The new year invites you to reflect on old practices, abandoning those that no longer serve your purposes and embracing those that bring the changes you seek. What daily procedures add unnecessary stress and “fat” to your operations, and which can propel your organization to the next level?
Every enterprise is different, requiring leaders to spend time in mindfulness. They must examine where they want their organization to go and the best path for getting there, keeping in mind current societal trends and realities such as a changing climate.
Savvy business leaders draw inspiration from Taoist wu wei principles, meeting the demands of the world as it is instead of fighting like salmon swimming upstream in a futile attempt to change the course of unyielding tides. Embracing these principles entails a seismic mindset shift from the western philosophy of “the hardest path brings the most rewards.” Still, it can result in greater success and happiness among your team. How? Here are four tips to level up your business in 2023.
1. Take Maximum Advantage of Technology Solutions
Technology changes for the average person in the blink of an eye. It moves even more quickly in the business world as profit-driven economic models demand innovations for large organizations able to pay the price. The result? A world of apps and programs for streamlining your daily operations while maximizing profits.
Today’s AI goes far beyond keeping your company running on schedule. It can map your retail stores, advising you of the optimal product placement for maximizing sales. Builders can use virtual reality in construction project planning, but this isn’t the only application of such software. It also enables you to immerse clients in an interactive experience to highlight the benefits of your services.
Even the humble business card has evolved. As the world goes paperless, more organizations employ an electronic version that immediately stores your contact information in a prospective client’s cellphone, ensuring you’re only a click away when they need you.
What other solutions should you consider? Here are four ways technology solutions can help you level up your business in 2023:
- Smart contracts: Does it seem like every legal contract covers the same territory? Smart contracts keep the essential language intact for legal compliance while allowing you to customize terms for specific clientele.
- Advanced positioning technology: Keep track of where your packages are in transit. Instead of providing customers with rough delivery estimates, you can pinpoint their product’s arrival and tell them where it is in the supply chain at any given time.
- Cloud technology: These solutions allow diverse teams to connect over broad geographic areas while keeping your information secure. They also minimize downtime due to inoperable devices.
- Blockchain technology: A blockchain is a decentralized ledger for recording transactions. While the financial applications are obvious, this technology also plays crucial roles in health care when protecting patient information and ensuring continuity of care.
2. Keep the Human Element First and Foremost
The COVID-19 pandemic gave birth to the Great Reset, and businesses and individuals are still struggling to integrate their daily routines and operations into this new reality. While the media abounds with stories of conflicts between C-suite executives and their workforce, they ignore the opportunity inherent in this moment to redefine the business world and make it more human and sustainable.
Lee Iacocca said years ago that business is, after all, nothing more than a bunch of human relationships. However, many leaders need to pay more attention to the one they have with their staff. For example, multiple companies have seen top talent flee after issuing seemingly arbitrary “return to the office” orders amid soaring profits when their workforce is happier and more productive from home.
Before issuing such edicts, mindfully reflect on what you hope to accomplish. Is it increased collaboration? If so, could you meet that objective by offering a more flexible hybrid schedule? Decrease expenses by exchanging pricy single-use downtown real estate and instead investing in less costly co-working spaces for occasional meetings.
If your only objective is to exercise more power and control over your staff, reflect carefully on that decision. Why make more unnecessary work for yourself if the numbers show remote performance offers equivalent productivity, especially if it results in top talent leaving for less capricious shores? You could be killing the proverbial golden-egg-laying goose. Reality shows the following benefits of remote and hybrid work:
- Fewer commuters: Resulting in fewer emissions and less stress from battling traffic.
- Improved productivity: While study numbers vary, most show a significant increase in overall productivity when employees choose their workspace.
- Decreased sick days: Telecommuting allows workers to perform on those days when they can handle light desk duty but don’t want to infect the entire office.
- Fewer costs: Pricy lease agreements aside, it’s far less expensive for businesses to allow telecommuting. It costs money to secure the premises and run the lights and heat beyond rent.
3. Embrace Environmental Responsibility
The evidence for climate change is evident everywhere in changing weather patterns. These disruptions will only grow more severe if people fail to take action now, costing businesses untold thousands in reparation costs in coming years and taking an unimaginable toll in terms of human suffering.
Furthermore, embracing sustainable efforts can drive profits. Several recent studies indicate consumers will pay more for eco-friendliness. They also prefer to do business with companies that share their values, such as environmental consciousness and corporate responsibility.
What can you do to green your organization? Much depends on your budget and objectives, but these ideas can help you defray costs while improving your environmental footprint:
- Use local suppliers: Build your reputation with other business leaders in your community while reducing shipping costs and the resulting emissions from transport.
- Go paperless: Digital signage reduces the need for printing, and email or collaboration apps can replace old-fashioned memos, improving data security while reducing waste.
- Make environmental upgrades: Is it time for a new building? Consider LEED-certified builders to make your new structure comply with the highest environmental standards. Putting in parking? A covered lot with solar panels lets electric vehicle owners charge their rides while at work, keeps customers cooler and provides surplus green energy to the grid.
- Set up green initiatives: You can increase community visibility by participating in local cleanups or sponsoring such efforts.
4. Interact With Your Customers
The final tip to level up your business in 2023 is perhaps the easiest — ask your customers what they want. This simple task alone can propel your name above and beyond the rest in a world where many products don’t even come with instructions anymore, let alone a dedicated customer service line where confused buyers can get support.
How can your customers reach you? Make it clear how they can get in touch by providing this information on product packaging and your company website. Consider contracting with a third-party organization to provide telephone and chat support.
Finally, use algorithms to your advantage. It’s a snap to add “like/dislike” buttons or include electronic feedback forms that generate reports enabling you to judge the popularity of various offerings.