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Use these big business strategies and tips to help your business stay ahead in 2021 and beyond.
Big business may have the benefits of huge spending power, and human resources, but as small to medium businesses we can often out manoeuvre them. One thing that can help is to review and understand their reports and publication to enable us to make use of the big guys Big Data!
Here are some big business articles dealing with business growth strategies that are important in 2021.
Understanding the changing face of business strategy can help businesses not just move ahead of their competition, but stay in the lead.
The changing face of growth in 2021
“After a significant fall last year, mentions of growth increased this year to 53%, up from 40% in 2018,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “This suggests that CEOs have switched their focus back to tactical performance as clouds gather on the horizon.”
“However, we did not see CEOs intending to significantly cut costs in various business areas. They are aware of the rising economic challenges and proceeding with more caution — they are not preparing for recession,” said Mr. Raskino.
Cisco have this to say about the changing face of business (source)
“In response to changing consumer behavior, industries across the consumer marketplace must replace current technology and knowledge infrastructures, which focus on one-time interactions and fixed products, with networked systems for ongoing, evolving interaction and support.”
“From Products to Platforms to Ecosystems
Products and services are no longer experienced in silos; connectivity means that a greater number of brands can work together to deliver quality engagements, building upon each other’s digital platforms to ensure uniformity and interoperability. As experience platforms build around user lifestyles, they evolve into networked ecosystems where brands work together to deliver the most efficient or captivating customer immersion.
From Reactive to Responsive to Predictive
Consumers have come to expect that brands will engage them by reacting to their feedback, as communicated through digital and social channels. As the brand-consumer relationship evolves closer to a one-to-one relationship, brands can tailor their communications or offerings to respond to consumer wants or needs in real time, building towards a sophisticated level of understanding that preemptively adjusts
for anticipated behavior.
From Brand Transaction to Membership to Ownership
Until recently, the act of purchasing a product or experience served as the key interaction between a consumer and brand. Now, data collection tools allow consumers to synchronize brand touchpoints and act as members of a larger brand offering or ecosystem. As mobile tools drive the expediency of communication channels, consumers will have real-time feedback and decision making within their brand relationship,
creating a greater sense of ownership over their engagement.
From Input to Intelligence to Ambience
The first generation of data-collecting technologies required customers to input their information or explicitly communicate their needs, creating an extra step in the user experience and limiting the preemptive support that brands could offer. Artificial intelligence builds from consumer communication to learn regular behaviors and offload the responsibility of communication. Brands can evolve these intelligence platforms to always monitor users in the background, build profiles and engage passively.”
Kyocera have this to say about factors that are likely to inhibit growth (source):
“Factors that hinder growth
1. Not challenging your current growth strategies
One of the biggest mistakes for organisations to make in the new era of work, is to hold onto outdated growth strategies. Many previously held beliefs have been disproved – for example, that organisational change must be a lengthy process – and as such, existing strategies may no longer be appropriate for the new context.
While it may be tempting to simply tweak your current growth strategies to make them more ‘hybrid workplace-friendly’ without conducting a full review, this isn’t the most effective solution. Setting your hybrid employees up with the same tech they used at the office will not necessarily equip them with the best tools for remote productivity and collaboration.
The reality is that your customers, employees, industry, economy and business have all changed. So take the time to challenge each entrenched strategy, process and tactic to determine if it is the best method for driving growth and success in the new era of work. While some may still prove to be relevant, by avoiding assumptions, you can choose the strongest strategies to support your business’ future.
2. Taking an ad-hoc approach to improvement
Quick fixes or ad hoc approaches to improving and updating your infrastructure and processes will also hinder long-term success and growth. Instead, they will lead to more frustrations caused by stopgap systems that fail quickly, new platforms that don’t integrate well and datasets that are inaccurate and unusable.
Alternatively, fostering a continuous improvement mindset will enable you to take a more long-term approach to change, which is also more holistic as it considers how to improve your entire business, not just one part of it. A culture of continuous improvement can improve productivity in your organisation by anywhere from 20–80 percent, according to McKinsey, as well as give you a competitive edge. The changes don’t have to be large – in fact, often they’ll be small. But they are frequent and ongoing.
To create a culture of continuous improvement, you must:
- Be transparent about performance by setting public goals
- Share knowledge across teams and departments
- Involve employees to capture their front-line insights”
Strategies for growth in 2021
4 strategies from the Kyocera blog;
1. Strengthen and stabilise new systems
According to McKinsey, the immediate challenge for most businesses in 2021 is to “[build] and [institutionalise] what has been done well so far” – that is, to strengthen and stabilise the new systems you implemented in 2020 that are proving to be effective. This could mean improving your digital and omnichannel platforms, establishing virtual customer meetings as a normal offering, or solidifying your hybrid workplace set-up and policy. Whatever it is, don’t forget to assess whether it’s working before committing to it long-term.
2. Invest in the right infrastructure
Investing in new infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with stabilising your current systems. Did the shift to hybrid work lead to any gaps in your capabilities? Where do you need to replace short-term solutions with long-term ones? Can your infrastructure easily scale up to accommodate growth?
The best way to start identifying and filling your infrastructure needs is to use the Equip, Connect, Optimise methodology. This is a holistic three-step approach to investing in the right hardware, software and processes to enable your employees to be productive wherever and whenever they work.
- Equip your team with the tools they need to work anywhere, including laptops, printers and other devices.
- Connect your people with the right software to enable effective collaboration, such as cloud tools, content management systems and communication platforms.
- Optimise your processes to ensure you’re using your new technology and services to their full potential, including streamlining processes, automating tasks and training staff on new platforms.
Download our Smarter Workplaces Guide to learn more about how to implement the Equip, Connect, Optimise methodology to build an effective hybrid workplace with the right infrastructure for growth.
3. Create a culture of continuous learning
A culture of continuous learning enables organisations to upskill and reskill their employees for current and future skill gaps. This type of culture fosters open mindsets and independent thinking that encourages people to react with the speed, agility and flexibility needed to seize business growth and market opportunities.
The growth benefits of continuous learning are obvious – businesses are 46 percent more likely to be first to market, 37 percent more productive and 92 percent more likely to innovate.
The Harvard Business Review recommends four steps to establish a culture of continuous learning:
- Reward continuous learning
- Give meaningful and constructive feedback
- Lead by example
- Hire curious people
4. Prioritise sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions
Sustainable business practices have been on the rise for a number of years thanks to the many commercial benefits they offer in addition to their environmental impact, from increased productivity and better workplace culture to improved retention, reputation and cost-savings. For growth-oriented businesses, sustainable and environmentally friendly products, services and processes are likely to be a key feature of successful companies over the coming decades.
McKinsey reports that many governments are using the recent disruption to improve their environmental policies and outcomes. And as investors and customers are increasingly concerned with sustainability, businesses must look for “green growth opportunities” to drive their business forward.
Cisco list these tips as key factors for success for retail
- Use status and meaningful rewards to recognize customers for their contributions and build long-term brand investment; personalize the retail experience to every customer by allowing shoppers to log into the store when they visit.
- Leverage real-time customer insights to inform R&D, supply chain and production cycles, ensuring a more nimble response to shifts in the marketplace.
- Encourage customers to share their feedback and expertise as part of the product development process.
- Allow audiences, particularly influencers, to promote curated ecosystems of products that help others understand the full brand experience.
- Identify areas where it is appropriate to invite consumers into the creation process and provide them with the necessary tools to personalize their products on a 1:1 level.
- Consider how personal data and biometric feedback can evolve what it means to personalize a product.