No matter how successful your business is currently, you can’t anticipate every hurdle that may arise. Your best bet is to prepare, as far as possible, for the future by putting all the necessary checks in place. Here are 10 steps to help you on your way.
This refers to both physical and online security. You don’t want all your capital lost with a break-in so make sure you have the right security features in place and insurance as back-up. With regards to your data, make sure you have all the required security systems to prevent loss of vital information through viruses, hacking or an ill-timed computer crash. And ensure all information is backed up for future use.
2. Correct telecommunications systems
Despite the increase in communication avenues, the telephone is still the primary form of business communication. The simplest way to promote a professional image with telecommunications while ensuring no customer is left cut off and incapable of reaching you is the use of Hosted PBX systems. This user-friendly telecommunications’ device has several features such as voicemail, directories and mobile capacity, all of which are set to remain in constant need in the business world. Make sure to speak to the right telecommunications partner for a solution that suits your business and pocket.
3. Start a business blog
Setting up a website is essential for business success these days but that isn’t enough. In order to constantly direct new customers to your site, a business blog with user-friendly content, posted on a regular basis, is also a vital tool. Make sure there are no errors and the content is relevant as this is a direct reflection on your company.
Read more about telecommunications trends for 2017.
4. Follow marketing trends
Where placing an advert in the newspaper used to be sufficient as a business marketing tool, the way to market your business has changed rapidly the past two decades. Although there is still a place for newspaper advertising, your presence online is imperative for a more widespread reach, particularly to a younger market. Depending on your business, there are various marketing options from lanyards and wristbands to car decals and skywriting. You just need to find what will work for you.
5. Learn your industry
In addition to following marketing trends, you need to keep in touch with everything that is happening in your industry. Is there new technology on the market? Are certain brands selling better than others? You need to be on top of this otherwise you will quickly get overtaken by more insightful business owners.
6. Use new technology
Learning new software can be somewhat daunting but if it means saving you time, as well as the smoother running of your business, then invest. And, these days, there is an app for everything. Use this technology to your advantage as it’s designed to make life easier.
7. Create an employee handbook
It’s difficult to enforce policies on people who have been working at an organisation for some time, it’s much easier to instil company guidelines from the get-go. Take some time to outline your organisation’s policies – making sure they’re in line with all necessary laws – and ensure give every staff member a copy.
8. Update your business plan
Every start-up needs a business plan but this will quickly become outdated. Review your business plan on a regular basis and make amendments where necessary while staying true to your original vision. This will assist your business growth while also satisfying investors and clients.
9. Employee and self-growth
There is always room for improvement so ensure you, and relevant staff members, are constantly learning new skills through training courses and programmes. Nobody wants to join an organisation and stagnate, so keep challenging your workforce – and yourself – to keep ahead of the game.
10. Create a work culture
Decide exactly what sort of company culture you want at your business because if this isn’t outlined at first, the culture will naturally evolve and might not be what you envisioned. Do you want a structured environment or a more casual workplace? Whatever culture you opt for, it’s likely that like-minded individuals will be attracted to your organisation.
These 10 tips to prepare your business for the future are brought to you by ECN. ECN is a leading telecommunications partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading voice solutions provide our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.