Starting your own business is one of the most challenging tasks that most people will ever undertake. It’s a fairly popular route to take as well, considering that even last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for new businesses rose to a 13-year high. Of course, if you’ve gone through with starting your own small business, then you know getting the business off the ground is just the first step in a never-ending process. Maintaining and expanding a business are different beasts altogether.
Two of the best ways that you can give your business the best chance at success in the future are to cut costs where it makes sense to do so and embrace technology whenever you can. Every modern business relies on the internet and big data, and digital transformation is imperative for any business that wants to secure profits in the long term. Here are just four of the smartest things you can do to start improving your business right away.
1. Shop around to ensure property titles.
It’s true that many businesses today exist purely as online stores, but if you have a physical retail store as well, you need to be smart about your real estate. Let’s say you’re planning to expand your business to a new location. You’ll need an owner’s policy for the property to protect your investments and your rights. While you could go through any title agency to get this taken care of, you really should consider the benefit of an independent title company.
The main advantage of an independent title company is that it’s free from a joint venture with other title companies or real estate settlement agencies—in other words, there’s no conflict of interest. You’ll also have the advantage of working with a local team who you can get to know personally throughout your real estate transactions and who will do their absolute best when scouting titles for your physical store.
While you’re at it, if you haven’t already, you might want to look into some additional business insurance policies as well. You’ll most likely already have workers’ compensation and general liability covered, but it never hurts to get insurance for income protection, data breaches, or other threats as well.
2. Use the internet to monitor for physical threats.
Speaking of threats to business, when you search for attacks on business these days, all the headlines are about hackers and cybersecurity. While these are real priorities, you can’t afford to discount physical threats to your business, such as vandalism, thievery, or physical attacks on your employees or building. You should have a security team and security cameras to dissuade these kinds of threats, but what if you could identify them before they even have a chance to occur?
That’s exactly what the LifeRaft solution at liferaftinc.com is all about. The Navigator digital threat intelligence platform is able to automatically scour the internet for physical threats against your business, which frees up your security team for other tasks. It’s able to search open web sources like social media, forum posts, blogs, and even the dark web and give you real-time alerts on any threatening posts. This lets you formulate a response in advance to any security risks.
3. Let retail analytics software improve your supply chain.
Inventory management can be one of the most difficult tasks for any business to get right. Having an incomplete picture of your inventory can be disastrous when customer demand soars, and it’s made worse if you’re still relying on manual processes. Fortunately, you don’t need to struggle with your inventory anymore. With top rated retail analytics software, you’ll be able to make accurate inventory forecasts and optimize your planning to boost sales even further.
With reliable analytics, you’ll be able to integrate data between your point of sale (POS) system and your inventory management software, so you’ll always have up-to-date insights on how much inventory you have left and exactly when you’ll need to order more. If you’re unsure of how to customize your own solution at first, the best practices toolkit will let you pick from the most popular retail analytics solutions, so you can see how it all works. You can also have custom reports made and delivered to you whenever you need them.
4. Improve the customer experience with CRM.
Ultimately, your greatest resource is your customers, and customer retention is always easier than trying to bring in new ones. This is why a customer relationship management system is so important for telecommunications. Your call center is the first point of contact many potential customers will have with your business, and existing customers will frequently reach out to your agents for support. They need to have the best tools available to ensure optimum customer service.
Customers are used to convenience and immediate service, so you need to provide a way for them to contact customer support through digital means in addition to voice calls. The best CRM systems will even allow customers to seamlessly switch between communication channels, all while maintaining contact with the same agent. This is the ultimate in convenience, and it makes for a positive and memorable customer journey. When it comes down to it, offering exceptional service may be the deciding factor in your favor over your competitors.