by Author and Entrepreneur, Derek Goodman, Creator/Owner of Inbizability
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Financial setbacks are a likely occurrence in any entrepreneurial journey but, with the right tools, it’s possible to sustain and even to grow through hardship. Small business owners take note – a better balance sheet could be right around the corner.
Taking your business online is about more than staying current, it’s an important cost-reduction strategy. Recent estimates by Nasdaq.com found that, by 2040, 95 percent of purchases will be made through eCommerce. Further studies found that digitalization can reduce business costs by up to 90 percent.
Depending on your individual circumstances, this transition can take on several appearances. Most businesses, for example, benefit from organisational help with the use of CRM, HR, communication and accounting software.
The sheer quantity of options can be daunting but the right one can completely transform your workflow. Payroll and accounting software like QuickBooks, for example, will allow you to schedule and calculate payments automatically for employees. This reduces strain on HR and finance teams and allows for smoother tax filing, same-day direct deposits and clarity when it comes to employee benefits. It will also give a clearer insight into important metrics, such as ‘employee disengagement’ – a hidden outlay estimated to cost American businesses up to $350 billion annually in lost productivity, per DecisionWise.
Diversify Product Line
For small businesses, it’s easy to become reliant on a single product and, therefore, a linear stream of income. This habit often puts entrepreneurs and small business owners at risk of a free fall if an important client drops out, a distributor fails, or if there are problems with your manufacturer. To create a more reliable business model, it’s crucial to expand your product range.
The process of diversification is often considered a risky one but, with a little conventional wisdom, managers can take steps to ensure their new developments are successful. When building products, you should apply the same process of elimination as when you first started out. Does the product utilize the skills of your team appropriately? Are you addressing a legitimate market need? And would it assimilate into existing work structures, rather than live outside of them?
Consider, also, that diversification is often a necessary step towards finding new specializations. Royal Dutch Shell began life as an actual antique shell shop, would you believe. Through adaptation, many businesses find themselves profiting in new markets and even rewriting their mission statement. If you can stay agile, you can capitalize on opportunities and broaden the ambitions of your company.
Recent studies attest, once again, to the importance of networking. It’s believed that the close rate for face-to-face meetings is 40 percent, compared to 16 percent for indirect meetings. Furthermore, 80 percent of professionals consider networking vital to their career success. An obvious but overlooked point here is that utilizing (not just building) business relationships is a part of networking. When times are tough, it may be worth drawing upon your connections to keep things afloat.
It’s also important to recognize that the way we interact with peers has changed drastically over the last decade. For modern networkers, there is now more interaction taking place over social media than in person or over the phone. Platforms such as LinkedIn, have developed into healthy business ecosystems of their own right – an essential space for any entrepreneur looking to tap into the full market potential. Consider, on LinkedIn’s network alone, there are now over 61 million senior-level influencers and 55 million companies. With this in mind, you should aim to engage both online and physically, understanding the advantages of both.
For any business owner navigating out of financial difficulty, it’s crucial to remain steadfast in your goals. By leaning on the right tech, strategizing well, and calling upon connections, it’s possible to take back the reins and move your company forward with renewed stability.
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Author, Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He’s always wanted to create his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site Inbizability, to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later.