Innovation and improvements are mainstays of modern business. The need to always be growing has become essential. 21st-century factors like ever-evolving technology and globalization are changing business philosophies and disrupting industries at every turn.
If you want your business to keep up with the times, you must always be ready to strive for improvement. Here are five critical aspects to consider to set your company up to do so.
1. Start with a Growth-Oriented Culture
It’s difficult to always be improving if you aren’t willing to grow. This applies to everyone, from business owners and upper management right on down to the bottom of your org chart. In order to do this in an effective manner, you must foster a company culture that embraces growth.
A growth mindset is a simple concept. It accepts that individuals are capable of improving their intelligence, talents, and abilities. They can do so through a variety of behaviors, from discipline and practice to curiosity and learning.
A growth mindset is a tremendous upgrade from the more common “fixed mindset” that dominates many company cultures. This sets boundaries to personal traits and assumes an inherent limit to native abilities. If you can imbue your culture with a growth mindset, you’ll be able to foster continual innovation and improvement.
2. Get the Right Tools in Place
Company culture is a good starting place. However, even a creative group can often struggle if they don’t have the right tools to facilitate their work. This is where technology comes into the picture. Ideally, tech should always be a facilitator rather than a primary driver of change or improvement. If you can keep the focus on your people and use technology to support them, you can realize a form of growth that is more sustainable.
With that said, what tools are you missing to help grease the wheels of your enterprise’s growth? This should start with basic considerations. Does your staff have a safe and positive work environment? Do they have basic equipment to perform their jobs with minimal disruptions?
Once you are comfortable with the basics, consider what tools you can utilize to spark creativity within existing activities. For instance, can you use a visual IVR (interactive voice response) system for your customer service team? What about a CRM for your sales team? This implementation of the latest customer service tech can help bolster the quality of service. It can also spur them on to suggest further improvements in their existing activities.
3. Embrace Remote Work Where You Can
Remote work is more than a phenomenon of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was already gaining steam before 2020 and will continue to do so far into the future. As such, it’s important to “remote-work-proof” your enterprise wherever possible.
This is more than a form of operational insurance against future quarantines or other catastrophes. Remote work also offers many benefits that can impact your company’s ability to improve over time.
For example, a quality cloud-based workflow platform can maintain collaboration for both in-person and remote employees. It knits your team’s ideas and activities together into one, easy-to-access location. In the same manner, cloud-based accounting, invoicing, and payment options do more than help you pay someone half a world away in an instant. They also allow you to increase efficiency and save on the overhead of traditional payment methods. Remote recruitment strategies also offer the benefit of tapping into much larger pools of talent.
The point is, a business that is set up to function remotely can access a variety of innovative benefits both now and in the future.
4. Improve Your Online Presence
Much like remote work, e-commerce isn’t a short-term occurrence. The online marketplace is an ever-growing hub of retail activity, lead generation, and customer relationship development.
As such, if you want your company to grow with the times, you must have a strong online presence. This is true for small local service providers just as much as it is for massive, global retailers.
For instance, in either case, a website allows you to take orders, provide contact information, and set up resources for your customers. A social media presence can be a great way to furnish customer support and receive feedback, too. Search engines allow you to tap into both organic and paid marketing channels, as well.
If you want to set your business up for long-term growth, you must be ready and willing to wade into the world of the internet. Not only that, but you must also adapt and change with the online world over time.
5. Shore Up Your Customer Service
Again, technology is often seen as the primary driver of business innovation. However, that is a dangerous trap that should be avoided. Technology can push business change forward. It can even be the catalyst by which your organization accomplishes new things.
Nevertheless, if you want to maintain a forward-thinking attitude, you must consider one other critical innovative factor: your customers. 93% of business execs are convinced that future increases in revenue will come from innovation spurred on by organic growth.
This inward-facing position for growth doesn’t just depend on employees brainstorming ideas for new things. It looks directly to the customer as a source of creativity and ideas. If you want your business to continue to improve, take steps to include your customers in the process.
This can be accomplished by shoring up your customer service. For example, you want your customer-facing employees to be well-trained to interact with clientele. You also want to provide clear channels for customer feedback. In addition, you must establish methods to analyze incoming comments and criticisms. This allows you to synthesize them into a coherent form of improvement.
Company culture, cutting-edge tools, remote work, e-commerce, and customer service are all aspects of business that are critical to sustained improvement. They enable you to remain innovative and creative as you navigate the ever-changing modern business landscape.