We have officially launched into 2018! With a fresh chapter comes fresh motivation and opportunity to pursue goals.
To start the year off, our first article unpacks key areas for focus in the next 11 months. Rather than quoting books (with the exception of one!) or big industry names, the areas we mention in this article are the ones we believe in, those that we are focusing on to be able to innovate, create new products, and stay ahead of the the competition.
For this post, I have broken the combination of tactics we are adopting into 4 key themes.
This is by no means the end of the list. Growing in 2018 will demand a combination of strengths. It is never going to be one thing, it has to be the integration of many things that, together will make you stand against the crowd. At Lancom, we summarise these key themes to: the talent you hire, the investment you make to manage the business behind your business, how well you are servicing your customers, and the attention you are paying to your brand.
The people making it happen
Having the right internal talent is a cornerstone to accelerating business growth. A business exists because of the people who get up every morning and believe in the product or services it delivers. Without these people, there is no business!
Hence, getting your hire strategy right is fundamental. How you hire should be unique to your business and needs, but here are some of the tactics we have seen work:
- Look for talent first. New hires need to first and foremost be able to do the job (and then have a cultural fit to your business)
- Have a career path plan for your new hires. Employee retention matters! All the hard work that goes into bringing the best talent won't be worth much if your staff don't stick around.
- Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as you may think. To stay motivated, people are looking for purpose, mastery and autonomy (and if you can provide these, they will stick around!).
- Go for diversity. By hiring a team that is diverse in backgrounds, strengths, personalities and perspectives, you will generate innovative ideas and greater productivity.
Managing the business behind your business
In a digitally driven age, you cannot afford to have your technology lagging. Not only does it affect your efficiency and ability to serve your customers, it also makes it harder to attract and retain top talent.
There are a multitude of articles covering digital transformation (including a few that we wrote ourselves which you can check here, here, and here).
For the purposes of this post, I am going to simplify it for you: Digital transformation is how companies are taking advantage of technology to do things better.
It comes down to using the right tools to ensure you can deliver a flexible work place, efficient processes, leverage automation to complete manual tasks that take time which you are better off investing somewhere else, and ultimately establishing a foundation on which you can innovate and add new revenue streams or lines of business.
Social is allowing companies to make connections with customers like never before. Mobility is untethering people from their desks and driving a productivity revolution. Analytics means the power to understand more and achieve unprecedented accuracy and insight. Cloud makes the most advanced technology available at a fraction of the cost.
Together, the application of these digital technologies to business means the creation of capabilities and the realisation of efficiencies which weren’t before possible. It means enabling people to achieve more in less time. It means being able to reach customers more effectively, in the ways they choose to interact. It means eliminating paper-based processes and targeting other costly and inefficient processes (and taking cost out of the business).
Investing in customer experiences
There is a huge shift from supply to demand happening around us. As buyers we now get to dictate how we want to be served, what we want, and what we value. The result? companies no longer hold the power. We, the consumers, are taking back that power and demanding a whole new experience.
So, how do you get your clients to stick when demand is dictating supply? There isn't a magic answer here but we have one piece of advice: focus on customer experiences.
Forget the idea of telling your customer how to buy your product or service, involve them in the process!
Memorable experiences in 2018 will go beyond the service you deliver, it is about reimagining and finding creative ways to deliver on-demand, convenient to the buyer solutions.
And this is... hard! it involves a shift of thinking and a lot of change.
That's why, my first recommendation is to stop and read The 10 Principles behind great Customer Experience, a book that surely will set you in the right direction for the year.
Building a brand that meets your customers where they are
In the section above we highlighted how the dawn of the digital age is changing the way customers interact with businesses. To expand on this, your customer's journey's are changing, they can now evaluate and compare you with others, without you ever knowing!
If you google your business, what do you find? In this new era, it's important to be conscious of your digital presence, and your ability to put your business in front of your potential customers where they are looking for you. Putting together a digital strategy for your business will be crucial to finding new opportunities in 2018.
→ If you are just getting started and trying to understand how to build a digital presence, we have a series of 3 eBooks discussing our own journey and what we learnt. Free to grab your copies here (it's free!).
With great planning comes great success, and the time to start thinking about the future of your business is now!
Using the traditional approaches is OK but if you are looking to grow this year, it is time to stop and reflect in the power dynamic shifts we are seeing around us.
With the right team, the right technology and the right focus (a.k.a one that is aimed at your customers), you can achieve it.
Thats what we are trying to build at Lancom! A combination of our passion for technology, delivered by a team of top talent whose goals are to help businesses succeed through providing the best experiences we can.
Join us in 2018 and let's have a successful year!
Learn more about how Lancom makes technology easier for you, your team, and your customers. Book a commitment free chat with our experts here.