The average lifecycle of technology is becoming increasingly shorter with each year, and update, that goes by. As well as this, consumer expectations are becoming more evolved and advanced as a result of searching for a seamless and easy tech experience. Many businesses are under mounting pressure to support these expectations, as well as expand and grow their technological offerings to keep up with competitors.
For many companies, their IT network, which seemed to be modern and capable just a few years ago, is quickly becoming obsolete. The world is changing thanks to digital advances and businesses must adapt if they want to survive. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making your business competitive in the 21st century. It depends on the individual business, the sector in which you operate, and your client or customer base.
Understanding what to get right when modernising your business is vital. Knowing how to get it right – whether it’s sequencing, investment, design, or technology modernization – is even more so. Let’s take a look at some of the more successful tips for modernising your business and preparing for the future.
Understand Your Customer Journey
In most cases, across multiple industries, the customer journey has changed significantly. For many businesses, this will likely be beyond recognition of what it once was, but the digital world has completely changed how people find and interact with your website and business. In order to ensure business success, it’s important to learn and recognize what this new experience looks like for your customers.
Modernising your customer journey is one of the easiest and best ways to bring your businesses into the new era of digital. To do this, mapping out your customer journey is a good way to understand this experience so that you can identify any weaknesses within what your business currently offers.
Look into the pages your website visitors spend the most time on and then look at how customers navigate through the site to land here – is it a simple process that takes just a few clicks, or is it through a vague internal link on an old blog post? Use analytic software to learn more about where your customers land, where they spend their time, and where their journey ends. You can then use this data to update your website navigation and allow customers to land on information they find more useful easier.
Refresh Your Branding
When was the last time you updated your company’s branding? A lot of business owners believe that sticking with the branding that was first created upon the launch of their company is the best way to create loyalty and familiarity with their customers. But, it can actually have the opposite effect.
Brands that don’t update their branding and messaging over time can look to be stuck in the past and not evolving, which may put customers off. If you’ve not rebranded in a few years, or are even yet to do so, then it might be time to give your brand and website a refresh.
There are many low-cost ways in which you can do this, such as simply changing up your messaging, or you could go for a full rebrand with a new logo, website, and tone of voice so that you can get your brand values and message across. You may also wish to refresh your marketing efforts if you have any in place, or if not, look at ways in which you can begin incorporating a new and exciting marketing strategy to reach new audiences.
Update To The Latest Apps and Technology
Today’s world is a digital one. Businesses that don’t invest in their technological and digital advancements risk being left behind and losing out on clients and customers.
Look into any apps or technologies which your business may be utilising – there are plenty out there that can help with almost every aspect of your business, such as:
- Payments and accounts
- Order fulfilment, including order tracking and supply management
- Customer relationship management to track your communication and relationships with customers
- Better internal communication between your employees
With apps and technology, the aim is to save you time and resources so that you can then focus on tasks that will instead add value to your business. When you are looking into investing in new apps or technologies, it’s worth weighing up cost versus value and who within the business would get the most out of it.
As well as this, it’s vital that any technology and apps you add to the running of your business are trusted and well-researched. Cyber attacks affect hundreds of businesses each week and, if your business is affected, this can be costly to recover. Before integrating any new devices, technology or apps, ensure you and your team are up to date with the latest technology for business cyber security and, at least, have a cyber incident response plan in place so that, in the event of a cyber threat, hack or breach, you know how best to deal with mitigating the effects.
Engage With Your Team and Company Culture
Business modernization is often down to a lot of technology-focused updates, but this isn’t always the case. Whilst technology will help your business to advance and move forward with the times, these technologies will only work so long as the people using them – your team – accept them. Before you consider adding in new technologies, strategies, or devices, think about how these align with your company culture, starting with clear outlines of the new habits your team will need to embrace.
It’s to be expected that when you upgrade or evolve technology within the company, this can cause a slight cultural shift. You know your employees and how your team works, so take some time beforehand to consider where any weaknesses or hurdles may come into play.
For example, if you’re upgrading your GDPR practice, do your employees know how best to analyse and understand the data collected, all whilst still protecting your business? What about operational skills, are they able to coordinate and work alongside external partners? Or, are there any underlying concerns about this update that may not have been answered? Once you know how your team will respond to these new practices, you can then work with your leadership team to figure out which types of support, training and even future expansion are needed to support, as well as which, if any, workforce changes are needed.
There will already be some strong and powerful parts of your company culture, such as specific attributes that you admire about the business or certain behaviours which work well within your teams. You may also find that you currently have “informal leaders” in place within your workplace who will be invaluable resources when you begin the process of modernising your business.
These employees will likely be in place at every point in the hierarchy and are already demonstrating positive leadership behaviours you need for the modernization as they will likely be positive about the new steps. Look to source these individuals by talking to managers and working closely with them about the proposed modernization steps. They will likely tell you more about how wider members of the team feel about the changes. Then you can take this feedback on board.
Modernise The Working Environment
Whilst it’s important to modernise the inner workings of your business and operating technologies, it’s also good to look at ways in which you modernise the working environment for your employees. When it comes down to it, a lot of business owners would be happy to increase employee productivity at the cost of modernising the workplace.
When it comes down to it, a lot of people are dismissive as to how much of an impact the workplace can have on motivation and, if your business hasn’t had a refresh in a few years, it might be time to consider a fresh redesign. Studies have proven that natural light, colourful artwork, and plants can all have a positive impact on a workspace and help boost employee morale and productivity.
Be sure to look at how your HR team can support you with modernising the working environment, too. Look to see if your workplace policies match up with what is expected in a new and modern working environment. This could be helpful for future recruitment so that you know how to attract new talent, retain current employees and look into what further benefits you could add, such as flexible working, health benefits, and family-friendly leave or working hours.
When modernising your business, the goal is to create both a sustainable and effective solution for business success. As with anything business related, modernising your business doesn’t just need to be technology related and, instead should include all aspects of the company. You want to encourage continuous learning and advancements alongside things such as constructive change and business growth.
With these 5 tips for modernising your business, remember that they won’t happen in a distinct order. As a business owner, it is up to you to assess and evaluate your business and the ways in which modernising should occur. The world of business has changed massively over recent years and now, it is time for your business to change too. Whether it’s in regards to technology and cyber security, or HR and employee wellness, consider how this needs to happen.