Does the sagging global economy present a challenge for your business goals? If so, you’re like many other owners, entrepreneurs, and high-level managers who need help navigating during less than perfect financial conditions. With inflation rising at historically rapid rates and small businesses facing trouble during the continuing COVID pandemic, it’s essential to focus on profitability and long-term survival. The good news is that there are several effective ways to stay afloat and prosper, even in bad times.
Many corporations are discovering the wisdom of establishing a customer focused philosophy. In addition, managers are learning the value of other tools, like fleet management systems, employee ownership, a more efficient bonus arrangement, informal work environments, and switching from hourly to salary compensation structures. Here are details about the most popular tools today’s business owners are using to keep profit levels as high as reasonably possible.
For more than a decade, the corporate world has been undergoing a transformation. One of the main components of that change is about paying more attention to customers’ needs. In a way, the entire consumer economy had lost focus and drifted away from the idea of customers first. From the 1960s until the early 2000s, many merchants and service providers became more profit-oriented and forgot that profits come from buyers, customers, clients, and consumers in the first place. Think about different strategies to put the emphasis back on the buyer. Some companies use humor to attract customers while others focus on sharing their good work in the community. Re-focus your company by adding better customer service teams, surveying your clients on a regular basis, and listening to feedback from the people who make it all happen, your customers.
For companies that deliver goods of any kind, it’s imperative to have a full-scale fleet management system in place. These sophisticated software programs perform dozens of critical tasks, like minimizing delivery time, tracking driver hours, reporting on vehicle functions, and more. For example, systems from companies like Omnitracs, Geotab, KeepTruckin, and Samsara let managers take advantage of ELD (electronic logging device) compliance solutions. In fact, while ELD solutions are easy to implement, they are highly complex programs that gather huge batches of data so that drivers are never in danger of exceeding the legally allowed number of on-the-road hours. Install fleet software in all your trucks, use with any Android or iOS device, and let the software do the hard work of analyzing and reporting back to you.
A trend that began in Europe in the 1970s is finally capturing the attention of companies all over the world. The concept is employee ownership, and many automakers are pioneering the idea by giving shares of stock with each paycheck. Eventually, the goal of these programs is for the majority of ownership to be in the hands of employees. Most corporations who have experimented with the method have had excellent results.
Informal Office Environment
Times have changed, and that means offices need to adapt. Already, many of the world’s biggest corporations are ditching formal attire for casual dress codes, flexible office space, first name basis forms of address, and the addition of social activities to the work culture. Consider loosening up your company’s culture to incorporate more casual, modern, relaxed ways of doing things.
Salaries Not Wages
Many small businesses are switching from the traditional hourly pay arrangement to an all-salary system. There are a few drawbacks and many advantages for employees, and for owners who take this route. For starters, all work becomes project-focused instead of based on hourly production quotas and parameters. Plus, employees aren’t tied to a strict nine-to-five schedule but have the chance to work more efficiently when they are in the office and not worry about watching the clock. In most industries, salaried workers are much happier with their compensation. One reason is that hourly wages are viewed by many as an outdated, mechanical way to compensate people. Salaries represent pay for the value of what each individual brings to the organization, measured in true worth instead of dollars-per-minute.
Happy employees work harder, stay with the company longer, and serve as excellent personal ambassadors for the organization. Word of mouth is an influential promotional factor, especially when people hear about how satisfied your company’s workers are. The question is, what kinds of benefits do the best job of motivating workforces? Along with subsidized medical insurance, owners can offer dental coverage, vision insurance, gym memberships, thrift saving plans, matching retirement programs, 401k accounts, and twice-yearly performance reviews. It’s easy to focus on hourly wages or salary data, but people want more than money. They enjoy being compensated in other ways and return the favor in the form of loyalty and hard work.