Some small business owners have been slow to realize many of the practices they were schooled on by the past generation are no longer viable in the age of the Internet. Often the difference between making it and breaking it as an independent business is by employing lean modern methods to limit the needless overhead that can drag you down.
If you are interested in making your business more agile to compete in the modern marketplace, consider these three areas where additional flexibility can be found.
Take to the Cloud
If you only trust that which you can see or touch, then your business view is antiquated. By demystifying what cloud computing really is — a system in which an individual or group stores and accesses data and software online from a remote location — you can inject agility into your operation overnight.
Cloud not only relieves the cost and complications of implementing and maintaining internal infrastructure such as servers and storage systems, it also provides the flexibility of having access to your software and data from anywhere, anytime. That reduces waste and the need for physical space while improving continuity.
Keep Things Moving with Mobile
Mobile access and applications make powerful allies when increased agility is the goal. An extension of cloud, mobile apps allow a business owner to do everything from the convenience of a smartphone, from monitoring inventory and tracking shipments to accepting credit card payments and communicating with clients around the world.
While you may still get a kick out of looking over your employees shoulders as they grind away in their cubicles, mobile allows business owners to hire talent from remote locations and increases productivity for current employees as they stay in “virtual” contact from home or on the road.
Be a Social Butterfly
One thing that has truly leveled the playing field for small businesses in the 21stcentury is the rise of social media marketing. Not only is it a less expensive method to gaining exposure for your business than traditional advertising, it’s also proven more sustainable over the long haul.
Once in place, a full-scale campaign effectively markets your business 24 hours a day and can be primarily administrated through staff produced content. Whether you are providing law services or selling car flags, with minimal infrastructure you can compete globally with the big guys for a nearly unlimited online client pool.
Certain business fundamentals will never change, but how you achieve them must if you want to keep pace with the competition. By embracing concepts like cloud computing, mobile applications, and social media marketing, you’ll be able to capitalize on the agility that will help your small businesses thrive.