Small businesses need to think about technology on a larger scale, even if you are not using the latest tech yourself you need to be aware of what is out there and what it means for the way we do business.

Cloud computing – this is one of those areas we have all been talking about for years but that is still a crucial area with multiple applications but let’s just talk about backups today. Did you know that anyone who subscribes to Office 365 gets 1TB of storage for free on OneDrive? Is your data backed up in the cloud? Do your various work apps sync up over multiple devices? The cloud is now everywhere and if you are not using it, why? If you lost your computer/tablet/phone tomorrow could you restore it easily? If not, why not? There really is no reason not to embrace the cloud and the benefits for your business just in terms of regular backups can be invaluable.

Automation – how many tasks do you do on a daily basis that could be automated? This is a question you need to ask yourself on a regular basis as it could be the key to making your business more efficient and profitable. Are you posting the same contact on multiple online channels one at a time? Are you going through a shoebox of expense receipts on a regular basis trying to work out why have kept them and who can attribute the cost to? Is your customer and prospect database living in a spreadsheet? Think about your hourly rate, the time you spend on these activities and compare that with the cost of a software solution that could automate the process…

Video – what is the largest search engine in the world? Not a difficult question to answer and if you are struggling, just Google it. The second largest? YouTube (which is owned by the largest). So why is it we all obsess about how to get Google to notice us but overlook the fact they own a massive video platform and will reward people who post content by making it easier for people to find them. The video does not have to be HD, it does not have to be long or scripted, it just needs to be authentic and relevant. If you have an iPhone, and a pair of AirPods and something to say you can put together videos like this and all you need it a cheap video app that lets you use the AirPods as Bluetooth mic.

If you want to find out more about how your business can take advantage of technology trends book in your meeting with The Consultants’ Community today.

When it comes to business partnerships monogamy is not always the way to go. The chances of finding one business partner who will be able to meet all your needs moving forward are very slim and can harm your business in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong here, there are partners who are perfect for you and that you may well want to form long-term, or even lifelong, connections with but odds are they just won’t be able to meet all your needs, especially as the business grows.

You need to cast the net a bit wider to increase the number of relationships your business has. Now one thing to keep in mind as you do this is that each new member of the group needs to get on with the existing members, grow your partnership group with businesses who compliment each other as you don’t want your partners to feel threatened by each other, you want everyone to feel they are valued by you for the services they provide. You also want your partners to be able to collaborate with each other for your benefit.

The key elements when it comes to successful polygamous business partnerships are:

  • Try and get all parties involved to get along and see the value of the others involved
  • Give each partner the attention they deserve
  • Make sure everyone knows about everyone else
  • If one partner needs to work with another make sure they are clear on who does what, when

If you want to explore how polygamous partnerships can work for your business book in a meeting with The Consultants’ Community and see how a group of over 20 consultants can help you take your business to the next level.

The official definition of opportunity cost is “the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen” but what does that really mean for businesses?

If you run your own business there are many moving parts that you need to manage. If you are focussing on getting one part to move properly then you may well miss that fact that the whole machine is breaking further down the line. Every time you decide to focus on one part you are taking away the opportunity to focus on another part.

So if you decide you will focus 100% on sales for the next quarter then the opportunity cost is that you have no time to focus on HR, management, legal, etc. Equally if you decide to focus on all of these areas instead you are costing yourself the opportunity to focus on the area you feel is a priority.

Whatever you do, there is an opportunity cost. You can’t do everything and you can’t cover all the bases on your own, especially as your business grows. The key to dealing with this is simple, ask for help! If you can’t do everything yourself, find people who can fill the gaps. Not ready to hire staff? No worries, there is a plethora of consultants and service providers out there who have built businesses with the sole purpose of helping out people in your situation.

So as a final thought I just want to ask you what you think the opportunity cost of not asking for help is?

If you want to have a no obligation, free consultation with The Consultants’ Community to find out how our members can help you reduce your opportunity cost click here to book