If you are a businessman of the 21st century, you need to be making smart choices, for your company as well as for your self. What are smart decisions? ‘Smart’ is a word that is so over-used these days – smart technology, smartphones, smart living, and finally smart business investments.
The word ‘smart’ means clever and intelligent, as per the dictionary. Most of us would agree that it means exactly this because the modern-day technology that is aptly called smart, showcases this. Our devices and gadgets today are designed and manufactured to behave intelligently – with Artificial Intelligence, technology is closing the gap fast between human and non-human elements.
In the corporate world, SMART has been broken down alphabetically to mean something clearer and more precise.
- S stands for specific target
- M stands for measurable
- A for assignable
- R denotes Realistic
- T denotes Time-related
The essence of SMART is almost same to what the word generically means; just that in the corporate world it has been made to denote something – a task, a job, a target – that is undertaken with specific and realistic goals, one where results can be measured and responsibilities assigned to individual employees.
Why is it important for companies to be smart in present days?
All commercial organizations work for profitable gains, enhanced sales volumes and better returns on investment. Smart companies work in a focused manner to reach there. They work fast; their operations are cost-effective and optimized. This means that they do not shy away from making investments. They invest where they know for sure that they are going to gain in the future through minimizing costs and reducing wastages.
Smart organizations do not have resistance to change, especially technical changes. And, smart companies believe in the power of their human resources, they work towards empowering their employees and have a transparent model of work.
The importance of smart working and being smart today is highlighted by the fact that –
- Customers today have become more demanding than ever before.
- In the name of competition, unlimited opponents are waiting to grab your customers at the slightest mistake you make.
- Your industry is becoming as cut-throat and aggressive as possible and never seen before.
your direct competitors are doing things smartly and if you do not catch up soon, you are going to fade away without a murmur.
So, are you a smart company?
If yes, you will certainly be oriented towards not only business growth in the present but for the future too. There must be a futuristic angle to your growth plans if you are a smart organization. Which brings us to the bottom-line that you need to be making some smart business decisions for the sustained growth of your business.
Investing in business growth involves a 360-degree outlook. You need to consider several things when it comes to investing, especially when it is about smart investments. Smart investment decisions are futuristic and forward-looking – it might involve quite a handsome amount of funds at the beginning but with each passing year these investments bear fruits with more force and impact; thereby driving down your costs. Also, such investments are long-term which means that when you divide your initial investment value with the number of years, it works out to be a minimal investment.
Let’s understand this through an example. Take a small-time transporter who has a completely manual system to take and execute orders from his clients. The owner may not be bothered about the process and he may be quite happy with the kind of revenues he is generating at the end of each year. If, however, he chooses to implement a transport management software, he will feel the difference within the first few days of the investment itself. His business processes get aligned and streamlined, all the data of his business starts to get recorded properly, wastages start to reduce, redundancy in work starts to diminish, processes get ethical and his revenues start to multiply non-stop.
So, what then are the smart investment decisions in the modern world that will help you with business growth?
The modern tech world is excited with two words – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. If you thought that AI and ML are only for the super-giant organizations, you are wrong. More and more companies – small and medium-sized – are looking to adopt this form of technology. Why? Because this form of machine technology makes your operations effective and efficient. Especially if it is about your front-end operations like sales and marketing, this form of technology is productive helping customer support executives and agents.
Adapting this technology offer amazing customer experience because they are no delays and leave your customers impressed with the professional approach. Plus, this technology helps gather critical and relevant customer data that help business owners and management make crucial decisions that affect the future of the organization.
Resources are one of the most important assets of your business entity. Investing in human resources is vital for the future of your business. Several benefits are both, short-term and long-term. When you take care of your employees, there is bound to be enhanced productivity and profitability. From increased satisfaction to better corporate culture, from increased retention rates of employees to better engagement with customers, it promotes better communication and finally leads to enhanced returns.
Keeping your employees happy also leads to attracting better quality employees from the industry. Investing in human resources is smart no doubt, not only for the present but also on a long-term basis.
This is one of the wisest decisions that you can take for your business. Technology is for the benefit of mankind and it is important that you need to acknowledge the value of technology to your business. Computerizing your business processes helps your business in many ways. It is smart and it is one of the best ways to propel your business towards growth and profitability.
Automation of business systems and processes streamlines your operations. Computerization offers end-to-end integration of your business operations. This way it helps cover up the gaps existing in your manual system. With the help of technology, your employees can perform better and increase their productivity. Manual operations make work redundant, repetitive and boring. Also, the chances of error and mistakes are too high.
With manual systems, your business could never be available for all 24-hours to your customers. With technology, all these shortcomings disappear, and they are streamlined for effective and optimized operation. Computerization leads to a reduction in costs because, with the streamlining of the process, wastages and excesses are reduced. And when you automate your systems, you also reduce your carbon footprint on the environment; you turn your office into a paperless system. By choosing to implement the right business software in your workplace you also help in making your intra-department and inter-department and communication professional and polished.
The customer is the king and this logic is true even today when digitization is high. This means that you can never really afford to ignore your customers. All organizations that are doing well, that are futuristic and belong to the modern age, invest heavily on their client or customer relationship management processes. There are many tools and software programs available today – ready-to-use and ones that can be custom-made – to improve and enhance your customer relationships. Investing in an effective client benefits program means improving your client relationships, customer engagement, and customer loyalty. Such an investment may sound expensive upfront, but it effectively helps you retain your customers with greater effectiveness.
A customer relationship management software program is a great way to ensure that you can increase your market penetration and market reach. When you take care of your clients, they will surely help you strengthen your brand and profitability. Devising a loyalty program and using the right software tools for CRM will see your business reaching new heights.
Smart investment decisions are crucial for the health of your business. Before deciding where to invest, it is important to understand why you need to make the specific investment, how is your competition driving their business, how can you differentiate your business and make it different and special. You need to spend time to understand what the weaknesses of your organization are and how can you convert them into your strengths by investing in the right tool or technology.
Now, investments mean money. Since, you need to find the funds for the investments, ensure that you cut down costs somewhere done the line to make maximum profit.
The final words – do not be wary of change; ensure that you keep improvising your systems and processes, add value to your operations and that you keep reinventing business systems on ongoing process.