The business world is nothing if not competitive. Everyone is out to find a way to push themselves ahead of the competition. But people often forget that an advantage often ceases to remain such if widely known. This is why some of the best business strategies have remained hidden gems. But there are eight of these less discussed techniques which can make overall business operations much more smooth.
Consider What Competitors Aren’t Doing
People often assume that the best method of success is to copy the acts of winners. But this neglects one of the realities of the business world. Business often shifts to or away from the ideals of a zero-sum game. But in terms of day to day reality, one thing is certain.
You can’t always assume that what works for someone else will work for you. And oftentimes it’s specifically because it’s working for someone else that it won’t work for you. That’s why one of the hidden gems is to carefully consider what competitors aren’t doing rather than what they are.
For example, you might consider whether competitors are focussing on digital or physical distribution. From there, ask why that might be the case and whether there’s an untapped market there.
Consider Overall Popularity
Popularity is an important part of any business. If something’s popular then there’s room to market it. You might feel like this is a rather self-evident concept. After all, it’s the whole point of marketing. However, it’s often a situation where people can’t see the forest for the trees.
A good example of this can be found with open source software. The Linux operating system was quite popular but distributed for free. This made most people assume that it couldn’t be marketed for a profit. But people saw the popularity of it and devised ways to integrate it into systems such as the Android operating system. Given that Android now has two billion active users, you can see the potential there.
Use Smaller Software Suites When Appropriate
People often assume that an ERP is an absolute necessity within the business world. However, there’s a good reason why software programs are often known as office suites. These products have been created from the ground up with business use in mind.
It’s true that they haven’t always been updated to the point where they can scale to meet higher level demands. For example, billing tends to be something of an uncertain proposition within standard suites. But just because larger scale solutions exist it doesn’t mean the smaller options are out of the picture.
Script Out Different Tasks
Scripting is quite well known within the coding world. But not nearly as much within the business world. It’s processed by which one takes commonly repeated computing tasks and religates them to a simple one-click item. These are usually just small programs which consist of text-based coding. Scripts tend to simply launch programs with special parameters or input methods. And they can even chain together to launch one program and then another. Scripts are also usually fairly quick and easy to write.
What you might find surprising is how easily this practice can work in business. It only uses a small amount of time but can save quite a bit long term. One simply has to ask the IT department if there’s anything they feel should be scripted.
Use Third Party Hosting When Appropriate
Smaller companies often spend money where it’s not needed. And you can often save money by using pre-existing resources instead of hosting your own. Using a data centre instead of an internal IT department is often a great way to keep things running efficiently and in a cost-effective way.
Don’t Forget the Cloud
Cloud services are another way to streamline things without paying very much in the process. It’s also another method by which you can get IT resources at a lower cost. Cloud services sound more complex than they really are. They’re essentially just programs with the bulk of their data stored on remote servers. These servers, in turn, usually have strong backups of all data.
But what makes this a hidden gem for the business world is how it relates to savings. The backup and security system built into the cloud can essentially replace what you might spend locally. Programs stored on the cloud benefit from higher paying customers who insist on equally tough security models. Once implemented this trickles down. And in using cloud computing one can often take advantage of that fact.
Enterprise resource planning software, or ERP, tends to be somewhat expensive. However, this also translates into value when you outgrow standard business software. ERP isn’t overly obscure. But what makes it a hidden gem is the fact that people tend to be unaware of how to properly get the most out of it.
You need to know just when your company has outgrown standard shared computing resources. Jumping in before you’re ready can come at a loss. And waiting too long can as well. But using an ERP at exactly the right time can streamline the business to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Not to mention saving money in the process.
Invoice Management Techniques
There’s a variety of ways in which you can leverage these resources. But the best of the best is invoice factoring. This can become the most convenient way to get the funding you require on your sales invoices when consulted with a trusted financer. This isn’t always the easiest technique or strategy to understand. However, when one has a grasp of it the benefits become quite clear. Basically, a business factors receivable assets in order to meet current financial needs.
Third parties are involved with this process along the entirety of it. And this, in turn, can provide you with the means to succeed. This is applicable to almost any business need. But it’s one of the prime ways in which smaller companies leverage their resources in order to grow into larger companies.
In conclusion, you can see that there are quite a few ways to move your business smoothly. Many of them come with some extra considerations. And the direct applications of many of these methods differ by individual need. But there’s one constant among them all. They’re lesser known options which can dramatically improve the overall strength of your business.