16th October 2018
Online businesses float on a rapidly shifting tide, and if your company isn’t able to keep up with the pace, it’s very likely to sink. If you’re interested in keeping your business afloat, it has to be equipped with forward-thinking solutions. But, as in most cases, the solution depends on the problem.
“Context is always important,” explains Ron Arambulo, COO and CFO of Hatchasia, Inc., a company that specializes in building and refining tech ecosystems that drive businesses forward. “Future-proofing means that you have the right approach to technology, and are aware of the obsolescence that comes with technology as you plan your business going forward.”
He adds, “The way you actually put that technology into place has to align with where you see your business going, with a clear understanding of how quickly that technology can become obsolete.” Depending on your needs, here are a few ways you can keep your business future-proof:
As your business grows, you’ll need to explore different means of finding customers. An online business’ reach isn’t limited to its social media followers. There are many ways to capture an audience: a well-built website, excellent search engine optimization, and partnerships with other brands.
You can even have a dedicated mobile app designed for your brand and gain more customers while reinforcing loyalty. Do your research and start experimenting.
The last thing you want is for the backbone of your company to fall apart. You need to make sure that all platforms and systems of your online business aren’t just developed well, but also well-maintained. A single recurring bug could make or break a customer’s decision to continue supporting you. Allot a portion of your budget to system maintenance and improvement.
Businesses need to understand that customer support has transformed into a PR function. Customers will vent about poor customer support, which in turn paints your company in a bad light to their personal networks. And if a particular rant happens to go viral, you can bet that a significant chunk of your business will suffer.
The fact of the matter is, there are many available alternatives to any online business. Any dissatisfied customer can simply click on a different link to get what they want. If you want their loyalty (and their recommendation), you need to make them feel valuable through excellent customer service.
As your company grows, you’ll find that the risk of hitting a plateau grows as well. Business processes such as accounting and inventory management will take time and energy away from research and development, but hiring more employees to take care of those operations might not be financially feasible, either.
Sometimes, outsourcing is the best answer. You won’t have to pay for any additional infrastructure or salaries; just the contracted amount with the service provider. If you manage to find an outsourcing solution that strikes the right balance between cost and benefits, odds are that it’s the right choice to make.
Source: Entrepreneur Philippines