From Business Zero To Hero In 7 Steps
When in 1997, the Disney studios chose to tackle Ancient mythology, they delivered a vibrant and energetic movie, Hercules, that fitted perfectly in its time. The observant viewer can even spot a Spice Girls like Greek muses who comment on the plot in real time. And these muses give us the cue to today’s article with their description of the young Hercules’s path to become a god, From Zero to Hero.
Scroll back to your small company situation. There is no Hercules in the vicinity, and no hero you can call for help when battling the Chimaera of the business world. You need to become your own business hero to ensure the survival of your company.
Admittedly, the parallel with the son of Jupiter – or Zeus for those of you who prefer the Greek names – ends here. Hercules is born a divine creature with strength and power that are out of the mortal world. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing we all know about Hercules is that he was a hardworking man. His canonical Twelve Labours display endurance, agility, strategic thinking and creativity. Your company might not have any divine aid, but you can turn yourself from zero to hero by embracing some of Hercules’s lessons. Indeed, the Labours of Hercules serve as a learning journey during which the hero find success in adapting to his surroundings, learning the weaknesses of each opponent and improving his skills. The journey of your small business has to follow the same steps to build up the essential qualities that can support your growth.
#1. You need financial know-how
When you first launch your business, you will suddenly have to face new financial responsibilities, namely keeping your company books. While managing your personal budget can seem accessible, company books are a different kettle of fish. They require not only business knowledge but also financial understanding as they have to comply with a series of regulations and best practices – which you may not be aware of when you start your entrepreneur journey. The truth is that you can survive using online accounting tools that do all the hard work for you. However, you will need professional guidance and knowledge to make the most of budget opportunities. Don’t think yourself above it; your online bookkeeping tool doesn’t replace theoretical knowledge. Get yourself some business accounting books to understand the basics. Additionally, seeking professional assistance can be a game-changer, as many accountants can help you to not only manage your account but also make the best decisions for your financial stability.
#2. No data analysis, no growth strategy
Data, data, data. Everything in the business world is data, from data protection to data analytics. However, for small businesses, the involvement in data strategies can be minimal. Indeed, even though data inform you continuously about every procedure and trend, they can be often ignored or perceived as something that is only for the big brands. In truth, your data are your most important asset, and you need to learn how to manage them effectively. As your company receives a voluminous amount of data, an established data strategy can let you not only collect but also organise, classify, manage and protect your data. Additionally, you can develop insightful knowledge about your demographics, the market trends, or even your online presence, which can be repurposed as part of your marketing and customer service strategies. Without appropriate data strategy, your company is a captainless ship.
#3. Embrace the remote office options
The company of the future is no office-bound. On the contrary, innovative-thinking businesses have already embraced the idea of a remote team. This revolution in the workplace is still happening, but with every new business that opens to the potential of a cyber office, remote talent, skills and expertise become available. When in the old days, a remote career meant below minimum wage jobs, today remote employees can make a real living in their position while contributing to the growth of the company. Remote working options provide employees with the chance to manage their work as they see fit, while giving the business the best of the team productivity, inspiration and creativity – because everyone works better when they can maintain a healthy work/life balance. In other words, the next step for company growth is to consider moving your business to the cloud, which enables employees to stay connected and keep track of projects and clients. A cloud solution also needs to deliver cyber security, adaptability – to your business situation and requirements – and usability for everyone everywhere. In conclusion, you need a professional cloud partner.
#4. Support families
Did you know that many young adults postpone starting a family because they’re worried about how it could affect their career? Those who choose to have children often face an impossible dilemma: Spending quality time with their family or making a living at work? More often than not these two things are mutually exclusive. As a result, it’s not uncommon for employees to quit their job when they are ready to start a family. Can you afford to lose talent? Providing family-friendly perks and policies is the way forward. The company of tomorrow is a company that encourages parents to be the best they can be, at home and work.
Consequently, it’s essential to ensure that women are never discriminated against based on motherhood or pregnancy. Similarly, paid maternity and paternity leave should be non-negotiable to nurture talents and creativity. More and more businesses are developing support structures for young children and babies that enable the parents to go back to work without worries.
#5. Be genuinely yourself
Nowadays, every business needs to build an online presence. While social media platforms and websites let you showcase your brand online, they can also reveal your brand personality. The keyword when it comes to creating your identity is to stay true to yourself: Authenticity is what the audience expects. For customers, an authentic brand has values and morals they stand by without shying away from divulging its practices honestly. Patagonia, for instance, is an excellent example of authenticity no matter the cost; the brand invests in renewables and environmentally-friendly practices, including advising customers to buy their products second hand or to repair them to keep the environmental impact low. It’s Patagonia’s dedication to make the world a greener place that encourages a growing customer base.
#6. Remind your customers they are loved
Dear customers, I love you.
How much effort do you put into making your customers feel appreciated? Indeed, your customers expect a personal experience when they get in touch with your company, even if they choose the self-service options. When things get out of hand, your customers want to be talking to a real person who can not only sympathise with their issues but also help them to sort it out. Your customer service agents are crucial. However, it’s fair to say that the call centres can get busy, forcing customers to wait before they can talk to someone. How about replacing the waiting music with something a little more personal, such as a fun quiz that can keep customers engaged and satisfied?
#7. Make friends everywhere
You can’t go big if you don’t know anyone. Ultimately, networking is the way forward for businesses. Join business networking events and make sure to make friends as you go. Meeting new people and potential partners or suppliers is never a waste of time. Indeed, businesses are made by people, so you need to go out of your comfort zone and talk to these people.
From business zero to business hero, your path might seem challenging and insurmountable at first. But, business growth takes time and effort. Every little step you take, from working with an expert accountant to networking, brings you closer to the top. Unleash your inner Hercules!