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Business strategy

It has already been a rough year for business owners, and we’re only at the halfway point. Brexit shocked the economy across the globe, and it wasn’t just British companies that took the hit. Every business owner braced themselves as the pound took a hit and economy tumbled down with it. That situation still hasn’t been resolved, and while it has stabilised, it could still have a greater effect. Particularly, after Britain officially leaves the EU, which may not be until 2021. Meanwhile, a recent report has revealed just how many employees receive basic benefits. Around seventy percent of employees in America alone do not receive health care. It’s no wonder that companies are inundated every year with injury claims. Without winning in court, it seems many wouldn’t get the money they need when they’re off work.

Then, there is the growth of other economies. Both China and India are growing at a rapid rate with new businesses opening up every day. In India, entire cities are being built up for business and will be active on the global market by the end of the year. This means a fresh dose of competition for companies that have already been established. New companies are almost always setup to run online. This means continued trouble for high street shop owners. Online companies can cheapen their costs and therefore sell at a lower price. These are just some of the issues that businesses are facing this year. However, it’s pointless to look at the problems, unless we can start to consider the solutions.

Increasing Competition

In many ways, increased competition from international businesses isn’t a problem. In fact, for the consumer, it’s good news. They can get the same product at a lower price, hopefully, made to the same quality. It also pushes other businesses to step up their game and deliver a better service to their customers. These are the advantages, so what are the disadvantages?

Well, firstly, it does create what is essentially a tilted playing field. Particularly when you consider that a lot of new international businesses are setting up where labour and tax laws are more lenient. China, for instance, have little to no laws preventing the use of cheap child labour. This is always going to make a manufacturing business cheaper to run. Ethically, the situation is questionable, but there is no doubt this practice does cut down costs. It is one of the reasons why Western companies are moving to countries like China. Then there are the tax laws that give companies incentives to set up in the first place. Both these facts make it more difficult for older companies to stay competitive.

They have to find other ways to cut costs. There are solutions to this problem, though. Businesses need to focus on how to make their companies more efficient. One possibility is to use outsourcing services. By investing in outsourcing services, companies can get rid of expensive costs in their model. Instead, another business takes on this cost for them. This makes the overall expense of the company a lot cheaper. There are countless services that can be outsourced in business from fully managed IT to legal services. Smaller companies can then be just as effective as bigger businesses with the same level of costs.

Businesses, may also want to look into advantages they have that other companies do not. A lot of international companies can not afford to invest in the latest tech and hardware. However, businesses that have already been stabilised can. This new tech makes these businesses a more powerful force on the market. They can improve their efficiency levels and make sure that their business is more productive.

Another advantage these businesses have is the access to skilled workers. Any economist will tell you that they key to a successful company is often hiring the right employees. With the right workers, you can guarantee you have the knowledge and the skill you need to make sure your company comes out on top.

Changing Dynamics

Recently, there has been a shift in the relationship between the business and the consumer. In the past, it was easy to keep business operations away from the interest of the customer. Now, customers and clients want to know everything about how businesses operate. They want to understand the production methods and connect with the people behind the business. Essentially, they want companies to engage with them in a more personal way than they had previously. This is putting pressure on businesses because a lot of companies are already doing this. They are connecting with their customers and making sure they feel more involved in the process. Marketing has become a far more interactive experience.

New and old businesses need to be doing this if they want to keep the interest of customers. One possibility to start considering is using social media to connect. Through social media, companies can easily interact with customers through technology. They can send updates, ask questions and provide customer services. They can even use it as a form of simple yet effective viral marketing. Even companies that don’t operate online should be using these types of resources. It is the only way to keep the interest of the customers.

Of course one of the current major problems has nothing to do with competition or customers. Rather, it is entirely based on the actions and decisions of employees. In particular, almost every business is dealing with the issue of premises liability. Premises liability is essentially a duty of care to employees in business. If an employee is injured, the business owner is held directly responsible. As such, they or their company can be sued for damages in the event of an accident. This is one of the reasons why it’s important have full insurance in place for your business. That way, if a claim is made, it should be partially covered by your insurance.

Recently, however, businesses are struggling to stay afloat in a sea of countless claims. This is why companies are working hard to make their properties safer than ever. It often costs money to ensure that safety levels are kept at a constant high. It is worth it to prevent an expensive lawsuit hitting a business fresh on the market. For a new company, an expensive PI claim could be a death sentence.

Due to the new level of engagement between companies and customers, there is a chance for public perception to be more damaging. An example would be the issue of the green company. In many ways, it is beneficial for businesses to go green. In particular, it will cut their energy costs right down, thus making their business more efficient. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that the fixed costs of making a business green are expensive. For some companies, they are too high to handle. Yet, customers are now more aware of which companies are green and which aren’t. Many businesses might be more inclined to use companies that are less environmentally damaging. That’s why last year when the car pollution controversy exploded many brands stock prices took a tumble. Public perception is a powerful force in almost every major industry.

One reason for this is the increased reliance of views online. Almost every major business is reviewed online by the buying public. You may not think that one bad review of your business is going to make a difference. However, those bad reviews build up and could earn your company a negative rating. At that point, it may stop new customers buying from your business. This doesn’t mean that companies should avoid reviews online. Quite the opposite. Businesses need to be aware of the power these reviewers have. The worst thing that a business could do is ignore them completely. You need to do your best to reconcile with these customers. Although be aware, many people use these reviews in the hope of getting free benefits from a company.

Fluctuating Demand

If you are setting up a new business this year, it would be a mistake to believe that you can rely on a constant wave of demand. This is not how the market works, and a number of new businesses are learning this lesson the hard way. In particular, if the economy takes a turn for the worse, fewer people are buying. This is a particularly challenging problem for companies that sell what could be classed as luxury products. In this case, many customers are unlikely to buy at all. Even loyal clients may cease to make purchases during times of economic turmoil. This is why constant cost cutting is so important. You need to make sure that you do not raise your costs to the point where you won’t make a profit if demand decreases. When you run a business, it’s always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worse.

It’s clear that businesses will face a lot of issues on the market this year. But with the right strategies in place, they can overcome them.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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How To Make Business Life So Much More Favourable

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If you have a business or you’re heavily considering starting a business, then you’ll know all about the perils and the difficulties that will come with it all. While it seems like such a wonderful idea from the outside looking in, it’s actually something that can really take its toll on you if you’re not prepared enough both mentally and physically. 

You’ll always be looking for ways to make business life an awful lot more convenient. The idea in this game is obviously to work hard as you never get anywhere without a serious commitment. You’ll really want to focus on working smart, however. Hard work for no reason is foolish when you have much better ideas and techniques staring you in the face. Business life can be a real hassle if you get things wrong and have to go through laborious days. Here are just a few ways to make your days, weeks, and months a lot more favorable for you: 

Get The Right People Around You  

Who you share your time with in business matters so much. If you have all of the wrong people, then you could be on a downward slant over the next few years. If you have good people with the right attitude and intentions, then you’ll likely become a lot more successful. In terms of using the right people, we’re talking about networking, hiring staff, bringing in specialists, soliciting advice, and so many other areas. Business is an interpersonal game, so make sure the right groups and individuals work with what you’re trying to achieve. 

Embrace Technology A Lot More Than Perhaps You Are Right Now 

If you’re already someone who wants to milk every platform they have, then this idea won’t worry you too much. There are so many pieces of ai powered software around that will help you with what you’re trying to achieve. Analytics, ads, management, and so many other areas can be bolstered with good programs. 

Set Up Genuine Plans With Achievable Goals 

This sort of goes without saying because you’ll likely have plans for the tasks ahead. This is more the idea of creating more structured plans for areas that are perhaps freer and less structured. Setting goals for everything you do can lead you to understand more about what needs to be done. It also gets everyone even more motivated. 

Take Care Of The People Working With You 

In terms of those you’re with, you’re going to need to treat them properly. It’s amazing what can happen if you neglect how they feel and the work they put in. The best leaders will always hone in on each individual and check in with them. 

Outsource Certain Jobs That Are Tedious

Sometimes, there are particular tasks that – although they need to be done – take up lots of unnecessary time and stress. If you are outsourcing admin, for instance, it makes life a lot easier for you as you all can focus on the productive and progressive side. 

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Current Trends in Business That Every Entrepreneur Should Work Towards Achieving

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The world of business is changing and with it the trends that entrepreneurs should be working towards. Entrepreneurship has become a lifestyle as opposed to just a paycheck. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you can do anything. Check out these current trends in business that every entrepreneur should work on achieving:

E-Commerce

E-commerce has been a significant trend for the past few years, and you can expect it to continue being so. E-commerce has multiple benefits, including increased revenue, high availability of products, and a more significant customer base.

E-commerce allows businesses to be present on all digital platforms, which helps them reach out to more customers quickly. In addition, it makes it easier for companies to reduce overhead expenses as there are no physical stores that have rent costs associated with them or inventory levels that need maintenance constantly. Statistically, e-commerce has grown rapidly in the past few years from 25% – 30% year on year.

Financial Apps and Software

The software aspect comes into play when considering how businesses manage their finances moving forward. Companies must adapt to technology. Otherwise, they will find themselves left behind by competitors who embrace emerging technologies such as cloud computing and mobile apps. It is also easier to make purchases using these apps and communicate with the sellers. Incorporating such software with equipment and partnerships with a payment processing company will diversify the business activities and set you up for expansion.

These apps allow them to move away from traditional forms of financial management such as spreadsheets and accounting software to financial management apps such as Xero. With these new apps comes the ability to monitor business finances from anywhere, which can help businesses grow faster than what they would ordinarily be able to manage with slower conventional processes.

Blockchain Tech

Blockchain tech is the current trend in business that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving. You can apply this technology to many different industries, and entrepreneurs need to find their niche within this growing market. It’s also critically important not to overlook blockchain tech when deciding which cryptocurrency or token you want your company associated with.

Both positive and negative factors are involved in choosing one solution over another, but it all comes down to finding what works best for each situation. For example, today’s most valuable aspect of blockchain tech is its promotion of secure transactions between parties while eliminating third-party transaction fees (or at least significantly reducing them).

It means that businesses operating on a global scale could potentially enjoy significant savings in maintaining financial records. Transparency is also an important selling point for blockchain tech. The decentralized nature of its design makes all transactions public and easily accessible by anyone who has access.

Fraud and Cyber Crime

Another current trend that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving is fraud and cybercrime. In today’s modern world, the internet has brought the business community closer together as it allows you to reach a global market from almost anywhere with an Internet connection. Unfortunately, this means those who want to take advantage of this have access to millions of more potential customers, making it easier for fraudsters to steal money from unsuspecting victims.

Businesses that are not careful can fall victim to several types of cybercrime, including phishing, spoofing, pharming, and identity theft. These crimes are increasing at an alarming rate as more people use the internet for business purposes which means scammers often target them.

Conclusion

Today, business is becoming increasingly challenging. The traditional ways of doing things don’t work anymore, and it’s time for entrepreneurs to adapt to stay relevant within the industry. However, the industry itself is evolving rapidly, and it’s challenging to keep up with the changes that are happening every day. Fortunately for you, this post is here to help you understand the current trends that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving.

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Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

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Employee training

There is no question about the effectiveness of employee training and development. It’s incredibly important to help your staff advance their skills and knowledge to help grow a business, but the impact of employee learning has often been understated and even neglected. However, companies are now suggesting that employee training and development is one of the biggest megatrends that have completely transformed the future of work. It has overhauled how businesses should be developing and engaging with employees, and it’s leading to an incredibly diverse and talented workforce that is capable of wonderful new things.

Part of the problem of employee training and development is that it’s difficult to measure its impact on the workplace. Employee performance often isn’t a quantitative measurement that is easy to read and link to their output. This is one of the reasons why the effectiveness of employee training and development has been questioned by management experts.

Thankfully, new strategies have been developed to help measure workplace learning and its impact on companies. Below, we’ve included a helpful infographic that covers some of the most important measurements, such as return on investment and how it is calculated in the context of employee learning and development. It should put the effectiveness of employee training into perspective and will help you better understand when training is needed and how development actually improves your business and its productivity.


Infographic by: Ezra Coaching
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