Your Business Will Fail – Unless You Do This

Jenna Trott

5 min read | July 16th, 2022

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The same way that tides change and seasons change, businesses do too. Once upon a time, there was a saying in business that “the big eat the small;” it was all about location, size, and connections. Today, it’s no longer the bigger companies who are winning, it’s the businesses that are able to adapt quickly and innovate with speed. Those who are unable to pivot abruptly and work smarter? Well, those businesses are more likely to fail. In fact 96% of businesses will fail within 10 years of starting. And for the remaining 4%? It doesn’t mean they’ve succeeded – just that they’ve survived. In this article, we’ll go over business best practices that will not only help you to not stay afloat, but to thrive.

What Are Best Practices, Why Are They Important?

Business best practices can be a lot of things, but at its core, they’re a set of guiding principles for your business. For example, if you’re trying to grow your business, management would outline the best courses of action to achieve that. In the case of business longevity and success, consider implementing these principles to future-proof your company.

Focus on Yourself

Don’t worry yourself with what your competition is doing.

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right! While it’s important to be aware of what others in the industry are doing, you don’t want it to be all consuming. After all, your goal isn’t to match your competitor move for move; doing so will only ensure that you’re on their level, but never surpass them. Consider what they’re doing but act upon your company’s best interests. Your goal should never be to become second-best at someone else’s vision – define your goals and work toward that.

Trend Immersion

The notion of “going against the grain” has become a popularized concept, especially in business. And while originality is important, it’s critical that you do not set yourself so far apart that you become oblivious to key trends around you. Blogs, videos, guides and posts trend for a reason: there’s something that resonated with the audience. Businesses that succeed, are the businesses that capitalize on that. For example, Wordle is blowing up on social media and business platforms; everyone is using it, talking about using it, or talking about how much they hate it. Consider your own business and determine how you can fit the trend cycles while promoting your products or services.

Recognize and Challenge Old Assumptions

A significant part of growth comes from the ability to recognize innate beliefs that we hold to be “true” and question them. Just because we’ve done something the same way for 10 years, doesn’t mean we should continue doing it that way! Challenge yourself to see profitable opportunities from observations about what others are doing as their standard. For example, reframe problems to find new solutions using the following guideline:

Users currently ____________ (observation about common trend), yet _______________ (pain point experienced). We can change this by ________________ (insert opportunity).

Example: Users currently manually enter data and information, yet they experience inaccurate reporting. We can change this by automating data updates to ensure accurate reporting.

The Same, But Different

What have other businesses done that made them successful? Find inspiration from classic success stories like Netflix, Amazon or Slack. Even if at first glance there doesn’t appear to be industry or characteristic similarities, you may find powerful examples of innovation that you could apply to your own business practices. Let’s consider IBM. In 1984 they were the undisputed powerhouse of the computing world, but when cheaper computers began flooding the market, it nearly ended in IBM’s demise. By 1993, IBM posted the then-biggest loss in the history of corporate America — $8 billion. Thus, they were faced with a choice – they had to innovate quickly or they would close their doors forever. The company that made a name for itself building and selling low-margin PCs proceeded to abandon the heart of its business model to instead provide IT expertise and computing services to businesses. The next few years would lead to IBM acquiring more than 200 companies in the IT services sector and unprecedented success. IBM became a case study in business schools as a model of corporate evolution in the internet age. When looking at your own business, consider what is working and what’s not. What can you do differently? Should you try reinventing areas of work? Sometimes the answers to success are not obvious, but looking to other use cases can lead to powerful transformations.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Whether you’re a new business just beginning to dip your toes into an industry or have been in the marketplace for many, many, years, your business should never do things the same way for long periods of time. There are so many factors outside of your control that can negatively affect the company’s profitability and growth rate. Similarly, customers, competitors and the state of the economy are individually unpredictable, making what was once a successful method of business, now futile. Instead of pushing for old methods to work again, accept what you can’t change and try something new. Experiment with different techniques, because even if it doesn’t work for your company, you have more clarity about what direction to go in. After all, it was after thousands of lightbulb failures that Thomas Edison’s assistant noted the lack of results, to which Edison replied: “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!”

Disrupt Data

What is data disruption? Why is it important?

Data disruption refers to a product or service becoming popularized to the point where it displaces or completely replaces an existing product or service. Think Netflix. Once upon a time we would hit up a local Blockbuster or a Redbox kiosk to stock up on movies for the weekend. But with the emergence of Netflix’s internet streaming capabilities in 2007, users could watch any movie they wanted without leaving the comfort of their home. Suddenly, physical video rental stores began to slowly disappear and other streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Streaming started popping up like rapid fire. This is a classic example of businesses implementing a low-cost, more convenient alternative to more conventional consumerism which ultimately changed the world of entertainment forever.

The lesson here? Data disruption is a way for businesses to capitalize on innovation. This disruption leads to radical change and allows untapped alternatives to become widely available. Even if you’re not the company to do the disrupting, it’s important to pay attention so you can ride the wave of benefits.

Disruptive Data Trends You Should Know About

For the past few months, AGG has been closely monitoring data trends – here are some of the most disruptive to keep on your radar in 2022:

AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI), has been around for the past 60 years. So while it’s not a new concept, it’s definitely one to keep an eye out for. Artificial intelligence is the ability for computer systems to perform tasks that had previously required a human understanding. In the past few years alone, AI has begun to revolutionize industries at unprecedented speeds. From journalism to healthcare, and even our nation’s military, AI is transforming the way humans interact with the world. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global artificial intelligence (AI) market size is projected to reach USD 1394.30 billion in 2029, at a CAGR of 20.1% during the forecast period (2022-2029).

Benefits of AI:

  • 81% of employees believe that AI improves their overall performance at work
  • 89% of employees believe that AI could help support them in up to half of their workload
  • 61% of employees say that AI improves their day to day productivity
  • 43% of employees have a better understanding of data patterns thanks to AI

Predictive Analytics

Tap into the power that is predictive analytics. What is it? It involves using data, machine learning and statistical algorithms to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. In a nutshell, it helps to take the guesswork out of what could happen to know future events concretely. This is especially important for businesses because it helps to uncover best practices to achieve more reliable results. Other benefits include:

  • Enables employees to analyze large amounts of data quickly and easily
  • When used in finance and insurance sectors, it helps to reduce organization risk
  • Optimizes decision making and validates the next best action backed by accurate information
  • Predictive analytics initiatives show a median ROI of 145%, in comparison to non-predictive business intelligence initiatives’ median ROI of 89%

Source.

Blockchains

At its core, blockchain is a shared, unchangeable log that facilitates the process of recording and tracking transactions and assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible, like a house, a car, cash, etc., or intangible like intellectual property, branding or copyrights. Why does this matter for business? Well, research reveals that 98% of financial service experts believe that blockchain has achieved mainstream adoption; and they’re not too far off with a projected growth rate of 85.9% between 2022 and 2030.

Benefits of Blockchain:

  • Will boost global GDP by $1.76 trillion by 2030
  • Is forecasted to generate over $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030
  • Enables financial traceability by easily managing digital currency, asset tracking and management, and digital identification
  • FSI innovators believe it to be a highly scalable solution

Source.

Digital Customer Service

Prior to the pandemic, end to end digital transformations were occurring, but at a much slower rate than today. In fact, digital solutions are being adopted 25 times faster than before COVID-19, with many companies completely reinventing their business strategy to include digitization. Further, it is projected that 80% of customer interactions could move to digital formats in the very near future. This change is one that’s already begun to take effect as more online chats and video capabilities become widely available. With 76% of surveyed clients expecting to engage with someone immediately when contacting a company’s customer support team, businesses must consider how this will play into changing customer expectations and how they can continue to satisfy.

Benefits of Digital Customer Service:

  • Enable agents to help a larger number of customers in a shorter period of time
  • Create more personalized experiences via online data
  • Make support more accessible
  • Improve team productivity

Source.

Salesforce Solutions That Can Help

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