Twenty years is a long time in business, and the past two decades have arguably produced greater shifts than any previous generation. While online communications were already on the rise towards the end of the 20th century, we are now truly in the digital age. The landscape has changed dramatically, and all business owners must pay attention if they want to succeed.
So, what are the most significant changes to the world of business, and how can your venture grow from them? Here’s all you need to know.
The Modern Workforce
The importance of recruitment has never been greater. However, the workforce looks vastly different in 2020 to how it did back in 2000. For starters, the strategies used to recruit full-time staff members have changed. Job hunting websites now attract millions of applicants. Likewise, the use of social platforms like LinkedIn to promote vacancies has grown in popularity. The latter didn’t even exist at the start of the century.
Another notable change comes courtesy of the gig economy. Outsourced services, remote freelancers, digital nomads, and virtual contractors can transform the venture. After picking a shared office space, SME owners can build a small on-site team supported by the outside help. This can boost productivity, reduce financial waste, and save time. Ultimately, then, modern workforces can be streamlined and pointed towards success.
The makeup of the modern workforce has changed too. In today’s climate, diversity is a key ingredient in the recipe for success. Especially if you want to target different demographics. Championing equal opportunities will create a far better working environment. Maintaining high morale through improved staff facilities and employee care is vital too. It should extend to their mental wellbeing.
Advancements in the approach to internal communication are evident too. Holding short team meetings is a strategy used by global giants like Google, and can cut out wasted time. When companies are spread out across multiple countries, the use of video conferencing reduces the need for long travel. Meanwhile, team messaging Apps and project management systems ease daily management.
The Modern Client Interactions
The internal interactions enjoyed by teams of employees aren’t the only beneficiary of modern tech. Modern consumers can now interact with companies from the comfort of their sofa. Whether placing an order from their smartphone or discovering the best local services doesn’t matter. The possibilities are endless. From your perspective, this does mean that only the most effective marketing and customer care schemes will suffice. And they look vastly different from 2000.
Studies show most modern consumers will conduct online research. Building a solid SEO strategy that covers local marketing as well as organic traffic is arguably the #1 tool in modern marketing. Social media marketing has also become incredibly significant. Especially for firms wanting to reach new audiences and build familiarity with current clients. Businesses can also take advantage of target marketing and advanced analytics to make their budgets work harder.
The ability to promote a business directly to the consumer in real-time also opens up new interactions. Modern marketing is often a two-way conversation that focuses on the user’s active participation. Again this is very different from the one-way interactions of previous generations. Companies that actively make consumers feel valued and key parts of the business will be set to thrive.
Marketing isn’t the only area where major changes have occurred. The approach to customer care has changed too. Younger audiences prefer to avoid human contact, which is why FAQs and help portals have become commonplace. Adding Live Chatbots and using VoIP agents allows brands to deliver quick answers to clients that still need help. Once again, the ability to show customers that they are truly valued can lead to better customer reactions.
The Modern Business Operations
Computers were used for a lot of business activities long before the turn of the century. Nonetheless, the progress made over the past two decades is nothing short of mind-blowing. Automation has taken over. In turn, even the smallest companies and startups can now improve their efficiency. Using equipment to take care of manufacturing processes is a start. But brands can also look to automate stock management and financial payments. Both productivity and time management will soar as a direct upshot.
Machine learning can also predict customer behaviors to improve how the company conducts itself. When supported by A/B testing and other changes, companies can adapt with far better results in the current market than past eras. Data-driven decisions are crucial for ongoing success, and the fact that modern tech takes care of the hard work is telling. Productivity, marketing, selling practices, and order fulfillment protocols can all benefit.
A range of additional technologies has entered the market. The emergence of 3D printing as an accessible feature for modern businesses has had a major impact. Prototype designs can be completed on a tiny budget. Likewise, full-scale operations can now be completed in-house, even when this previously wasn’t a viable solution. Computer tech also reduces inaccuracy.
The majority of alterations for modern businesses are positive. Still, it’s worth noting that there are increased threats too. In fact, cyber-attacks occur every 39 seconds. When you learn how to reduce the risks, this needn’t knock you off the path to success. Still, this is an extra source of concern that firms rarely worried about back in the 1990s and before. It should not be ignored
The Modern Need For Accessibility
A number of businesses continue to focus on their local offline sales. However, there is no question that international relations have become more significant than ever. Online sales have certainly impacted the situation. Even SMEs are now using third-party services like Amazon to facilitate global sales. Meanwhile, tech brands that sell a Software as a Service (SaaS) or Product (SaaP) can deliver digital goods. Subsequently, the need for accessibility to a worldwide audience is massive.
Consumers can interact with brands on a 24/7 basis through websites, social media, and help centers. Unlike businesses from previous eras, you cannot afford to simply turn on the ‘out of office’ signs. It does sacrifice some of your freedom, but the positive results easily outweigh the negatives. Once again, social media and smartphone technology are the key assets that enable you to satisfy expectations. The harsh reality is that they are higher than ever before, you must not ignore them.
Accessibility takes many additional forms. As mentioned, video chats can reduce the need for business travel in some circumstances. Nonetheless, travel remains a requirement in a number of scenarios. Trade shows and networking events bring businesses together. Meanwhile, the former can add clients and B2B decision-makers. They are particularly useful for home-based firms that have no permanent store.
Modern life is ferociously fast-paced, and people demand quick answers to their issues. Whether that’s customer care, the delivery of their goods, or information about a product doesn’t matter. Due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, though, it’s often difficult for users to trust businesses. Therefore, showing a little brand personality is highly advised. Whether it’s achieved via ‘behind the scenes’ videos or by supporting causes that you care about is up to you. Either way, the ability to resonate with clients will aid the cause.
The Final Word
The fundamental principles of managing a business are no different from previous generations. However, the methods used have changed due to shifting mentalities and evolving technologies. When your business can adapt its processes to focus on what’s needed today (and tomorrow), the road to success will follow.