The world of business is an incredibly diverse place, with the range of available products and services almost unfathomable. However, all businesses, from one-person operations to trans-national organisations comprising many thousands of staff, share certain needs that transcend size and power. Here are four of the things every business needs.
Regardless of how large or small a business is, without doubt it will need reliable communications to stay in contact with its customers and suppliers. A communications system may comprise a single mobile phone, or perhaps a tablet computer, all the way up to complex business phone systems. Telecommunications companies such as Com2 can help businesses of all sizes select and install a reliable communications system that will meet their current needs and grow with them without frequent replacement. Look for modern systems that fuse voice communications with fibre optic and wireless internet using technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and provide high-quality sound and seamless and reliable connectivity at low cost.
It almost goes without saying that all businesses need customers in some form or another to exist and grow. Yet it is surprising how many businesses take their customers for granted, and eventually fail or struggle along without growth because they have not delivered quality service or products, or have not innovated to keep their customers interested. Social media is a double-edged sword for businesses; those that can effectively engage their current and prospective customers can leverage this engagement into sales and a positive public perception. On the other hand, businesses that get it wrong, or upset their clients, can see their reputation and revenue suffer due to negative comments online. The lesson? Treat your customer with respect and keep them wanting more of what you have to offer.
Positive cash flow
All businesses need positive cash flow in the medium to long term in order to survive. Cash flow can come in the form of capital reserves raised from the owners’ savings during the start-up phase, or perhaps from direct investors or through borrowed finance at reasonable rates. But the best way to keep cash entering a business is via sales revenue from a variety of sources at regular intervals. Few things are more frustrating to business operators than waiting for lump sums to arrive once or twice a month while bills wait for nobody. Establishing instant payment via cash, credit card or other instant payment methods help to keep the lifeblood flowing, whereas long credit terms of 30 days or more can starve an otherwise profitable business of the funds it needs to pay its staff and debts.
Finding the right people
Hiring and retaining the right people is a key component to business success. It is difficult to find people who truly share the firm’s vision and can be relied on to put the interests of the business first, so making the extra effort and investment to find and keep them is usually worth the initial financial outlay. The consequences of failing to do so can cripple a business through reduced productivity of an unenthusiastic employee and the not insignificant expense of recruiting and training new staff to replace those who leave due to disillusionment or being a poor fit for the business.
These are just four of the things every business needs. If you have any suggestions or experiences to share, please share them below.