Like all businesses, small and midsize companies are facing new challenges and opportunities as they strive to grow their business within the modern digital economy.
Your company can take advantage of the benefits of its size, such as being able to innovate quickly with greater agility and less bureaucracy, while also preparing to scale and expand into new markets with efficient processes, data insights, and technology. The goal is to do all this without losing any of the aspects of your business that have made it great. Small and medium companies tend to share the business goals listed below. Keep reading for some tips on how to achieve them.
Leverage insights from a variety of sources, including online and offline transactions, marketing activities, service interactions, social media, and even data from devices based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology for a complete view of your customer. Engage with your customers where and how they prefer – online or offline, mobile, social, or chat – and deliver consistent experiences through all these touch points. Deliver differentiated and contextual experiences, whether you are selling to consumers or organizations. Harness new technologies such as machine learning and the IoT to gain intelligence and efficiency in your customer acquisition processes.
2. Improve Revenue Growth
Gain customer insights using analytics to provide relevant cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Reduce the risk and cost associated with tackling new market opportunities by taking advantage of cloud technology that can quickly scale with your business needs. Close deals faster by taking advantage of collaboration technology such as video conferencing and social collaboration platforms.
3. Increase Efficiency and Productivity
Reduce time spent on administration with automated workflows that leverage technology based on the IoT and machine learning. Access the information you need, quickly and easily, with in-memory computing solutions providing data updates in real time, so that you can make decisions more quickly. Enhance decision making with real-time reporting in a format that suits you, such as with management dashboards. Simplify tasks and streamline processes by using application technology with built-in, best-in-class business practices.
4. Reduce Cost
Practice strategic sourcing to lower costs associated with finding and qualifying suppliers by using advanced collaboration tools and business commerce networks. Use your team members efficiently and reduce staff overhead through effective scheduling and by matching your available resources to your needs. Improve your supply chain with visibility across every step of the process by tracking customers’ demands, asset utilization, and inventory levels. Cut the cost of IT ownership by purchasing integrated software – such as suite solutions rather than point solutions – so you have less to manage.
5. Enable Growth While Maintaining High Quality
Develop a technology road map to support your business growth and help you achieve your digital transformation goals, giving you a competitive edge over companies that aren’t as innovative. Analyze your performance in real time, compare actual results against a forecast, and proactively identify areas for improvement. Simplify processes by integrating software across purchasing, finance, accounting, and the shop floor. When you are expanding internationally, choose technology from vendors who understand global requirements such as tax legislation and provide solutions that help you stay compliant.
6. Nurture Innovation
Leverage analytics for rapid feedback on what’s working and what’s not working to ensure that your innovations are moving in a positive direction. Facilitate input from across the organization and across geographical borders, with both internal and external stakeholders such as customers and business partners. Use a range of collaboration tools and platforms to help people share knowledge and ideas. Closely monitor new market developments, including what your competitors are doing, to stay aware of new opportunities.
7. Promote Customer Loyalty
Listen to your customers. Monitor social media conversations and make it easy for people to contact you with issues or feedback. Use your loyalty programs to capture more insights into your customers’ preferences so that you can offer relevant and valued promotions. Make the after-sale customer experience feel personal by providing service teams with a comprehensive view of customer details and previous interactions.
8. Improve Cash Flow
Gain visibility into your operations to more accurately project required cash buffers. Track “cash in and cash out” processes as they occur so that you can more tightly manage cash flow. Manage your accounts receivable carefully by establishing a days sales outstanding goal, developing clear policies for customer credit, and following up promptly on overdue payments. Use data insights to efficiently manage your staff, supply chain, and production operations, reducing inventory and resource requirements.
9. Improve Staff Retention and Development
Blend talent management and collaboration not only to transform the new-hire experience and help employees ramp up quickly, but also to accelerate employee development and career progression. Engage employees and motivate them to perform at their best through ongoing dialog with managers and continuous coaching and feedback. Provide clear and compelling career paths to engage employees and cultivate talent, supported by blended learning opportunities. Foster a learning culture by increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing between employees, managers, and experts. Cultivate talent and develop leadership programs that are fully integrated with succession planning
10. Enhance Competitive Advantage
Respond faster to a changing market by using analytics to track critical information about competitors, prices, and discounts.