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Making the Changes Your Business Needs to Succeed

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | Making the Changes Your Business Needs to Succeed | Business SuccessBusinesses need to evolve over time, whether you want them to or not. The need for change could be due to a number of reasons, from the demands of keeping up with the latest trends to trying to save money to wanting to reach new goals in terms of growth. Whatever the reason, these changes will not happen overnight. For change to be successful, a lot of hard work will be required. However, what changes do you need to make, and how can you implement them? This guide explores more.

Getting more traffic to your website

You might have built a website and found little to no success since its launch. It might be that, currently, your website is not designed as well as it could be. A poorly designed website can deter people from sticking around. Another problem you might be facing is that you are struggling to get the traffic to your website in the first place. If this is the case, then you need to implement an SEO strategy right away. However, it could be that the content you are trying to produce every month on your blog isn’t achieving the results that you want. This is likely because you are not making the most of the keywords that should be used within the content. If you are experiencing any of the above points, you should get in touch with an expert such as Cocoonfxmedia, who will be able to get you started on a tailored business plan for how you can start getting the traffic you need to your website.

Keeping regular customers

Do you have a high turnover of existing customers because you are focused so much on trying to find new ones? This can happen to many businesses when they are trying to implement a growth management strategy. However, having a steady flow of regular customers is crucial to growth management. Not to mention that trying to find new customers is much more costly than trying to retain them.

So, if you have found yourself struggling to keep your regular customers and find new ones at the same time, then you will need to address what is going wrong. Are you losing touch too quickly? Are you giving your existing customers a good enough reason to continue using your services? Common ways to keep existing customers include:

  • Offering a discount
  • Finding something that makes your business unique
  • Focusing on customer service – you need to listen to what your customers want

Bringing onboard new services/products

Are you facing a bit of a cash flow problem? Or are you struggling to make as many sales as you did the previous year? This is a common occurrence for many businesses that have been around for a long time and have almost become complacent with what they are offering. When this happens, it is time to look at making a considerable change within the business itself. You need to have a complete refresh in terms of the products and/or services you are offering your customers. Alert them to the new products that you are introducing via a newsletter or on social media; you could even offer new customers a discount.

7 Outsourcing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 7 Outsourcing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020Is your small business expanding? Do you wish to cut down on your costs without compromising your services? Then outsourcing is likely the answer you are looking for.

Regardless if you’re a small firm or an established one, outsourcing can help you in many ways. A key survey revealed that 59% of companies invest in outsourcing to cut down their expenses.

Though this is encouraging to hear, it is not enough for you to simply outsource on the fly. You must also look at the latest outsourcing trends that will shape the industry this year.

So what are these trends to look out for? Continue reading below as we discuss seven trends that businesses must be aware of.

The Outsourcing Industry: A Brief Overview

Before we discuss the latest outsourcing trends, let us first get a glimpse of the outsourcing industry today. Apart from its cost-cutting benefits, outsourcing helps companies focus on their core business. This helped the industry nearly double its growth over the past two decades.

From $46 billion in 2000, spending on outsourcing grew to $85.6 billion in 2018. Furthermore, the United States outsources around 300,000 jobs annually.

Companies are also starting to embrace cloud services to improve their outsourcing. This is despite the concerns on data security surrounding cloud technology.

Furthermore, 70% of transportation and retail firms outsource portions of their services. The same thing goes for 71% of financial service executives in the country.

Outsourcing Trends

With 2020 already underway, there are outsourcing trends that will make an impact this year. Let’s take a look at seven of the most important ones:

1. More Flexible Contracts

If it is your first time to outsource, you will encounter a contract that comes with stipulations. But unlike before, companies can expect more custom outsourcing agreements this year.

You will see more contracts that come with room for flexibility. This is important considering the different limitations and cost pressures that businesses face in regard to their outsourcing needs.

This flexibility covers service, delivery, and pricing.

2. More VAs and Chatbots

You can also expect to see more virtual assistants (VA) and chatbots doing the job for companies. Businesses will incorporate these technologies to interact with their customers.

This new form of outsourcing is evident in the chat boxes that you see on various websites. These chat boxes address customer inquiries without sounding too robotic.

The good thing about chatbots and Vas is that they offer consistency. Though real people can show emotional knowledge, there is a tendency for them to lose their cool. Moreover, chatbots can handle different tasks that don’t require human emotions.

These tasks include arranging schedules, finalizing meetings, and qualifying clients, among others.

3. The Cloud Effect

As we mentioned earlier, more companies are opening up to cloud services. Cloud-based technology increases connectivity. In turn, this makes offshoring more efficient.

Furthermore, the media and information industries will continue to invest in telecommunications outsourcing. They will continue to incorporate cloud-based systems to expand their reach without physically going out in the field.

Also, the cloud computing industry will likely continue to grow. In 2020, the market grew to $180 billion. By the end of 2020, observers believe the industry will reach the $411 billion mark.

This is because tech leaders like Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft will pour in more money to create a quantum computer. Experts also believe that the quantum computing market will reach a value of $8 billion globally by 2027.

4. Telehealth Market to Make Waves

The healthcare and medical technology industries will continue to outsource reduce their costs while improving their processes. The telehealth market will offer more online video calls in lieu of physical hospital visits to the doctor. You can expect to see more hospitals attending to patients living in faraway places through online services.

Moreover, hospitals will outsource wearables to improve their diagnostics. Examples of these wearables include smart eyewear, wearable patches, trackers, and heart bands. Observers project the medical industry will spend over $27 billion over the next six years.

Additionally, more doctors will outsource virtual reality tools featuring artificial intelligence. They will use these gadgets to diagnose more complex diseases like Alzheimer’s.

5. Small Businesses to Outsource Heavily

More start-ups and small businesses will outsource this year. These companies will increase their spending on software development from 6% last year to 9% this year. Moreover, small companies will look to use new technologies and approaches to improve their services.

Instead of building in-house teams to cover non-key operations and other excess workloads, they will opt to outsource since it’s the more cost-effective way to go.

Outsourcing offers financial respite for smaller companies that are working on a tight budget. It also solves problems concerning a lack of manpower.

6. New Outsourcing Destinations

You can expect to see new players for software development outsourcing. Though China and India will continue to serve as havens for IT and business process outsourcing companies, Eastern Europe will rise as the emerging provider for small to medium-sized firms.

Also, medium-sized companies in the US and Western Europe will continue to experience a talent shortage. This will prompt them to outsource employees who are technologically-skilled.

7. The Emerging Experience Economy

Last but not least, there is the emerging experience economy that will play a bigger role this year. This pertains to the companies’ needs concerning experiences affecting the overall client experience.

This involves outsourcing services that focus on intangibles and immaterial attributes. These include aesthetics, values, culture, and design.

Examples are services that improve the health and wellness of employees. Companies will look to outsource wellness solutions to increase employee retention and satisfaction. More businesses will hire coaches, trainers, doctors, and therapists who can provide these services.

Outsourcing and Beyond

By following these outsourcing trends, you can make better decisions about your outsourcing needs. You can invest in the right services that will improve your company’s overall efficiency.

But outsourcing is only one of the many tools worth considering. Check out our other articles to learn more about other solutions. We discuss topics that will help grow your business.

3 Ways to Benefit Your Business with VoIP

When you’re trying to get your home business off the ground, one thing that is of the utmost importance is making sure you have effective ways to communicate with clients/customers, and other employees if you have them.

One of the best ways to do that is with a VoIP system. You can learn more about VoIP solutions at www.vtechsupport.com/services-solution/voip-solutions/. Simply put, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a digital telephone service that allows you to make and receive calls through the Internet.

So, why not just use a traditional telephone to communicate with others connected to your business? Can VoIP make a difference? Let’s look at three ways this service can benefit your business, and why you might want to make the switch.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | 3 Ways to Benefit Your Business with VoIP

1. It’s Cheaper

You want your business to continuously grow, right? Well, think about how many phone lines you might need in order to make that happen. Even if you only have a few, if you’re working on international business, the costs can start to add up quickly when it comes to calling times.

With VoIP, you only have to pay your Internet Service Provider – and you’re doing that already! It’s a good idea to have a solutions team at the ready in case you run into any issues with your VoIP, but the cost can still be less expensive than traditional phone lines, especially if you’re making long-distance calls to other countries.

2. It Makes Conference Calls Easier

If you have to have a conference call with several people at once, VoIP is the clear winner. Not only is the cost of conferencing usually built into the VoIP service you have (unlike most phone lines), but because the communication is through the Internet, you can enjoy additional benefits.

This includes things like video conferencing where you can share images and texts in real-time. It’s a great way to keep things organized and make sure everyone on the call is getting the correct information.

3. It’s Portable for Telecommuting

Remote work has become hugely popular in the U.S. and across the globe. As of 2019, about 4.7 million employees in the U.S. work from home at least half of the time.

When you use VoIP for your business, your remote employees can connect to it from any location, and they’ll have a specific phone number that won’t change no matter where they go. Not only does it allow them to access the phone to make calls, but they can also send faxes and access the other data services of your office.

VoIP isn’t necessarily anything new, but many businesses still aren’t taking advantage of it the way they could be. So, whether you’re a business owner with several remote workers or you just want to streamline your communication options with clients and customers, it’s worth looking into VoIP solutions and how they can save you money, time, and the headaches that can sometimes come from working with a traditional phone system.

Put Better Business Strategies In Place

The business strategies that you have in place are going to change all the while. Business is about the ability to adapt and grow, and that’s only going to happen if you keep changing the strategies that you have in place. One might work for you for some while, but times change and better processes are developed to help businesses evolve. There is now more software and support packages offered by companies than ever before, making it easier than ever before to run a business. If we had all of the technology and equipment that we have now, twenty years ago, far more businesses would still be established and probably be very rich. So the point is, if you don’t adapt to the changes of the world and the changes that you can make, your business is always going to fall behind. We’re here to try and make sure that doesn’t happen. We want to show you some  of the better business strategies that you can have in place, to ensure your business is always flourishing.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Put Better Business Strategies In Place

Better Use Of Software & Computers

Software and computers are the staple to any office. Whether it be a home office or a huge one full of staff, the amount of technology in the room will be astounding. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be using it properly. Software and computing is always evolving to make sure that the user has the best experience. So, you need to be looking at tools that can make the use of software easier, such as the different sql join types. You should also be looking at software to download that helps you with the management of different areas of your business. For example, there is financial management software that will show you the precise profits, loses, and trends that you’re following.

More Invasive Marketing

Invasive marketing is definitely a technique that you need to put in place. Invasive marketing is different because it focuses on direct attention to the customer. Non invasive techniques are ones such as SEO and PPC. They’re harder to spot in the sense that they’re more likely to be ignored. But if you were to use TV or radio advertising, for example, it would be far harder to ignore because it’s right there in your face. All of the marketing techniques out there should be explored if you want to get the most out of your business.

Customer Retention Strategies

Customer retention is another strategy that you need to focus on. The more you can retain loyal customers, the more the news about your business will spread, and the more profit you’ll be able to make. To retain customers, you can use software that will analyse good and bad reviews, leaving you to comment and resolve the negatives. The more you track what people are saying about you, the less likely you’ll be to go wrong. Customer retention can also be improved by offering personalised discounts, customer aftercare, and 24 hour support.

How We Prioritize at Sticker Mule

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | How We Prioritize at Sticker MuleOrganizations are the sum of their decisions. Those that prioritize well prosper and those that don’t falter. At Sticker Mule, prioritization is the most important thing we do. Our growth accelerates as we prioritized better, but there’s always room to improve.

What prioritization is not

Most literature on prioritization is terrible. It leads you to believe prioritization is about time management or how to use to-do lists. This way of thinking neglects that priorities are what make or break businesses.

Consider that Amazon started as a bookstore in 1994 and grew to $147 million within 3 years. Today they employ 500,000 people who handle $200 billion in revenue. They picked the right projects and grew at an extraordinary pace.

Other retailers had different priorities and either failed or are much smaller. Walmart could be Amazon, but they did not prioritize the Internet and now they are worth half as much.

What prioritization is

Prioritization is picking the right tasks to maximize impact. That means finding high impact tasks and avoiding low impact ones. Usually the highest impact tasks are elusive. We don’t know the highest impact projects we could pursue right now.

Prioritization might sound stressful, but it’s not. Most tasks won’t affect us. Consequently, we shouldn’t stress about the backlog of tasks we “need” to do. We need to keep our minds free to pursue high impact ideas, when they present themselves, by neglecting low impact ones.

Prioritization categories

It’s unproductive to precisely categorize every task, but it’s useful to roughly classify them in your mind. Prioritization improves with practice and thinking about these categories helps us improve.

  • Growth vs. costs – It’s generally better to use our time to grow revenue than reduce costs. Time is finite. Cash isn’t.
  • High vs. low impact – High impact is better, but completing lots of low impact tasks can be worthwhile if we complete them quickly.
  • Enduring vs. temporary – Tasks that provide enduring value are preferable to those that deliver value temporarily.
  • Definite vs. potential – It’s better to pursue improvements with definite benefits than those with potential.
  • Short vs. long term results – Quick wins are preferable, but you can build competitive advantage pursuing ideas that yield results in the long term since others tend to neglect them.
  • Related vs. unrelated tasks – Sometimes related tasks are completed more efficiently when grouped together. For this reason, we often do low impact tasks that pair well with high impact ones.
  • Estimated time to complete – All else equal, tasks that can be completed faster are preferable.

Questions

Ask yourself these questions periodically to improve your ability to prioritize:

  1. What’s the most impactful thing you can work on?
  2. Did you correctly identify the problems you are facing?
  3. Do you know the most important problem to solve next?
  4. Can you replace any planned tasks with better ones?
  5. Can you delete any especially low impact tasks entirely?

Conclusion

We aim to embed a passion for prioritization into our culture. If you think similarly and want to join our global team, we are hiring.


About the Author

Anthony Constantino is the cofounder and CEO of Sticker Mule. A factory guy at heart, Anthony oversees an operation that spans 16 countries in 4 continents with customers including Google, Facebook, Twitter and many of the world’s best brands. He’s determined to make Sticker Mule, already the Internet’s favorite printing company, the absolute best place to work and shop.