The SMART Way to Optimize Business Performance

By David S. Chang

Optimization is the key to success. Without it, your business will be forgotten, unable to keep up with its competitors. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, you need to approach your business management differently.

It doesn’t matter what your final goal is, all that matters is getting the results. To do this, you need to look beyond just optimizing your SEO and look at optimizing across the board.


What’s Your Higher Purpose?

Businesses want to make money, that’s part of their purpose. But what about beyond that, what else is your business striving for? If all you see is a means to sell, you’re missing the point of higher purpose; you need to understand what value you offer your customers.

You’re looking to offer them a positive outcome, be it through a type of solution, belief system, or even an emotional one. Your customers look to you for an outcome that benefits them. 

By shifting your perspective, you can increase profits. This is because you understand what you bring to the table, what you give that others don’t, which allows you to take pride in what you do. This will differentiate you from your competitors.


Embrace Accessibility

We live in a digital age focused on instant access and gratification — use this to your advantage. Make your business systems more accessible to you and your team. 

You need to implement a CRM or utilize project scheduling software to effectively analyze your progress. These types of systems enable you to see the pros and cons of your current operations, thus allowing you to trim any inefficiencies. If something doesn’t work, improve or eliminate.

Organizing your workplace in this way allows both you and your employees a better understanding; you have mutual footing. In turn, it saves you time, lowers stress, and allows for an easy means to reach your customers. 


Tighten Your Security

You don’t need to be a business to appreciate security. Inadequate protection leaves you vulnerable to attack, both on and offline. If you want to avoid experiencing a breach in your security, make sure to upgrade the systems you have in place. 

To do this, you not only need to be mindful of encryption, data protection, etc but also know where any potential weaknesses lie. Every business has a vulnerable spot (or several). Identify them and address them first.

If you can’t afford security services, you must implement security changes yourself. Two-step verification, strong passwords, password management, and many more are small changes you can make immediately. Then once you’re better funded, you can source outsourced assistance. 


Become Mobile

Similar to the accessibility mentioned earlier, your business needs to be mobile-friendly. Stats predict that nearly 4 billion people will access the web via their phones by 2025, meaning your business will suffer if it doesn’t cater to this demographic. 

Most businesses have mobile websites already, but what about apps, mobile exclusive deals, etc? All of this adds another dynamic to your business. It shows modernity and innovation, two elements guaranteed to help your company grow. 

Improve your engagement by utilizing social media, SMS campaigning, and by creating mobile-optimized content. You need to have a bite-size version of your brand that’s easy to digest and instantly accessible. 


Expand and Streamline the Team

Your business needs savvy employees, be them freelance or outsourced. Some brands work well government alone initially, however, they soon need more experience to aid development. Consequently, hire individuals with impressive credentials. 

Employees need a contemporary understanding of the industry and a skill set to match. Your workers don’t need to be young, but they must approach business in a modern way — if not, a breakdown in efficiency will occur. 

The talent you introduce to the team doesn’t have to be permanent, they can be project-specific and temporary. The idea is to utilize them when you need them most. Only expand if you need to, and only keep on team members crucial to the running of the brand. 


Active Social Media

Too many companies neglect their social media, leading to a poor online presence. Businesses either create an account and never maintain it, or they simply don’t bother. Both are bad choices. Instead, you need to be present and available on your social media channels as often as possible. 

This is about more than having a brand-specific page, this is about being there for your customers. Having a nice Instagram feed but nobody to man the direct messages is a waste of the resource. 

During business hours, use live chat, stories, and posting features to reach your audience and show them your business is connected. You care. 


Add A Personal Touch

To maintain a good relationship with your customers, you need to get to know them. You can do this without ever meeting them face-to-face, all it takes is a clever analysis of their data. What do they regularly order, when’s their birthday — all these help you create a profile of each client. 

It takes work, often helped along by a CRM, but once you have these profiles, you can personalize your engagement. If a customer has a birthday soon, you can send an email/SMS that offers them an exclusive deal, or you can gift them a free promo code. 

By creating a relationship, your customers feel valued, they feel seen. You aren’t just another faceless company, you’re one that puts the consumer first; it’s a powerful image to have associated with your brand. 


Be Open to Suggestions

If you haven’t heard of a “suggestion scheme”, you need to learn about it now. As the name suggests, this is about allowing your team to have a greater input into the running of the business. They can suggest ways to improve for the better. 

You don’t need to implement every suggestion. The point is to listen to your employees and their feedback, as they might have a truly unique idea worth exploring. Even if they don’t offer any new solutions, it allows them to feel a part of the process. 

To help make this a less daunting task for employees, you can introduce an anonymous system, meaning no one feels exposed by their opinions. In a large workplace, this is the easiest way to test the scheme. 


Keep On Training

Don’t train for the sake of it, train because it benefits the business. Some businesses provide one week of training at the start then never bother again. This is cheaper, but it means your business and employees stagnate. They don’t further themselves. 

Training allows your team to strive for better standards, as well as provide a better understanding of what’s expected of them. This is especially useful in maintaining a certain quality of customer service. 

Your team needs to work as one. Their voice, their actions, all reflect the business and so they need to be as uniform as possible. Training helps facilitate this. 


Only Make Necessary Changes

There’s a lot of ways to optimize, an overwhelming amount, which means it’s easy to make changes you don’t need to. Don’t be fooled into reinventing the wheel. If your project scheduling and/or training program works well already, don’t completely rework it. It’ll serve no real purpose. 

In the same vein, don’t make changes not proven to work. Instead, you need to introduce techniques that have visible proof of success; experimental management isn’t a wise move unless you can survive the hit it could make. 


Your Team is Valuable

Not just in a monetary sense, but in a personal one too. A lot of businesses wouldn’t be where they are today without the team of workers behind them, therefore you need to treat them well. 

You can’t fake appreciation, that’ll only lead to a lack of integrity in the team. You need to be organic and authentic with your appreciation. By opting for a positive reinforcement approach, you save money — you won’t have to continuously train new staff, your workers are more experienced and loyal, they’ll maintain better customer relations, and attend work more regularly. 


Be Human

Customers don’t want a large corporation, unfeeling and faceless. They want a business run by real people, with people’s passions and interests in what you do. When you’re enthusiastic, it rubs off on your clients and customers, thus inspiring them to be passionate as well. 

On the opposite side, when your business is struggling, be honest with your customers. Show your vulnerability. You’ll find that your customers value your sincerity more than a false sense of everything being okay.

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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