If you would like to make your business survive the economic turmoils and grow, it is important that you make smart investments. There are several ways you can build assets and create more value for your customers, so you can improve your organizational knowledge, reputation, market share, and customer satisfaction. For completing these steps, you will need to invest in business intelligence to have all the information you need to make informed business decisions. Below you will find a few tips on how to make the most out of data to make a change in your business.
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More Effective Market Positioning
It is important that you know your industry inside out before you start a business. When launching a company, you need to find out what is missing, find the gaps in the marketplace you can fill, and learn more about what your target customers want and need. Chances are that you are going to enter the market with loads of strong players already established, so you will need to find an angle to create a successful market penetration strategy. This will take the guesswork out of your business launch and improve your chances for success.
Understanding Your Customers
Before you launch or start growing a business, you will need to make sure that you understand your target market and the niche you are going to focus on. If you haven’t considered doing your research yet, or are not clear about who your ideal client is, what they are looking for, where are they getting their information and news from, what they think about your competitors, and which of their particular needs are not currently being served by other companies. If you are able to laser focus your efforts and your launch strategy on the ideal customer, you will get better conversions and more engagement, too.
Spotting Business Trends
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It is important to know that the business environment of every company is changing more rapidly than ever before. This means that you will need to be in the picture to react to changes or adopt a proactive approach and go ahead of the trends. It is always better to be a leader in an industry than a follower. If you don’t want to lag behind your competitors, you will need to use business intelligence to understand what is likely to change. Focus on the business environment; regulatory, political, customer trends, and competition, and you will be able to address the challenges before it is too late.
Keeping An Eye On Your Competitors
If you think that your business can exist in a vacuum, you are doing something wrong. Everything your competition is doing will have an impact on your conversions, lead generation, and customer loyalty. Wouldn’t it be great if you were alerted when there is a special offer launched by your main competitor, so you can change your long term strategy? What if you wanted to differentiate yourself in the marketplace? You would certainly need to know what makes you stand out and what your USP is.
It is hard to know whether or not your customers are happy. That is why you would need to make sure that you are able to measure satisfaction, so you will be able to maintain retention rates. It is always cheaper to keep your existing customers than to get new ones, and that is why you will need to make the most out of surveys and questionnaires. You can automate customer surveys, using a simple autoresponder sequence, or simply make the most out of your phone and redirect people to an automated survey after each call.
If you know your numbers and how much of your resources you are spending on each process in your business, and how much value you create, you will be able to optimize your supply chain and operations. Cost saving is one of the areas businesses focus on in times of uncertainty, so if you would like to secure your company’s future, it is important that you reduce your costs by eliminating waste. In case you haven’t implemented Lean principles in your business yet, it might be time to consider going on a course or sending one of your managers to study this organizational management method.
With the advanced technology of the 21st century, it is now possible to automate some of your processes and improve your efficiency. There are several time consuming tasks in every company that can be put on an autopilot. You can schedule your blog posts, your social media updates, and make the most out of your accounting and bookkeeping by using the latest apps. If you don’t have a CRM system yet, it might be time to get one that suits your industry and customer needs, so you can consistently deliver a better service.
Up To Date Reporting
Knowledge is power, and this applies to businesses as well as individuals. If you would like to know where you are going and how far off you are from your business goals every quarter, the last thing you want to do is spend hours crunching numbers. No matter if you are running an online business or a manufacturing company, you will need to know exactly what the numbers say. If you need to raise money or cover unexpected expenses, it is important that you check that the numbers add up. You will also have to ensure that all your invoices are sent and paid on time, so you can manage your cash flow better.
Whenever you consider creating a growth plan or investing in new technologies, maybe taking on new employees, buying a new production tool, you will need to complete a reality check. Can your company really afford the cost, and what are the financial uncertainties that can impact your business future? Whether you are worried about the competition, or the reduced spending power of your target market, you will need to get your numbers checked. This type of business intelligence will help you make better informed decisions about the future of your company.
Discovering New Technologies
Business intelligence and research can also be used to explore new opportunities in the marketplace. It is important that you take advantage of the latest technology and consider the pros and cons of becoming an early adopter. Whether you are looking to scale up your operations, improve your productivity, or reduce your turnaround time, you will have to know about the solutions and choose the option that is the most suitable for your business model and long term plans.
Managing risks is crucial if you would like to survive times of economic or social uncertainties. If your target customers’ behavior change, or their preferences are shifted, you will probably need to take a step back and rethink your business model. If there is a new regulation to be accepted by the government that will impact your industry, you will need to make sure that you are able to get ahead of the events and reduce the risks. There are several risk management tools and methods you can use to ensure you are not dealing with problems when it is already too late.
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One of your greatest assets is your workforce in business. Your employees are there to deliver value to your customers; either in person, or through their work at the manufacturing unit or back office. If you don’t know the value your employees are creating, and don’t have a way to improve their productivity, you might end up getting less value for your money than you expect. If you pay a worker $1,600 to generate $1,000 worth of added value, you are wasting your financial resources, and are heading for disaster. There are several ways you can improve employee productivity, such as improving workplace wellness and creating shared goals to work towards.
Process improvement is another area you should focus on. It is, however, not a one-off task. Instead, you will need to make sure that you are able to make continuous improvements and measure them at every stage of the workflow. If you don’t currently have a process map or a workflow tool, it might be a good idea to do your research and invest in one, so you can make the most out of your productivity and stay competitive.
Preparing for Change
If there is one thing that is constant in business it is change. If you lack an effective change management strategy, you will simply go with the flow instead of planning for the future. Knowing what is going to change and making adjustments to your business strategy, human resource planning, and your marketing is crucial for surviving change in business.
There are plenty of things you can invest in your business, but you should certainly focus on intelligence and big data if you would like to survive changes and turmoils in your industry or your home economy.