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It’s safe to say that no one can predict what the economy will look like over the next 12 months. Indeed, that uncertainty grows as we look further ahead.
Today, running a business means searching for opportunities that are available now. To do that, you have to cover a lot of ground. While you can’t anticipate every new development in every industry, you can focus on essential strategies.
They can help you grow even in tumultuous markets, and you can group them into five categories.
1. Get on the AI train
Gurus have been telling you to embrace automation for years. That’s still good advice, but the automation landscape is changing rapidly. That’s an understatement.
AI is advancing so fast that automation in just five more years will be almost unrecognizable compared to today.
To simplify a vast topic, you can now embrace AI to automate a lot of busy work in your company. Tools like ChatGPT can speed anything from writing an email to devising a multinational marketing campaign.
Creative tools can generate images and even craft unique videos in remarkably short amounts of time. That’s to say, no AI is devoted to data mining and crunching.
There are AI tools for every business and leveraged well, they create an explosion in productivity.
2. Think of value beyond price
The entire world has seen remarkably high inflation over the past several years. Even as inflation might stabilize and reduce, consumers have grown wary of high prices. Any chance to lower the cost of a good or service can give you a massive advantage for growth.
That said, slashing prices won’t always be viable. On top of that, consumers aren’t just looking for the lowest price; they’re searching for higher values.
An interesting trend has emerged. Consumers across industries are willing to pay higher prices today if they anticipate long-term value.
This applies to more than just the longevity of a product. Any value addition works. It’s why cell phone carriers add streaming services to their bundles, and you need to push more value into what you sell.
3. Embrace omnichannel business strategies
“Omnichannel” became a buzzword several years ago. It might be time now if you didn’t jump on the bandwagon before.
For the sake of clarity, “omnichannel” refers to the concept of increasing the ways people can communicate with your business.
Once upon a time, people could visit in person or write a letter. Those were the only two channels. Innovation led to telegraphs, telephones, email, live chat, social media and several additional channels.
Omnichannel business strategies involve consolidating these communication versions into a single management system. That makes it easier for all aspects of the company to keep up with and organize the various forms of communication. Here’s an example to clarify.
Imagine trying to reach customer support for a business. You go to their website and see a phone number, live chat option and email address. With good omnichannel management, you could start a conversation via any of those options and continue it across different communication modes, all with minimal disruption. What begins with a phone call today might follow up with an email tomorrow, and the communication is seamless.
This same idea can apply to business-to-business communication, marketing, internal relationships and every other facet of communication in your business.
The idea makes it easier for people to talk and keep up with the many conversations that often emerge in a digital world.
With a sound management system, you find more ways to reach the people you care about without putting more hours of labor into managing all that communication.
4. Open dialogues
This is a simple concept with infinitely deep applications. If you want to find growth opportunities, you have to have conversations. You need to talk to your customers and listen to what they want. You must discuss issues with your employees to empower them to achieve tremendous success.
You need discussion with vendors and providers to see what new advantages they can offer you. In reality, there are countless experts with precise niches, all able to give you new insights and chances to grow.
Of course, having these conversations comes with a new challenge. Everyone is going to try to sell you something. It’s up to you to weed through the pitches and look for golden nuggets.
How do you do this? Open dialogues. Have conversations with experts in many different areas. Talk to IT providers, security experts, marketing specialists and more. You might hire or partner with some of them, but that’s not the underlying point.
You can spot emerging trends if you have enough conversations involving specialized points of view. You can see the next portion of your growth engine and then move in that direction.
5. Consider mergers and acquisitions
Does your business have an off-ramp? Is that something you want to consider right now?
A merger could provide more business growth than any other strategy.
If you aren’t in the market to be acquired, you might find yourself on the other end of such a deal. You can start looking for potential businesses you might receive, again providing faster growth than just about anything else.
This is a massive topic worthy of discussion. For now, it’s enough to consider the prospect. Either side of a merger could be just what your business needs. If that sounds possible, it’s time to dig deeper.
Modern growth is about scouring for your next ample opportunity. Keep searching, and success is always within reach.