, or to care about ethical standards.While modern solutions are always important, sometimes it’s the timeless ones that have the most impact.

With these tips, you’re sure to keep on top of the shifting tides of business modernity.

Tips for Succeeding in Today’s Manufacturing Industry

More products are being made in the US than ever before. But for good or ill, one of the reasons that labor jobs are drying up is because less people are required in production. In some cases such as sales, adding more people means more revenue. But for manufacturing itself, there are better ways to handle growth. Whether you’re a small entrepreneur with one product or a large enterprise with many, here are some tips to be successful in manufacturing.

Lean Manufacturing

This is a concept that originated with Toyota and was adapted by many other businesses around the world. It’s about finding wasted material, money, manpower, time, and movement, and reorganizing your processes so that this waste is minimized. That gives you lower costs, faster results, and higher productivity. But to be truly “lean” requires that cutting back waste be a constant goal. You should always seek to streamline your manufacturing processes in some way. Continuous improvement will help you stay competitive.

Machinery

Investment in better equipment and machinery is important. As you company grows in sales and volumes, distributors or customers will still expect fast turn-around times and high quality. Growth also leads to a need for higher production capacities. Machines that can do more and do it precisely are important to support your profitability. One of the most vital technologies that you can integrate is automation. Machines that can perform faster, longer, and more consistently than even the most skilled labor are important assets in maximizing performance.

Budgeting

Expanding your business requires cash. At times you may be able to find funds for major investments from investors, borrowing against invoices, stock offerings, and in the digital era, crowdfunding. But none of these should replace drawing up a budget that will cover your expenses and still leave a portion of income for reinvestment into business development projects, whether it’s refitting your warehouse or launching a bold new marketing campaign. Preferably, your growth should flow from your profits, not from outside funding that has downsides such as interest rates or giving away a share of the company.

Innovation

Even if you have a patent on a brilliant new product, you can’t count on it driving your revenue forever. With the competition out there new, it may become obsolete overnight through advances made by your competitors. Whether you’re making coat hangers or Hydro Construction Products, be a leader by fostering a company culture of innovation. Frequently introducing new features and methods does involve a bit of a gamble, but if you aren’t looking to excite buyers and drive future sales, there’s a greater risk of becoming obsolete.

As a manufacturer, you should focus on becoming a specialist within your industry. Work hard at perfecting your products and your processes, and the gains will keep coming.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

That Blogging Business: Being Bigger, Better & Bolder With Your Blog

The modern world is amazing. Years ago, not many people would be able to take their hobby, and transform it into a business. Yes, some people would take their passion for sport or writing to a professional level, but not everyone. But that’s to the internet, chasing after your dreams is more possible than ever. Some people do start a blog with the hopes of transforming it into a legitimate business, but a lot of people start out with a passion for their niche or the simple love of writing. If you were in the latter camp, but you want to think about making your blog a business, let’s take a look at how you can make that happen.

Growing Your Readership

The first thing you need to be able to do is think about growing your readership. Because if you want your blog to be a business, you need customers. And it’s going to be your readers that will become your customers, so you should start to think of them in that way. If you’re going to make some real money out of your blog, you need to grow your audience. To do that, you need to set some clear strategies to follow now and in the future.

Improving Your Content

At the same time, you should always be thinking about how you can push your content to the next level. If you’re serious about growing your audience, you need to make sure you can provide some value to your readers, and you can do that with great content. Whether you think of new and innovative ideas or try to come up with posts and topics that haven’t been covered before, you should find that better content will help to push your business forwards.

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Being Innovative With What You Offer

Sometimes, the thing that’s going to help to take your blog off as a business, is innovation. Just as in the business world, you need to be able to give your customers something different. See this as something additional to, or complementary to, the content you provide. Over time, you may want to create a product, until then, you may want to offer downloadable items that can add more value to their experience on your site.

Planning For Progression

You also need to be thinking ahead as much as possible. It’s important to know where you want to go in the future. For this, you may need additional funding from somewhere like businessloans.co or to even look into taking on staff. But it’s important that you’re able to think about where you want your business to be, in order to get it there.

Connecting With Clients

But your readers aren’t going to be the only customers you have; you’re also going to want to land advertising clients too. Although your readers can buy products from you, and drive things like your affiliate or media advertising revenue, advertisers can also contribute a large amount to your income. So you need to think about connecting with clients as entrepreneur.com shows us as early as you can, even if it’s just laying the foundation for future business.

3 Goals to Make Before Starting Your Business

So the entrepreneurial bug has bitten you? Starting a business is an exciting and worthwhile decision, but you shouldn’t leap into it without having clear goals in mind. When you have a strong focus and know what you’re working toward, you’re more likely to succeed. Here are a few goals you should consider setting before your business opens its doors.

Please Your Customers

You never want to take your customers for granted.  Even if you have a monopoly on a certain type of business in your area, you should still have a strong focus on making your customers happy. If you don’t, you’ll find your business besieged by poor online reviews. When a competing business eventually does open up, you’ll find yourself hurting.

Good customer service can even help you expand your business. As happy customers go online or talk to their friends and family about the positive experiences they had with you, the people they contact are more likely to flock to you.

It’s important to measure your progress toward any goals you set. Therefore, consider setting up a customer-service survey for your business, or you could keep an eye on online reviews sites and make note of the number of negative and positive reviews you receive.

Be Innovative

If your business has nothing that makes it stand out from the company down the block, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to find your niche. Regardless of what industry you work in, the goal should be to stand out among your competitors.

The thing that sets you apart could be as simple as an amazing refund policy, or it could be directly related to the products or services you provide. Frequently brainstorm new ideas that could take your business’ innovation to the next level. Also, don’t take the entire burden of innovation on your own shoulders. When you hire employees, encourage them to voice their ideas for how the business could improve.

Achieve Financial Success

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Image via Flickr by Violette79

What do you personally want to gain from your business? Do you want to make enough to send your kids to college, retire to a luxe condo in Florida, or take an amazing vacation around the world? You might even have greater ambitions; you could follow in the footsteps of billionaire Daryl Katz and be able to purchase a multi-million-dollar home in Los Angeles.

Whatever you personally want to achieve, put that goal in writing and regularly monitor your progress toward it. True, not everyone makes it big in business, but if you have a clear objective in mind and make decisions centered around it, your odds of success are greater.

Whether you’ve owned business before or this is the first time you’ve put on the hat of an entrepreneur, it would behoove you to give serious thought to what you want your business to achieve even before you open its doors. A few simple goals you could set are to please your customers, be innovative, and strive for personal financial success.

Ashley is a full time student writing her way through college. When she’s not writing she enjoys hiking and any other outdoor activity imaginable.

Potential is a 9 Letter Word

There’s nothing more frustrating in business than unrealised potential. Indeed, one of the top causes of business failure is untapped potential. You need to understand that you’ve got to make the most of the potential within the business. That’s how you develop and grow, and move on to new things. So, let’s take a look at the main focal points of potential.

P is for Planning

Planning is one of the most important aspects of achieving potential. You have to identify the potential within the company. And then you have to take steps to try to unlock this potential. Planning is an important step in the process and one you must never overlook.

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O is for Organization

That means your organization (as in the business) as well as how organized you are. If the company is all over the place, then you aren’t going to get very far. Think about how to get things more organized and set people on the right path.

T is for Teamwork

The success of a company long-term is built on teamwork. It should surprise you to discover that successful teams refer to themselves as a ‘cohesive group’. It’s so important to encourage your employees to work as part of a team. That way they develop potential much more organically.

E is for Execution

Planning and organization are all well and good. But, you also need to make sure you focus on execution as well. This means thinking about how you implement action plans, and how you execute the potential within the company.

N is for Nurture

When you are trying to develop your employees, there are few things more important than nurture. You need to make sure you tap into this potential and ability, and that you ensure it manifests. Companies like Culturized offer nurture and developmental training to help businesses unlock potential. It’s this sort of help you need to make use of where you can.

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T is for Teaching

You’ve got to think about what you can teach your employees that will help unlock their potential. Many people who come into business are raw-boned and undisciplined. That have a lot of potential, but they aren’t quite sure how to use it. This is where you need to teach them what they should be doing, and how they should use what they have.

I is for Innovation

Innovation is one of those business buzzwords. We heard it bandied around a lot, and it seems to have lost a lot of its meaning. As a business owner, you need to encourage innovation wherever you can. Remember the quote ‘Innovation is simply taking things that already exist and putting them together in a fresh way’. If people feel like they’re being encouraged to be creative and explore new ideas, it will help unlock their inner potential.

A is for Active

Taking decisive action is so important in business. You shouldn’t just be passive and wait for something to happen. If you see potential in your staff, waiting to be unlocked, get out there and unlock it. Take action, and make sure you do what is right for your employees.

L is for Leadership

It is crucial that you ensure you are a great leader within the business. This is one of the ultimate ways to unlock new potential. Consider what Tom Peters said ‘Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders’. Unlocking potential is all about pushing your employees to places you want them to be.

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Potential is one of the most important things in modern business. And it can be the difference between ensuring success and failure. Understand why potential matters, and work on unlocking it as soon as you can.

The Future Belongs to Those Who Innovate Fast

Jim Carroll speaks about Innovation and Future Changes. An interesting fact that caught my attention; 60% of the kids in pre-school today will work in jobs that do not currently exist.

What do world-class innovators focus on?

  • The long term.
  • They think in terms of disruptive ideas.
  • They prepare for accelerating change.
  • They check the speed of delivery (are we acting fast enough?)
  • They align themselves with Just-In-Time knowledge.

Innovators:

  • Observe
  • Think
  • Change
  • Dare
  • Banish
  •  Try
  • Question
  • Grow
  • Do
  • ENJOY