The gap between success and failure, for small and medium sized businesses, can be a small one. It’s vital that you take every opportunity to refine your services, perfect your products and stay on top of the expectations of your consumers and suppliers. In a world where everything is digital and every price point can be matched by the competition, how do you stay ahead of the curve?
If your consumers expect you to sell your product or service to them anytime, anyplace, anywhere, then it makes sense that your workforce should be more flexible too. You need to start thinking about the business world in terms of a 24 hour clock, with (for instance) customer service departments working in shifts to give personalised access as your consumer requires. It’s also vital that your workforce is able to connect with your software and data on the fly – from airports, hotel rooms and meeting locations.
Empower your employees
People work best when they feel they are appreciated. That means finding the strengths in your workforce and playing to them. Roles are no longer set in stone, or defined absolutely by the terms of a job specification. Now, it’s the task of a savvy HR department to spot star collaborators in the making and move them into project teams as required. You can use internal social media to create forums and project circles, and to give your employees a chance to get ad hoc training. Combine this with structured training to bring out the best in all of your workers.
Small and medium sized businesses move faster with profitable partnerships. Some partners have specific regulatory requirements, which your business needs to adhere to in order to take advantage of the connection. Don’t view these requirements as a hindrance without giving them their due consideration. Often, when you understand why a company is asking you to follow a certain set of rules, you’ll see that what felt like an irritation has a grounding in solid reason.
Give your decision makers full rein
Business goes slowly when your decision makers are required to check back with base before they sign the contracts or make the calls. Make sure your decision makers are genuinely free to make decisions and free up the momentum of your business. If necessary, take staff who show potential (see above) and send them on training courses to develop their leadership and decision making abilities. Give them the tools to trust their own judgement, and you will realise that you can trust it too.
No business does everything perfectly without help. Constant analysis and training are the keys to successful growth. It’s useful to start by analysing your business, then implementing training programmes designed to take up the slack identified during the analysis phase. www.viewpoint.co.za is able to provide both. Be sure that you target the training courses you select to the improvement areas you have already identified, or which have been identified on your behalf.
The Author is a professional business writer, whose work has been published on more than 150 trusted business and marketing sites. His work is also a frequent guest on the home pages of national business programmes, and his own network of business blogs has an average unique daily hit rate of more than half a million visitors.