Business is changing – and it always will. In 2018, many offices look and operate drastically different than their predecessors just 10 or 20 years ago. Companies are finding clever ways to increase productivity, cut down on the tedious-but-necessary tasks of yesteryear, and finding novel ways to engage employees.

Below, we will go through some of the new ways that businesses are both staying true to unchanging fundamentals and reinventing themselves for the future.

Rethink Company Culture

Some offices opt for a more traditional environment, complete with suits, gray cubicles, and fluorescent lights. Some companies have no desire to change, and perhaps it works for them. But today, we also see many departures from the conventional office milieu, including pet-friendly, virtual, and shared workspaces.

There’s never a bad time to think about your company culture and consider whether it could use some revision. We are now experiencing a rise in remote working trends, and perhaps for good reason. Data suggests that the effort put forth from remote workers is greater than those inhabiting a fixed space. This is good news for employer and employee alike.

At the end of the day, an appealing company culture’s main benefit is its ability to attract the best candidates. Competent workers with a dynamic set of skills are going to want the best they can get, and creating an inviting, non-restrictive atmosphere is one of the best ways a company can get a leg-up in the game.

Have An Emergency Plan In Place

Sure, it’s nice to envision the positivity of your business’ future, but staying realistic is downright essential. There will undeniably be some hurdles in your professional future, whether you are a novice entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran.

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Brace yourself for unexpected setbacks, because failing to do so could spell your undoing. Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, with an estimated 1,579 cases in 2017 alone. Increased technological connectivity serves to benefit businesses immensely, but the other edge of the sword is an increased vulnerability to sophisticated cyber attacks.

Implementing disaster recovery planning software is an insurance against the unexpected or unpreventable quagmires that could otherwise derail your business. Be it due to a natural disaster, theft, or ransomware, backup software can ensure that operations continue uninterrupted when a would-be disaster strikes, allowing you to get back to business as soon as possible.

Make Customer Service A Priority

Never forget that making sure your customers or clients leave the transaction happy needs to be front and center. After all, customer satisfaction and trust mean retention of their business. If you are able to consistently deliver (or better yet, over-deliver) on your promises, you can rest assured that your business will remain healthy and thriving.

Apart from 19th-century snake oil salesmen, facilitating a positive impression with customers has always been important for the long-term survival of a business. However, it’s probably more important now than ever thanks to social media. The interconnectedness and ubiquity of social media mean news can travel more quickly and widely than ever before.

Studies suggest that dissatisfied customers are more likely to share their experience. When you pair this with social media, this can mean utter devastation to your reputation in mere minutes – especially in the chance event that you upset a social media superstar.

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Modernize Your Marketing Approach

While social media can be devastating to your image if you anger the wrong people, it should also now be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Very few companies are able to compete without any form of social media presence, as they end up losing out to the companies that embraced the platforms.

Take Domino’s for example, which introduced the concept of ordering pizza via Twitter. Domino’s is constantly experimenting with its digital media, and its willingness to explore has paid off: today, more than 50% of its orders are done via digital channels.

Take Risks (Within Reason)

Often businesses are pushed to take a risk due to changes in the market. They understand that taking a risk is probably a better move than simply denying the changing environment and continuing business as usual. The most successful leaders in business are the ones that are best able to accommodate change. Instead of viewing a changing environment with fear, embrace it as an opportunity for growth.

One great example of a business thriving in changing conditions is Amazon. When this company started out, it only sold books. As we all know, many other book retailers have declined or disappeared completely in the time that Amazon grew to its current proportions. There was no way to know for sure if branching out to other products would work out for the fledgling company, but CEO Jeff Bezos was calculating enough to procure success.

Explore What Automation Has To Offer

Don’t just assume that every role within the company historically filled by humans needs to remain that way. Certain tasks can now be relegated to automation, improving the company’s performance, cost-effectiveness, and productivity. This technology is a great way to both increase efficacy of certain repetitive, menial tasks while also freeing up personnel for more “human-friendly” duties.

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