In today’s world, businesses enter a harsh arena every day. The challenges that face owners are staggering and constantly changing. So how do you stay competitive while keeping your employees and your customers in focus? Here are four simple things to keep in mind for running a 21st Century business.
- The Wide Angle Lens
When it comes to business, it’s easy to get too focused on minute details. Everything seems important. It shows your commitment and your passion, but it can also lead to some shortsighted decisions. This is made all the more complicated if you have clients or customers in the picture making even more demands on your time and attention.
The key is to make sure that you’re occasionally taking a step (or three) back to look at the entire picture. Often this means hiring the right managers. Having the opportunity to keep track of how the many pieces of your business work together is essential.
- Apply Technology; Don’t Rely on Technology
This ability to see how systems actually affect each other is critical when it comes to Information Technology. These days, too many businesses think that buying a new platform or productivity suite or cloud-based database is going to make all of the difference. It’s a natural temptation and in some cases it can boost your output.
Here’s the problem with technology: without the right workforce matchup, it’s a tool without a user. Always build IT systems and additions off of your core needs regarding your employees or your customers. If there isn’t a clear problem your tech is solving, it may not be the right tech.
- Find the Simple Balance
So what is the right tech? With new options coming out every day, the right tech threads the needle between smart complexity and elegant simplicity. More than ever before, businesses are in the driver’s seat of function. Open source programs like Google’s or adaptive platforms like Office 365 give tremendous control to how that technology gets tailored and used.
The main thing to avoid is overcomplicating your infrastructure. Make sure that as you’re adding that much-needed functionality, it isn’t bloated or needlessly tangled with a host of new procedures.
- Don’t Forget the Old School
Lastly, in a world that is obsessed with technology and moving faster and with greater efficiency, be sure not to lose sight of the old ways. It’s true that analytics can cut down the time it takes to find a qualified applicant or new customer preferences, but the human side is what will make the difference. Don’t rely solely on testing for the same reason you wouldn’t hire someone sight unseen because they have a diploma. Make sure what you add works on a human level as well as a big data level.