There are always humps and hiccups in the growth of a business. As you shepherd your own growing concern in the marketplace, you may find yourself at a point where your expansion hits a bump. When that happens, the most important thing is to regroup, re-strategize, and come at the problem anew. Here are some tips to help you increase your business’ presence and profits, whether you’re trying to recover from setbacks or just looking to make sure you never encounter any in the future.
Most businesses these days will already have some form of internet presence, but the Web is ever-changing. Current trends are towards mobile use, with smartphones and tablets accounting for a higher percentage of web traffic than ever before. Whatever your web presence may be, it should be optimized for mobile browsing in order to avoid scaring away prospective customers. Consider a system-native app for Android or Apple to help make linking with your market even easier.
While we are on the subject of mobile devices, every business needs an internal communications strategy, and company smartphones and tablets may well be the wave of the future. Mobile wireless business networks from carriers like T-Mobile combine the best of phone technologies, internet access, and lifestyle tools to make your employees’ devices a mobile office platform.
With new data analysis techniques, sometimes known as “personnel analytics,” businesses are now trending towards the use of increasingly complicated formulas to hire people. They use quantities of data and profiles to ensure that the right people are working the right jobs. Larger businesses can take advantage of outside HR consultants. These consultants help implement personnel analytic approaches. Smaller businesses can still profit from tools like Knack Games’ video game profiling services. Alternately, just browse case studies from successful firms like Google and identify the employee traits they find most important.
It’s an old strategy, but a smart one: identify other businesses that complement yours and team up. Large conglomerates can often just gobble up smaller businesses that provide complimentary value, although the acquisitions frenzies of the ’80s show how sometimes that can be a bad idea.
Instead, smaller businesses can partner up, encouraging mutual growth. The process is simple: identify your market, find any customer needs adjacent to what you provide, and see if you can benefit from a symbiotic relationship with someone who can fill the need. If you make artisanal peanut butter, find an organic jam farm and make PB&J magic together!
If, on the other hand, you see a need in your customers and no good vendors to fill it, consider creating your own solutions to their problems. Many great business ideas come out of simply finding a market niche and expanding into it. At the same time, it is important to keep your competencies in mind. The transition is best if it’s related to your past experience, so don’t decide to turn your accounting firm into a games designer overnight. If you do stretch a bit from your original expertise, find ways to use some of your old skills.
If you have a great idea or brand, but lack the capital to bring it to its full potential, consider expanding your business through licensing agreements. If you run a restaurant, franchising lets you build a larger profile in a hurry. If you make software, licensing it to other businesses for use and expansion places your products in a variety of workplaces quickly. Make sure to think hard about the rollout for any licensing plan, as a half-finished strategy could cost you control of your own ideas. Be sure to get legal advice if you have any concerns about ownership.
In business, if you’re not growing, you are stagnating or failing. Staying on top (or clawing your way to the summit in the first place) is a process of constant work and deep thought. Take the time to chart a sound course for your life’s work, and you can be assured of smooth sailing ahead.