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How to Create a Good Business Strategy in 2016 and Beyond

How to Create a Good Business Strategy in 2016 and Beyond

In today’s hectic world, changes are fast and every entrepreneur has to operate a business in a constant state of flux in order to keep up with those changes and always stay on top. With the fast spreading of information via the Internet, it is paramount to stay up-to-date with the latest business strategies, in order to be able to reach your target audiences all over the globe.

Developing a good business strategy is an essential step for every business owner and it needs to be done very carefully and with clear focus. It is the basis for business success and it should address the keys for achieving the company’s ultimate goal. When creating your business strategy, it is crucial that you have your goal in mind, but concentrate on everything that will help you on your path towards achieving that goal.

Your business strategy should address the sole purpose of your company and, with the changes happening daily on the market, it needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted to ensure that you stay on the right path. Read on and find out if you need to implement a little bit of adjustment, to keep up with the latest trends in business, as we tackle some of the best business strategies of today.

Make Your Professional Website Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that more than half the visitors to your website go online using their mobile phones? If your website still isn’t mobile-friendly, stop for a second and think about all the people who tried visiting via their mobiles but couldn’t, so they went straight to your competitors.

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That’s out of the question – you need to make your website mobile-friendly. With the extremely increased use of smartphones and tablets, you will get a much larger number of customers if people are able to visit your website wherever they are. You can also consider developing a smart-phone app for your site, since that will attract even more customers.

Provide Your Customers with Plenty of Useful Information

You need to keep your customers up-to-date and provide them with new information about your products. The key to accomplishing that is having great content on your website. Treat your content as your product, since content is your best marketing strategy.

Provide your target audience with the exact thing they are looking for when they visit your website and, not only will you engage them with your quality content and make them interested in your business, but you will also have them always come back for more. Content is the key factor in your business strategy. It will attract more customers and drive more traffic to your website, leading only to more profit and expansion possibilities.

Work on Your Site’s Appearance and Function

Another area you need to improve is the quality of your website. It was already mentioned that you need to make it mobile-friendly, but you need to increase its speed to make it more responsive in general. Since your website is basically your store at the same time, it is in your interest that it should  have a smooth flow.

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In other words, you might need to change your host and opt for a provider with better tech support, with better features and Add-Ons, and better user interface. To make a more sound decision go through various reviews and customer feedback, and measure the pros and cons of different hosting services. Make sure the hosting provider fits in your future growth plans and that it can support the growth of traffic on your website.

Mix Traditional Marketing with New Trends

It goes without saying that every good business strategy requires a good marketing strategy. Now, try not to focus on one type of marketing only, but instead try and combine several different tactics and merge them into your own marketing blend.

Mix traditional marketing that includes sending direct mails to your customers and providing them with promotional gifts, with new approaches, such as having ads on social media and engaging in SEO, as well as working on your content marketing and including automated CRM apps that can identify your potential customers and help you with your sales process.

Engage in Social Media Marketing

Due to the immense popularity of social media networks, you need to think about promoting your business via social media. Share your blog posts on different social media networks and you can be sure that you will gain more popularity and attract a larger number of customers. Everyone is online pretty much all the time, so the chances of getting more clients are higher than ever. Therefore, social media marketing is another strategy you need to implement to successfully grow your business.

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Train Your Employees

Everyone in your company needs to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest technologies and the latest trends in business, so you need to consider investing in your employees’ training. Your team needs to be productive, so you need to help them improve their skills for the overall benefit of your company.

It’s important to watch out for people who lack skill and experience, but managed to land the job because their resume look really good – you’d be surprised how many people scammed their way into important positions by lying in their resumes.

Each and every one of your employees is an important link in the chain and they need to be treated as such, so it’s your responsibility to introduce them to new trends which can help speed things up. You need to remember that your team is the heart of your company and you are the one who can help them achieve their full potential, thus leading your business to success.

Focus on Your Goals

The most important thing for your strategy is to always focus on your company’s goals and create your strategy based on them and their realization. You need to consider your company’s needs and resources and focus on what you want to accomplish. You need to make sure you are taking all the right steps when leading your business towards success.

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Make sure whether you are making progress. Your team will be one of the key factors that will help you achieve your goals, so you need to have good communication skills and implement the right management strategy to keep them motivated and productive at all times.

If you want to prepare for the upcoming year, you need to do your research carefully and consider the right factors when developing your strategy, so that you can secure the future of your company. Invest your time and money in creating a good business strategy that will include the aforementioned tips and you will be one step closer to being sure that your business will thrive.

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Vladimir Zivanovic

CMO at MyCity-Web

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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