By Andrew Gazdecki
The Pareto Principle dictates that 80% of outcomes generally come from 20% of resources. Though supposedly applicable to many different phenomena (such as nature, biology and evolution) this ‘80/20 rule’ is often applied in business and economic contexts. It must be striking, then, when sources report that 80% of businesses fail within their first 18 months, while only 20% thrive on.
But the landscape of modern entrepreneurship is shifting dramatically, and new technology is empowering new startup business prospects. How the business community adapts to the sudden sea changes that are occurring in electronic commerce remains to be seen. But whatever happens, there are rules to live by if you expect your business to experience any growth in 2016.
Prioritization is always a good place to start if you have a moment to take the time and re-assess what your business is, whom your business serves, and what your business goals are. This often requires distilling all of your goals down to one main goal, breaking down what it will take to achieve it, then arranging all subtasks in such a way that makes them manageable.
Bookkeeping is essential to keeping good records of your business’ activity and finances. In this digital age, good bookkeeping largely means consolidating your data and backing up everything to a centralized database. There are many different bookkeeping apps that can help you do this, as well as cloud-based services that help you sync apps and digital assets with one another.
Keeping track of all income and expenditures can be incredibly tedious, which is why it’s important to implement a system that keeps inventory of all transactions early on, or integrate into an existing system if need be. And in this day and age, a system like that can be accessed (or created and sold) in mobile format. Always know your resources – always know what you have and what is available to you.
Stay informed about other businesses and market trends. See what’s out there, and know where to look for information. There are plenty of credible sources available online for researching trends in technology and in the broader marketplace. Anticipate growth opportunity by monitoring new technology and its possibilities within a business context.
As sole proprietorship becomes increasingly simplified, so also does collaboration. Telecommunications technology empowers businesses with enhanced remote interfacing, which can in turn simplify the process of onboarding, training and managing talent.
Perhaps instead of expansion, your business needs a little self-reflection. If you find inefficiencies in how work has been done, maybe it isn’t because more human resources are needed – maybe the issue can be resolved through technology. Having extra hands around definitely can help, but we are entering an age of automation, which may present cost efficient alternatives to staff onboarding.
Once you figure out where you are in the marketplace, you then gain perspective in terms of where you can go and what you can do from there. Whether it’s sourcing new talent or new tools, the successful business must integrate with emerging technology in order to successfully adapt. This requires engagement in the digital community, with an inclination toward mobile applications.
8) Online Presence
Every business needs an online presence nowadays, and while the rules of social media engagement can change rapidly, it serves a business well to have accounts over at least a few different platforms. Which of these platforms is best depends on the nature of your business and the services it provides. A photography business, for example, might do well on Flickr and Instagram, while a business consultant may do well on LinkedIn and YouTube. Web design has also become streamlined by way of app builders and content management systems.
Public engagement is critical to building and growing your brand. New electronic media enable businesses to reach out to customers in a myriad of ways – such as email newsletters and mobile push notifications. Although these methods sound intrusive, they are quite effective marketing.
A firm presence in the mobile sphere is necessary for the modern business.
Mobile devices are guiding users, as well as entrepreneurs and startups, into a new age of telecommunication and commerce. The new marketplace is rapidly spilling into the mobile space, and a good mobile strategy is essential to small business growth in 2016.