Grow your business: 3 strategies to get on the front foot
By Lawrence Breen
While no one can argue that this hasn’t been a tough year, the most interesting thing for me, thus far, has been seeing the companies that have worked through the challenges we’ve all faced and are doing the best they can in the circumstances. Tough times are never fun, but there are some things we can control: Our attitude and our drive.
In any challenge, there is always opportunity and, as we draw further into the final quarter of 2020, I feel there’s reason to be optimistic that 2021 can be better (maybe not completely normal but certainly an improvement on this year!). With that in mind, we’ve been talking with our clients about their plans, and here are three tips to help you focus on growth in 2021.
Review your tech stack
2020 has put pressure on us all to focus on costs. That’s never a great place to be for any business and, as a business owner, I know first-hand how tough that can be. Cost focus often means looking for ways to improve the way your business operates; i.e. how can we make things faster/better/cheaper?
My first tip is to look to technology for solutions. Sometimes reducing cost doesn’t mean ripping out headcount or closing down part of your business. We use technology extensively in our business, and it helped us this year in that we already had some significant efficiency in our processes.
At Inland Digital, we sell workflow technology and we believe we are our own best client: Our workflows are set up for everything from sales orders to back-end service delivery. This means we can automate so many processes that remove waste and cut down manual intervention.
I have seen numerous clients of ours look at their technology during this crisis and see where they can improve the way they do business. I believe it is the number one thing you can do in looking at your processes going into 2021.
Know your data
We have so many sources of data across our business today and it’s been something that has made our team more comfortable in our decision-making. We have always focused guiding our strategic thinking around solid data, both internal and external to our business, and I’ve seen many of our clients and partners benefit from the same approach.
I don’t mean just sales data either. Look at all your key metrics across your business. Not only does it give you an accurate picture of where you’re at compared to previous years, but also helps you set realistic 2021 goals. Technology can certainly help you analyse this data and make sense of it all, but you need to almost be religious in your approach. It’s important to not only make sure you have access to the data but give your management team time to use it to make more informed decisions on the next steps for your business.
I said earlier that the one thing we can control in all of this is attitude: If you can be proactive and focus on the positives in front of us then its going to be a hell of a lot easier to stay motivated. It may not always be easy to take this mindset but it’s vital. This applies not only to us, but also to our teams.
For example, our team has always focused on external learning and attending conferences to increase our knowledge of the market and future trends. This meant travel and, of course, that’s been taken away from us. But rather than dwell on the negative, we’ve embraced online events and courses as a way to keep that going during COVID. Is it as much fun? No, of course it isn’t, but we’re making the best of what we’ve got.
Being an optimist is much easier than the alternative, so I suggest you take that approach into your business for 2021. Think about the positives, be confident in your ability to deliver, and work out a plan to make it happen.
Transforming business is more than just a tagline for us; it’s core to what we do every day. Keen to discuss your 2021 strategies? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a time to discuss what’s happening in your business.