When it comes to being successful in the world of business, it’s important to modernise as you go and to keep up to date with the increasingly more digital world that we live in. It’s important that you move with the times, both in the technology that you use to run your company, and the attitudes that you personally possess. Here are some tips on how you can do that…
Go For Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get your name out there, and it’s starting to become increasingly more and more popular. Creating a website is easy with systems like Squarespace and WordPress, where you can easily customise the design of your site (or alternatively hire a company to do this for you – they will be able to make it look super professional).
Digital marketing makes it easy to target specific people and to see what exactly they’re interested in, by looking to see which parts of your website have the most hits and who exactly clicks on which links in the emails and newsletters that you send out. It’s also incredibly easy to update your digital marketing platforms – if you put up a billboard, it’s going to be extortionately expensive to change, but if you want to change the text on your website or to send out a new email, it’s only going to take a few clicks.
Upgrade Your Methods Of Communication
These days we all know that it’s a lot easier to communicate with the people you work with than it used to be. You no longer have to get someone’s attention by waving at them from across the office, and you no longer have to drop what you’re doing because of an incoming phone call.
Emails changed the face of the way that businesses communicate, and even now they’re starting to become obsolete: people get more and more junk mail, making it hard to sort out what you really need to see, and if you decide to leave an email so you can reply to it later, it’s very easy to forget about it entirely.
Instead, people are using instant messaging software like Gchat and even virtual workplaces like Slack to talk to each other. Because it’s a more immediate way of communicating, these platforms make it easy to bounce ideas off people, even if you’re physically hours away from each other.
Train Your Staff
In your company, you know that it’s important to ensure that your staff feels as though their contributions are valued. One great way to make them feel as though you are happy with what they do is providing them with opportunities to develop their skills. You can do this by providing new equipment and training alongside it, or sending them to professional development courses, or setting up a mentoring scheme so junior members of staff can learn from more senior employees. Giving your staff more knowledge empowers them to reach for more themselves, which benefits you and your company.
Move Your Storage To The Cloud
When it comes to storage, you no longer need to go for colossal filing cabinets. Not only do they take up huge amounts of space in your office, but they simply aren’t secure, and when it comes to storing confidential data it’s best to make sure that it’s on the cloud and fully password-protected so that only the appropriate people can access it.
It can be difficult to know how to transfer your documents to the cloud, and then to manage the networks that are used to connect your computers and transfer your data. It’s a good idea to hire a company that can explain how you can use these networks to share resources – an SD-Wan solution will mean that the performance of your networks is high and that they feel as though you are using the cloud.
Ditch The Paper From Your Office
In your office, it’s time to ditch paper. Of course you should install recycling bins – including bins in the kitchen so that people can dispose of their food waste after lunch – but you should also encourage people to stop printing things, to make notes on tablets and laptops instead of in notebooks, and to make sure that they recycle the paper they use instead of throwing it into a more general trash receptacle.
Automate Your Processes
There are few things that give you more time back at work than starting to automate your processes. Technology means that a lot of the time, you don’t have to go through numerous people to, for instance, ask for a new mouse or keyboard – you can swipe an ID card instead and have a new one issued to you automatically. Obviously not all processes are suitable to be automated – consider which ones take up a lot more time and effort than they have to, and that are subject to human error frequently.
For instance, uploading information into a database is the perfect process that you can automate – it means that people won’t make mistakes when retyping information, that data is kept securely, and it won’t take up huge swathes of time that could be used more productively.
Start Using Social Media
Social media is an incredibly cheap and easy way to connect with consumers. Creating a brand has never been easier – simply sign up for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and whatever other social media platforms you’d like to be part of, and start posting. If you have never used social media before, why not hire a social media expert to explain it to you – or even run the accounts for you?
It’s important to make sure that you keep to a posting schedule so that your accounts don’t go dormant and start to get unfollowed by people – you need to show that you’re present and connected to the world. It’s also important to remember that you can use social media to create a company voice that people will respond to.
Use Twitter to respond to people and keep it friendly and professional. Depending on your audience, why not post some memes and keep it light as well? Make sure that people like you, so that when they want to purchase a product you sell, they think of your company first. However, you should make sure that your accounts aren’t all about promoting yourself – nobody wants to read that!
One of the great things about being able to work remotely is that you can hire freelancers. This is positive for a few reasons: firstly, you can rent a smaller office with less floor space, because freelancers tend to work from home. You also won’t have to provide equipment for them – and the benefits that you give to full-time members of staff may not apply, which will save your business money.
It’s also good to be able to hire freelancers because they are often very specialised in their fields – it’s better to hire someone for twelve hours a week who really knows their stuff than a full-time member of staff who’s bouncing between different tasks and doesn’t really excel at any of them.
Focus On Being Eco-Friendly
These days when people make purchases, they are often looking for companies and products that are eco-friendly. Focusing on ways that you can help the planet is a great way to get more up to date – and to make money from customers who are looking for products and businesses who are doing what you’re doing. When it comes to packaging, make sure that it’s all recyclable – you can use popcorn or cardboard to keep fragile items safe instead of bubble wrap or polystyrene.
You could also give a small percentage of your profits to an environmentally focused charity to offset your carbon footprint – working with a company like that will provide you with some great press that people will respond to. When it comes to your office, make sure that your power supplier is eco-friendly and gets some of its power at least from renewable sources, and make sure that you use eco-friendly bulbs for the lights at work.
Be More Flexible
One of the greatest things about technology is that it enables you to be more flexible. If someone is sick and doesn’t want to take a sick day but feels well enough to work, they can do so from home. If someone has a dentist appointment, they can make up those hours in the evening. It is often even incredibly useful to be able to choose to work from home some days.
The buzz of the office isn’t always helpful if you need to focus on a big project, and the expense, time and energy that a commute requires isn’t necessary every day. People are increasingly looking for a new work/life balance in which they can balance their jobs with childcare, hobbies, and caring for older relatives. Thankfully, technology enables you to support this.
Modernising your business doesn’t have to mean investing in a load of new software: these tips will help you update your attitude to create a more modern business.