[tweetmeme]Excitement is in the air, the New Year is here. It’s time to put your theories to test, your ideas on paper, and your plans to action. How did 2010 work out for you? Were you able to achieve your business goals and sail through the turbulent times? It’s that time of the year, when you plan ahead and make your business expectations come to life.
Building a totally HOSTED work environment:
Everything is online today. Most of the essential software for small businesses are available in hosted environment as software as a service. Your small business can become truly paperless with hosted solutions for all major business activities like sales management, customer relationship management, HR management, IT management, online collaboration, and many other industry specific solutions. This also helps your globally distributed teams to work seamlessly together on the same platform anytime, and from anywhere. Hosted tools help your small business operate just like big businesses with latest features, but at a much lower cost. Perhaps, that is why Google has launched Chrome Notebook, Cr-48, which is a purely browser based notebook.
Reach the grass roots with SOCIAL MEDIA and build an ONLINE REPUTATION:
Declaring your presence and doing it with panache are two different things. Online social media is the best and also the cheapest means to stamp your presence. The objective is to stay on top of your customers’ minds and constantly be under their preview. And if you are able to build a solid online reputation by tapping the power of online media then you are undoubtedly heading in the right direction. Build a social media strategy for 2011, and if you are a little unsure about how to utilize the various platforms; get professional help, but do invest your time in this activity or you will stay far behind in the race. Many small businesses that have used social media to their advantage now swear by its effectiveness in reaching and engaging new prospects and existing customers.
Traditional outsourcing is out, RIGHT SHORE outsourcing is in:
Did you try outsourcing your business activities, didn’t see the expected results, and decided that outsourcing is not meant for your business? Think again. Traditional way of outsourcing created a lot of problems in terms of end-client satisfaction. Today, Right Shore outsourcing is the buzz word. A unique concept introduced by MyBusinessAssistant, Right Shore outsourcing finds the optimum mix of jobs performed locally and at foreign locations to save outsourcing costs and attain peak efficiency levels. Just imagine an outsourcing strategy, where your calls get answered from a near shore location (so that you don’t have to worry about the cultural divide), your back office work gets done from an offshore location, and your marketing is handled locally – and you get all this through a single vendor. With distributed teams at most suitable global locations, Right Shore outsourcing approach combines all the benefits of traditional outsourcing and gives you a hassle-free way to manage your business cost-effectively and proficiently.
Collect the pieces and CENTRALIZE:
If you are fan of outsourcing, you might have ended up doing it for a variety of your back-office tasks. But managing multiple vendors as your business grows is a huge challenge in itself and sooner or later, you will see the disadvantages through lack of communication between the teams, work getting done out of sync, and need for multiple briefings to get a single job done. Small businesses, striving to grow big, must centralize their operations. Handling many strings from one hand will only tangle your puppets. Businesses that have centralized their back offices have seen over 40% reductions in costs. In an age where 64% of small businesses in the US are finding it more and more difficult to manage their company’s cash flow (Forbes Insights), reducing costs and improving productivity could prove crucial in the company’s existence in the long-run.
Be wise, VIRTUALIZE:
Almost all business activities can be virtualized to a great extent. For instance, your sales team can be at three different locations, the executive team can be at two different locations, the team managing accounting and payroll could be in a different country altogether, and still your company can operate efficiently and effectively. You will have a single central office, but your workforce would be distributed – working from home and collaborating virtually through various online tools. Building an office and expecting all your employees to work from 9 to 5, will only put a glass ceiling on your business growth. Virtualization is the way to go in 2011 and it has been made easier with loads of affordable tools and hosted technologies so that you can work with an even greater level of efficiency and dedication in a virtual environment.
Last but not the least; take steps to build a business that makes the environment smile. By going green and implementing environmentally friendly technology, you would not only get more brownie points from the Government and other funding agencies but you would also be able to reduce your costs, help the environment, and comply with government regulations. You would be able to create a brand image of responsibility and appeal to environmentally conscious prospects.
The end note: Running a business is not what it used to be as the playing field is in a constant flux. It comes with a lot more challenges and many more advanced solutions to combat those challenges, but staying on top requires change. It’s time to get ready to continuously transform your business. Are you ready?