A good idea is a great starting point for a business. It’s not always enough, however. You need the kind of efficient apparatus to effectively deliver that idea. That’s the struggle of running a business. But it’s a struggle that has been undergoing tons of changes lately. Just dip back five years and everything changes. Marketing, production, the day-to-day. It all gets a lot harder. Yet a lot of startups handicap themselves by neglecting to consider what technology has changed in that time. Here are those changes and how they can benefit you.
Understand your customers
The customers and your relationship with them is the underpinning of every successful business. Know what they want and what they’re lacking and you have a market that’s ripe for targeting. Stay ignorant and you’ll be missing your mark most of the time. Once upon a time, surveys and watching your competitors were the only way to really get any kind of idea of the needs of the market. They can still work, but nowadays they can be supplemented with some smart use of your website and your social media. Using website analysis, you can find what parts of your site draw the most interest, as well as what your customers are searching for. Not only can it help you give your site a boost. It can give you direct insight into the priorities of your market.
Work wherever, whenever
Running a business means that you might have to get used to spending less time than you would like in your own premises. This can be especially disruptive during those team intensive joint projects. You might still have to rely on a little delegation to get through it, but that doesn’t mean you have to be entirely absent. It’s becoming more and more possible to run your business directly from your smartphone. Not only through enhanced communication like emails and IMs. Project management software, HR and accounting software and plenty more are available to most smart devices nowadays.
Working in three dimensions
If you’re in the business of selling products, then the development process can be one of the most stressful yet one of the most creatively rewarding. In the past, you might have had to wait a long time to produce a prototype, before reviewing it and making changes towards the next prototype. With the rise of 3D printing, there’s a lot less waiting involved. It’s much easier to create prototypes without lengthy production times. It’s not just those in the business of developing and selling products that can benefit from easily made, intricate 3D models. As sites like https://zortrax.com/industries/ show, architects benefit from the ability to show scale models of projects, just as manufacturers can create specialized pieces that make their line able to work to more and more specification.
The new meaning of community in business
Your online presence isn’t just good for helping you learn more about your customers, either. The brand means more than ever today because social media and online advertisement make it ever more present in the lives of your consumers. But thanks to the rise of social media, in particular, the conversation is no longer just a delivery of the message you want to put out there. Customers have plenty to say, too. By listening to them, involving them (through things like giveaways and Q&As), and even implementing their feedback, you can show that you are a business of the community. In response, you can find that community growing even stronger around you. Nowadays, the brand war isn’t won by those who only have the strongest message, but the strongest relationship to their user base.
Give yourself less work
Running a business is never easy. You have a lot of responsibility to juggle. But should it all be yours to juggle? Even if you don’t have a big team of employees, it’s becoming less essential to do all that busywork yourself. Just measure the amount of time you take doing things like checking through emails, updating HR details, and processing payroll and invoices. Those tasks undoubtedly take up more time than you would like. That’s why you should look at sites like http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Automating-common-administration-tasks. By automating the admin that seems to always get in your way, you leave the path clear for the work that’s really going to make you more money.
Don’t stay stuck in the past just because you’re a brand new startup. Give yourself the head start by arming yourself with the right tech early. Humble beginnings are for humble businesses. If you want to excel, bring the proper tools.