Keeping your business thriving means making it the best it can be. But what does it mean to be the best? Being the best means optimizing every business process to accomplish more with less. It also means staying on top of the latest advancements that can boost your operational efficiency. Here are six ways to optimize your online business.
1. Leverage Cloud Computing
Many, if not most, users engage with cloud computing at some point. For the average person or company, “cloud computing” means using cloud storage to back up data. The cloud, however, has also made a vast array of automated tools available for business process automation (BPA). Payroll and sales departments use timesheets and project management apps all the time. Even the insurance industry uses insurtech solutions like AI-managed quoting. Take stock of the tools available for building your unique tech infrastructure.
2. Resist Multitasking
With all the options available to owners and managers, it’s tempting to take on every task at once. It’s time to become adept at the art of delegation. In a paper entitled “Supertaskers: Profiles in extraordinary multitasking ability,” scientists found that only 2.5% of individuals can pull off multiple simultaneous tasks effectively. If anyone who works for you can do a task reasonably well, you should consider giving it to them. Tackling too many things at once is a recipe for a slowdown.
3. Avoid Data Silos
Another source of inefficiency is the dreaded data silo. Data silos happen when information repositories run by one department becomes isolated from other departments. When this happens, the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. Incompatibility in data sets often exacerbates the problem. Data silos mostly manifest in large companies where various departments have their own tech budgets and agendas. Even so, a silo can happen whenever interdepartmental communication starts to lag. Avoid standalone systems, and get everyone on the same page.
4. Establish Analytical Parameters
In other words, what does success mean for your business? Many entrepreneurs lose sight of what their goals are. Optimization means having goals that are both formal and testable. Examine your long-term and short-term goals and how they relate. Use research to uncover vital performance indicators, then learn to differentiate between the ones that matter and those that only appear to be important. Business analytics software can aid this process of self-discovery by crunching numbers faster than the human mind can. In the end, though, analytics is only ever as effective as implementation. That part is up to you.
5. Emphasize Flexibility in Operations
Markets are constantly shifting, meaning sometimes even the best-laid plans will go awry. A common impediment to flexibility is a lack of staff training. The more comfortable and focused people are in their positions, the better able they will be to adapt to new situations. Consider adopting a flatter organizational structure that decentralizes authority and responsibility. The ability to shift priorities based on need is likewise critical. Never become so attached to a project that you hang on when the feasibility changes. Adapting your mindset to the market is the key to agility.
6. Know Your Market
Even the most advanced companies tend to neglect market research. It’s easy to see the fallout of this poor decision. Cultures and demands shift, leaving companies scrambling to modify their offerings. Social media offers a powerful research tool. Moderated comments sections can provide excellent feedback and become a channel for sending surveys. Focus group studies can be performed online and serve as a community-building forum.
Don’t neglect more quantitative methods, though. Keep an eye on demographic shifts and changes in consumer attitude. Polling data focused on your niche market can be a goldmine in for generating new ideas
The internet is a lucrative place to do business. New tools are coming online that can make companies more efficient and prosperous. Use these strategies to make the most of your digital corporate infrastructure.