In order to remain competitive and efficient as a business owner, it is essential to continually assess and update your practices. However, it can be easy to become mired in outdated practices that no longer benefit your business. Here are some antiquated business practices that can hinder your company’s productivity, as well as the steps you can take to eliminate them.
Relying on outdated technology.
In today’s world, technology is continuously evolving. If you’re still using obsolete software or hardware, your business operations may be slowed down, making it difficult to keep up with the competition. Investing in new technology can increase your productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, make your team’s life a lot easier as well.
For example, most businesses nowadays use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and/or Project Management System (PMS) software to manage their teams and how they collaborate. Not only does it allow managers to track who is assigned to each task, they can also use it to communicate with their team on changes submitted by clients, or checking on deadlines and load management. On the team’s side, having these tools makes it easier to locate resources needed for a project, keep tabs on tasks, and assess which one to prioritize.
Not adapting to change.
To remain competitive in the business world, it is necessary to be able to adapt to constant change. If you are resistant to change and cling to behind-the-times practices, your business may suffer. Embrace change and seek out chances to innovate and enhance your business practices.
There are those who outright reject change, clinging to their old ideals and saying, “This is always how we have done it.” But unless that something is a vital part or allure of your business, it should be something that is open to change or improvement over time. The majority of people adhere to traditional methods. Nevertheless, there is a significant distinction between tradition and change. Tradition meant doing things a certain way because, at the time, there was no other alternative. But nowadays, people have more ways to approach issues as a result of innovation in a variety of fields.
Not leveraging the power of social media.
As we have mentioned in our previous blog, social media management is a skill that every business owner should learn, or have someone handle it for them. There is just so much that you miss out on when you do not engage on social media, such as growing and expanding your market reach, building an audience, and engaging with current and potential clients.
Today, social media is an indispensable tool for businesses. It can assist you in connecting with customers, disseminating vital information, and constructing your brand. If you are not maximizing your use of social media, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to expand your business.
Not prioritizing customer service.
Customer service is crucial to the success of any business. Not only does it keep your customers satisfied and coming back, but it can also help you acquire new customers through positive word of mouth. If customer service is not a top priority, it can harm your reputation and slow down your business.
Having underdeveloped or straight-up bad customer service for your business can drive out current clients, who could get frustrated when they need to reach someone about an issue they are having. An unpleasant experience with customer service will only serve to compound their frustration and lead to them opting to use another service or product.
You may even be losing out on potential customers and clients if your business lacks adequate customer service. You may have an exceptional service or product, but if potential customers cannot reach you or your company has a bad reputation for customer service, you have just lost another opportunity.
Customer service also serves as valuable feedback for your business, as you’ll know the common concerns that potential customers have or the issues that current ones are having problems with. Given this information, you can improve your service and satisfy more people, which improves your reputation and draws in more clients.
Measuring in-office presence.
Work is now an activity and not a location. In a virtual workplace, employees are able to be productive from any location. This is an opportunity to increase worker convenience and productivity by capitalizing on their skills across different locations.
A recent report shows that 6 out of 10 people who work from home have reported increased productivity at home over working at the office. Some would cite the reason to be a better work-life balance and feeling less stressed, while others say their lack of daily commute means more time for themselves, hence they can focus on work more efficiently and know that they still have time for themselves afterward.
But many leaders still believe that if they don’t see you in person, your efforts aren’t worthwhile or productive. Manage for results and milestones, rather than just measuring time that people are in the office. Attempting to manage tasks based on physical presence will not succeed in the “new normal” workplace.
Not investing in employee development.
Your employees are the backbone of your company, so investing in their professional growth is vital to your success. Training and support can help your employees improve their skills and become more efficient, which can contribute to the growth of your company.
In addition to encouraging your employees to attend beneficial training for their current positions, you can also support them if they choose to try something new. You will never know if that new skill set will prove useful in the long run or lead to the development of services that are exclusive to your company.
The annual performance evaluation.
The annual performance review is ineffective and out of date. In fact, only about 5% of managers think annual performance reviews are effective. Also, around 90% of HR company leaders think that information from such reviews is inaccurate. Big companies like Accenture and Deliotte have even experimented with completely removing it from their processes.
This is because your feedback ought to match the rapid pace of business. To give employees a sense of continuity in their work environment, you should provide them with ongoing guidance and coaching as close to real-time as possible. Make improvements simple by focusing on multiple short and effective coaching or feedback sessions rather than a large administrative task at the end of the year.
Some companies have already shifted away from the annual performance evaluation process, though not completely. There are still those who engage in quarterly or bi-annual ones. And while that is fine as well, that is still too far in between in some cases.
If someone in the team achieves an outstanding performance or is not doing well, it is best to acknowledge it within a week or so. That way, your staff can feel that their actions and performance are being observed in real-time, not just when it is close to evaluation time.
There are many outdated habits that can slow down your business. By staying up-to-date with technology, leveraging the power of social media, prioritizing customer service, adapting to change, and investing in employee development, you can overcome these habits and keep your business moving forward.
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