Your business processes determine the success of your business. These evolve on the basis of the quality of information you feed into them. Like software, a new upgrade to your business system is just around the corner. As a progressive business owner, you constantly discover new ways of doing things even better.
The pace of business is picking up. It was not too long ago that you had to book a flight to visit business vendors; now you can video conference your strategic meetings. Contracts with partners, customers, and new employees were also much harder to sign on. Initially, you had to do it in person. Later, you could do it remotely using fax machines. Now you can get legally binding signatures in seconds on any device using paperless esignature solutions.
Where Do You Start?
If business processes are the key to success, and the more up-to-date the better, what business processes should you focus on? Here are three things that you should do to build the foundation for a highly successful business:
- Hire the right people from the start.
- Market using best practices.
- Use the best technology for all your business and analytical software.
Let’s take a closer look at these three factors.
Employees will always be your most expensive investment. If you don’t get the hiring process down to a science, you will not grow at the rate you envision.
To build a successful business, you need to develop a culture of people who share your values and work ethic, and who delight in making progress in their careers.
Only too often, employers try to trim costs in the wrong places then wonder why their business never takes off. One of these places is employee costs.
What does skimping on hiring the best people look like?
- · Hiring interns fresh out of college because you don’t want to pay someone with qualifications and experience who will ask for full wages.
- · Shirking from paying employee benefits by using an employee leasing company.
- · Overworking, underpaying, and discouraging initiative and innovation by creating a restrictive, environment with few training opportunities.
These hiring practices result in disengaged and unmotivated employees who are only interested in working for a paycheck.
The first answer that comes to mind is because it’s big, it’s innovative, it’s an early adopter, etc. However, Google wasn’t always a leviathan. It just started out by hiring the best people and treating them right. It didn’t skimp on the employee factor to business building. There is a good reason why the best and brightest software engineers want to work at Google.
Marketing is a complex topic, with too many strategies to cover in this short space. However, here are three common mistakes to avoid.
- Only marketing when you need more business.
While this may not be true if you are selling a product and appreciate a constant stream of customers who receive their products through a fulfillment service, it’s often true for service businesses.
If, for example, you’re running a web design business, you run into a capacity problem. You have to cap how many clients you get because your employees have to spend quite a bit of time with each project. However, you then run into a feast or famine cycle. You either have too much work or too little.
The way to balance this out is to keep the pipeline full. When you have too many interested clients, either put people on a waiting list or refer them out to others in your industry and build goodwill. In order to prosper, you have to have a steady flow of customers.
- Only using online or offline marketing.
You should use both. After creating some customer avatars, you will find that you can benefit from both online and offline advertising. Don’t limit yourself on how to reach people by using only one channel.
- Only using paid or free lead generation methods.
Again, you really need both. Use paid traffic methods to get a consistent stream of people to your website, but also use inbound marketing methods that involve lots of content creation to build rapport with customers and earn their trust.
Using the best technology used to mean building an elaborate on-premise computer network and hiring a large IT staff to keep things running smoothly. However, today, you can get better software and save a fortune on infrastructure development by using cloud computing.
Here is how Diogo Costa, in an article entitled “Why Small Companies Should Use Cloud Computing,” described the benefits of cloud computing:
“Just like information technologies have revolutionized the world, so cloud computing aims to transform the way companies do business. Cloud computing is considered by many IT experts as the tool dominating the next generation, being able to offer cheaper, faster, portable and safer operations for all kinds of companies, whether they are small, medium or large.”
To stay competitive, you have to build a strong foundation based on hiring the right people to build your company, consistently marketing to keep the pipeline full, and deploying the best technology at the lowest price.