When we begin a company, we tend to not really understand what it is we’re doing, especially if it’s the first company we’ve set up. While we manage just fine to make our business a success, we tend to look back only to see that just about everything we thought it would be turned out to be very slightly wrong. Now that you’re established, however, you’re able to really think about what you want the future of your company to look like. Because now, it’s not about survival – it’s about thriving as a company and setting up your own agenda. There will need to be a thorough plan, however, so take a look at some of the areas below that should be focused on.
Invigorating Your Website
Early incarnations of your website will one day make you look back and wince. The design isn’t so good, the copy is completely uninspiring, it is, in short, a bit of a mess. Now, though, you have the time to really make your website a crucial part of your business. You can enlist forward thinking website designers so that you’re at the cutting edge of what’s hot; expert SEO services so that you’re easy to find through search engines; and incorporate integrated online selling or communication. Take the time to really get this right, because once everything is on point your website won’t require massive overhauls in the future, just small tweaks. Take a look at what your rivals are doing and then think one step ahead!
Honing in Your Social Media Voice
Like your website, you probably didn’t put too much thought into what your social media presence would look like. There’s too much happening during a company launch to think of a real strategy for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. The good news is that it doesn’t take much planning to switch your social media voice to a new angle. Don’t do it overnight, of course, but with the launch of a new website it’s an appropriate time to begin the change. You might become more engaged with social issues, become more connected to your town or city, or go for the shock factor – but be warned, the last one is high risk and can always backfire!
Shift Your Focus To Your Customers
In the early days of your company you couldn’t really be too heavily customer focused. Because there were no customers. Now that you’re not just trying to get anyone to pay attention to you, you can take the time to ramp up your customer service strategy. It’ll be no longer enough to simply offer a great service or product, you need to become part of your customer’s life in your particular field. This can be sending out newsletters, offering insightful, expert advice on your website, and so on. A valued customer is worth big money to any company, so treat them well!
Bringing in the Right People
Even if you think you’re running at full capacity, it’s worth investigating whether you’re able to bring in new members of staff. Bringing in new staff can be directly correlated with growth, providing you’re hiring right. In the beginning, you hired people to do a job for you, a job that you trained them to do. Now, you want to hire people who can tell you how to do things. It’s about bringing in a higher calibre of employee, one who might have thoughts and observations better than your own. Surround yourself with the best people and you and your company will go far.
Moving up in the World
Like with your staff, you might not necessarily need to move locations, but doing so can bring benefits that stretch beyond just having more space. Once you’ve got yourself underway, location becomes a much bigger factor – you didn’t have the money to set up in the best area when you began, but you do now. Take a look at what’s around your area – where are the companies you want to be mixing with located? Are there any hip and trendy areas that can give you the fashionable address you need?
Define Your Company
The culture of a company is always in flux during the early days. Everyone on the staff is new, and the culture tends to just “happen”, defined by the strongest personalities in the office – usually the most experienced. Now that you’re underway, you can revisit your company culture and give it a deep analysis. What’s working, and what isn’t? Is this the type of culture I want from my office? If not, take steps to change it. Taking the team away for a weekend in line with the culture you want, or introducing new office policies and so forth, will quickly bring about the change.
An important part of moving forward is…looking back at where you’ve come from. You’ll have made mistakes during your formative months (if you haven’t, you should have!), and also have some really great ideas. Moving forward and stepping up isn’t about ripping up everything that has gone before; it’s about taking a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t, discarding the errors and making the successes an integral part of your company philosophy. You’ll have all the data you need to understand the good from bad, so take the time to shift through it and move on.
The best, most long lasting – not to mention rewarding – thing you can do to take your company to the next level is to improve yourself. You should always be open to learning new things and trying out new ideas, fully aware that you’re essentially only following your gut and that it might fail. You can also work on becoming the employee that you yourself would love to have. You’ll be surprised just how much trickles down from the boss, so make yourself as good as you can be as a boss and others will take notice. From then, you’ll be moving forward from a position of strength.