With much of the global economy back on track, now is a great time for young businesses. As trends begin to head in the right direction, businesses that make smart decisions today will see considerable results over the coming years. Here, we take a look at five ways to keep your new business on track.
1. Put content on the web
No matter what industry you’re in, the internet is a space for you to take advantage of. At a totally affordable rate you can communicate and engage with your target demographic, and one of the most effective ways of doing that is by producing lively and engaging content which can be viewed and shared by potential customers around the world. This way you can tap into the power of social media to drive your business. This is a great way not only of reaching new audiences, but also of directing them towards your company website. Red Bull does this very well, for example—they have even sent a man into space, publishing the video on their website for global appeal.
2. Deal with your finances
Whatever the scale of your funds as a young business, what is essential is the accuracy of your understanding of them. It can help to seek professional advice surrounding lending and contingency planning to ensure that you have all of your bases covered when it comes to financial planning. Employing the services of outside organizations with a proven track record of supporting the process of a business turnaround may also help to provide the expertise and perspective needed to keep your company on track.
3. Monitor your competitors
In the business world, it is important that you view your competitors not as enemies but as an essential resource for your own business planning and investment. You can learn a great deal from the successes and failures of your competition, as well as being able to tailor your own services to fill gaps which are left open by competitors. Just think about tech giants such as Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Facebook—it is this competition and analysis that has led to their constant innovation.
4. Recruit for innovation and longevity
It is the staff within any business which contribute ultimately to its success. Recruitment, particularly in the early stages of a company’s development, is therefore one of the most important factors to growth.
With this in mind, it is essential for businesses to recruit for beyond the short term. Rather than simply filling available roles, you must look to the future and to understand the key positions, roles and abilities which your business will benefit from some time down the line. This is what all great companies have done over the years. Think of the motto of Sir Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin) when recruiting the right talent: “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” Use this approach when hiring and you can build a great team around you.
5. Conduct regular reviews
The world of business is dynamic. Changes to the market, as well as changes to your competitors’ strategies, can render a previously successful business plan futile, or vice versa. The only way to ensure that your company is always moving in the right direction is to conduct regular reviews of your business model and to effect change in a confident manner whenever it should become clearly necessary.
A word of caution when it comes to review, however: there are good and bad ways of doing it to motivate your staff. Take, for example, the claims made against Microsoft by Vanity Fair in a 2012 article—that Mircosoft’s review structure was responsible for a lack of company innovation, and that ‘stack ranking’ forced team members to compete against each other rather than working collaboratively on useful projects.