What does it mean to keep your business flexible and why should you aim for this trait in your company? If a business is flexible, it will be easy to respond to different challenges, trends, and changes in the market. For instance, a direct competitor of your company might choose to lower their prices and if that’s the case you need to make sure that your company is keeping up.
You might have to drop the price of your product too, or you may have to put some extra effort into marketing and ensure that your business stands out. A flexible business will always be able to make this change and fit it into the budget of the model.
Flexibility will also allow you to always offer what customers want and make special considerations for certain customers. You might have a client who wants a product to be delivered faster than your usual rate of turn around. If your business model is flexible, this shouldn’t be an issue. But, what makes a business model flexible? To figure this out, we need to look at the traits of a flexible business and dissect whether your company fits the bill here.
Most flexible businesses don’t have a high number of permanent staff members. Note, we did say ‘permanent,’ and this means that you can still have a large business even if you are flexible. But, rather than them being on the payroll they are hired outside of your company model. There are two options to consider here.
You can outsource and rather than hiring workers you buy the services of another company to complete the job for you. This might be useful if you need to staff an expensive area of your business that will require a number of high paid workers. An example of this could be human resources.
Usually, HR is made up of staff that are legally trained, and as you can imagine, this doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, there are plenty of HR services where you can pay a fixed price to get the same sort of support for your company. You can even guarantee that the team in question don’t have to work from your office. Instead, they can interact with your employees online or over the phone. It’s still possible for HR to do their job, even if they are not in the building.
If you are using an outsourcing service, you have to make sure you can trust the company providing the team. A poor service could drag your company right down, and you don’t want that. Instead, you want to guarantee that you are still providing quality in your company.
The other option would be to hire freelancers. This is slightly different from using outsourcing because rather than paying for a full team you hire freelancers and you do pay them a wage. However, since they are not classified as permanent workers, it’s entirely possible to avoid some of the typical extra costs of hiring employees. There are no benefits, no sick leave and often very little notice for letting someone go from a position. So, immediately your costs for the business model are greatly reduced. It also makes your business a lot easier to manage, and it’s going to save you a lot of time.
If you are hiring freelancers, you’ll still need to keep them on a tight leash. Don’t forget, freelancers won’t typically show any loyalty to your business. To them, the job will literally be a paycheck, and that might mean you need to watch out for employees who are simply cruising through a project without much thought or effort. This is certainly a risk if you are hiring a full staff of freelancers.
Remember we mentioned changing the model based on shifts in the market such as a competitor lowering their pricing? Well, to do this, you need to keep costs low. You need to have that wiggle room in your business budget to make changes in your own company and make sure you are reducing costs elsewhere. We have already mentioned one way this might be possible, and that’s to reduce your number of permanent staff members. It’s worth repeating that this will help you reduce the number of extra bills in your business budget. But there are other steps that you can take too.
You need to make sure that you are price checking any service that you are using in your company. You will almost certainly be using a marketing service rather than hiring a full team of marketers for your business. There are lots of different marketing companies to choose from, particularly if you are looking at online marketing possibilities such as SEO. But they don’t all offer the same value for money.
As such, if you want to make sure that you are getting the best deal, you should think about looking at reviews and checking quotes. Remember, you should stay away from businesses that are offering you fixed quotes for marketing without investigating your company. If they do this, then it is highly likely that they are offering nothing more than a cookie-cutter marketing service. Ultimately, this is just going to damage your business, and as such, this must be avoided at all costs, quite literally.
You may also want to think about adding new business tech to your company model, and that could be software such as cloud servers. With a cloud server, you will be able to transfer any information in your business instantly.
As such, it could be exactly what you need to keep your company firing on all cylinders. Remember every second that you waste in business could cost your company a lot of money, so you want to keep things as rapid as possible. Tech can help you do that and guarantee that as well as satisfying customers you keep your business finances in check.
Sometimes when you’re thinking about flexibility, you do need to think about the physical aspects of your company. For instance, you might be running an office business. Does that mean you need an office? Actually, if you’re running your business online, you might be able to operate it entirely from a smaller office with just a few people. And, if you don’t want to take this route you can even work from home.
You just need to make sure that you have the right tech fitted into your business model. That cloud server that we talked about will certainly come in handy here. While you might be running your business from home, you still need to connect to the rest of the market like a large corporation would. It’s vital that your clients or customers still see your company as a professional organization.
Don’t forget, even if you are running your business from home, you can still make it look like you’re working from a busy city office. You can do this with a virtual business address. With a virtual address when customers or clients want to research your business, this is what they will discover is the home base of your company. You can get mail sent here and in some cases even hold meetings! It’s the perfect tool for a business that wants to stay flexible and look like a permanent fixture on the market.
Of course, there are plenty of business models out there that can’t be run from home or even just from small office. They need a little more, and an example of this would be manufacturing. In manufacturing companies, it’s important to have factories as well as a head office. But even if you need extra buildings you can keep things flexible with temporary builds.
Temporary builds can be put up and taken down as quick as anything. So, you won’t have any trouble keeping costs under control. With temporary building solutions, you can have the additional space your business needs if you are expanding without the heavy costs. As such, your business will stay flexible even as it gains a more permanent position.
Easy on the other side
Thus far, we have only focused on how flexibility changes the owner side of a business. But what about your customers. How does flexibility help them and what changes should you make to improve their situation or relationship with your company. Well, on the buyer’s side, you need to make sure that you are offering them as many options as possible when making a purchase.
This is going to increase the level of interest that you get on the market and most likely boost your number of sales. There are various options here. If you are selling online, you might want to think about setting up an app that customers can access to make purchases or just find more info about your business.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that you can make your business more flexible. If you do this, you will strengthen your business position and ensure you can adapt and change your company when necessary.