The traditional business model has seen a significant ‘renovation’ with the emergence of e-commerce. While there are plenty of benefits businesses can enjoy, thanks to the development of an online presence such as cost-cutting or convenience, businesses today should still keep in mind some basic traditional business concepts that are imperative to maintaining a loyal customer base and a high quality output. On the other hand, modern and innovative business practices have also shown to provide a high value for the company, as they help keeping businesses relevant to today’s business.
Here we outline three traditional business practices that should be kept in high regard in the modern world and three modern business practices that provide a great benefit for the future.
The Internet has given companies the ability to reach a massive audience with ease. While this provides great benefit in terms of getting the word out about your product or service, you should confirm that you are still ensuring quality for your customers and potential customers.
The traditional business concept was locally based, simply because it was difficult and very costly to reach a wide customer market quickly and easily. With a shift towards more sustainable business practices, one should consider that localization can actually provide a value for your customers as well as reduce your carbon footprint. Working with local suppliers reduces the transportation time of goods, while targeting local consumers reduces potential delivery transportation.
Traditionally, it was common that many business employees knew regular customers well. This created a dynamic relationship where the customer felt that the company was invested in their business and was aware of personal preferences. That concept gets quickly lost when a company reaches thousands, if not millions of customers on a weekly basis.
Ensure that your customers feel that they are special to your business, whether it be by providing them special incentives such as a club member card to receive discounts or sending them a special freebie on their birthday. Know what makes your customer feel valued and stick with it.
3. Good relationships with suppliers
Your supplier for materials vital to successfully running your company are almost just as important as your employees themselves. You want to ensure that you can work with a long-term supplier even through times of economic difficulties and adopt a flexible approach to the client-supplier cooperation. Knowing where to find necessary supplies, for example, high quality envelopes or recycled office paper, will go a long way in ensuring product and service quality and value for your customers.
Modern business practices
1. Employees as your first customer
Traditionally, the business model revolved around profit and growth. While those are still extremely relevant today, many companies are now seeing the value in establishing and building an environment for employees that foster good will between supervisors and workers as well as promotes innovation and freethinking.
You should consider your employees are your first customers, as many times they will be the face that is presented to your potential clients. Providing special benefits, even something as small as free coffee or snacks, is a great way to make employees feel valued. Also consider that it is less expensive to keep old employees than to hire and train new ones.
2. An online presence
While localization is very important, you should also consider that an online presence could be a key to company growth. You want to be able to spread the word about your great product or service. Do so by providing a easy place for customers to gain information about your business, what you offer and means of contact. Reinvent the traditional “yellow pages” with Google Business, which gives your potential customers a fast way to find the relevant information they are looking for.
3. Utilize social media
Where else can you find a complete database that reaches millions of people in a very short time? Social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have the potential to expand your business dramatically. Developing a presence on these platforms also gives a voice to your company. It is also a great way to really specify the image that you wish to project.
Mixing up both old and new business practices can give you balance for your business. There are best practices and values that are irreplaceable by technology and the Internet, and the best way to approach this is to use technology to enhance the “old school” practices of knowing your customers by name.
Using CRM tools to manage your relationship with your customers and suppliers, utilizing Twitter to personally engage your leads and clients, and nurturing your employees so that they will become your brand evangelists are some of many ways to get the modern and traditional approaches to work.
Here’s your takeaway: Always think technology as your partner in keeping up with the transformation of the business world. Remember, technology don’t change the business world; technology enriches it.