The global pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses across the globe, but along with chaos and uncertainty, it brought a number of valuable lessons too.
In the last few years numerous organizations, and in particular, SMEs, were forced to shut their doors, and if your business is one of the fortunate few who managed to survive, take a moment of well-deserved commendation. Although it seems that things are finally starting to look up, this is not a time for complacency. Indeed, if there is one key learning that COVID-19 has taught us it is that business owners need to take proactive measures to prepare for anything. Implementing new processes is crucial to building resilience in order to see to it that your business process continues to survive, and thrive, during a period of constant change and instability.
We investigate some of the critical processes that business owners should consider implementing in order to ensure their business’ success in 2022 and beyond.
Utilize data and analytics to make smart business decisions
It is no secret that we find ourselves in a data-driven world, and organizations that are not actively collecting and investigating valuable data are certain to be left behind.
As a business owner, you want to be sure that every important action taken is backed by solid evidence and not hypothetical assumptions. Gathering crucial data on every aspect of your business, including customer behaviour, is only the first step towards making informed decisions. Performing a detailed analysis on the raw figures is where the real value lies.
Recognizing patterns and identifying trends will enable you to identify strategic opportunities, solve challenges, and make necessary adjustments to propel your business forwards.
Encourage customer feedback
A recent survey conducted by Shep Hyken showed that a staggering 96% of customers will switch brands or companies after experiencing poor customer service. Besides gauging whether your customers are experiencing a positive interaction with your brand, requesting feedback serves to show them that you care about them, and allows you to pinpoint areas for improvement.
Although many business owners may take the stance that “no news is good news”, not providing your customers with an opportunity to share their feedback may be limiting the opportunity for establishing relationships and cementing loyalty to your brand. Customers want to feel that their opinion matters and actively requesting their valuable input helps to make them feel heard and valued.
In the same breath, it does not mean much-requesting information from customers and not using the learnings to improve. As mentioned in our previous point, feedback data should be collected and then analyzed, and relevant suggestions need to be implemented in order to ensure that customers do not ditch you for competitors.
Improve internal communications
Effective internal communication is a core component of achieving business objectives and goals. When communication breaks down, collaboration suffers.
Ensuring that employees and departments are effectively communicating not only facilitates teamwork, helps to avoid miscommunication and confusion, and increases productivity, but it also helps to develop a positive corporate culture, improves employee morale and encourages insightful feedback and ideas for improvement.
As with the above point, it is not only customers who need to feel heard in order to feel valued. Besides showing employees that they are an indispensable part of the team, promoting a culture of open communication can also provide business owners with valuable insights into ways to improve. Employees may be able to spot areas that could be made more efficient or processes that could be streamlined, and by making sure that they feel comfortable and encouraged to offer their feedback and voice their opinions, your business process can only benefit.
Look after your number one asset – your employees
With record numbers of people leaving their jobs over the last few years, retaining employees has become a valid concern for many businesses. Besides the cost implications of recruiting new talent and replacing lost staff, having a high employee turnover is bad for corporate culture, makes your business look bad, and can negatively affect productivity.
It is therefore vital to ensure that employees feel engaged, motivated, and valued, so that want to stay and see the organization succeed. In order to keep your workforce happy consider implementing value-added incentives and benefits, career coaching and development, and remote and flexible work opportunities. Ensuring your employees’ overall well-being also includes investigating ways to improve their day-to-day tasks, freeing them up to focus on meaningful work that stimulates and challenges them.
Outsource to trustworthy professionals
Outsourcing certain business processes to trusted professionals can not only drive performance and increase efficiency within an organization but also results in significant cost savings over time.
As a business owner, if you are attempting to do everything on your own, you may be limiting your organization for potential growth. Partnering with expert service providers provides access to teams with specialized skills in key areas, and frees up employees to focus on core business functions.
Implement automation technology
Finally, automating repetitive, time-consuming business processes is a necessity to increase speed and efficiency, reduce human error, and ensure that employees are not wasting valuable time and energy on mundane robotic tasks.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses intelligent software technology, or ‘bots’, to automatically complete rule-based and trigger-driven digital tasks that once required human action. Implementing RPA software can transform and streamline an organization’s workflow, resulting in increased cost-saving, a boost in ROI, improved customer experience, greater flexibility and scalability, enhanced compliance, improved productivity, and an increase in employee satisfaction.
To the above point, partnering with a team of knowledgeable experts to implement automation software, such as RPA, will ensure that the transition is seamless, and will propel your business forward towards success.
Utilizing data and detailed analytics to derive meaningful information to drive smart business decisions, listening to valuable customer feedback, ensuring employee satisfaction, outsourcing certain business processes, and implementing automation technology are all ways in which business owners can improve processes, increase efficiency, and ensure that their organization is prepared and future-ready.