5 Business Resolutions to Boost Up Sales in 2024
Since the onset of the pandemic, the years have been like none other. The stock market witnessed a nearly 20% plunge. Global inflation surged past 13%. Some experts even suggest that the US teeters on the brink of a recession reminiscent of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
A crisis doesn't birth trends; it accelerates them. Consequently, innovative solutions that once required years of development are now being implemented within mere months. We adapt, our behaviours change, and our habits evolve at a rapid pace.
So, what should you focus on in the coming months to effectively bolster your business? We've compiled a list of resolutions for this year that will prove invaluable for business owners, regardless of their industry, as well as for C-Suite and team managers.
#1. Prioritise Flexible Teams Over Long-Term and Detailed Planning
The World Economic Forum once identified skills like active listening and customer orientation as core skills back in 2015. Today, these skills have given way to three key self-efficacy skills: resilience, flexibility, and agility.
It's paramount to transition to dynamic and adaptable teams that can pivot swiftly as business requirements evolve. Reevaluate your planning approaches; avoid attempting to forecast a year ahead as conditions can change rapidly. When making decisions, embrace experimentation and risk management.
For example, during the Cisco Subscription Billing Platform (SBP) project, employees were grouped into teams of developers, testers, QA specialists, and delivery managers. They used to work sequentially, creating, testing, and deploying new features. Over time, this approach led to slow development, missed deadlines, quality issues, and frequent overtime.
Cisco subsequently introduced a flexible development approach, incorporating several new stages into the process, such as searching for opportunities to enhance the product and identifying and addressing bugs.
Teams now collaborate on building and testing features together. If a feature doesn't perform as expected initially, it's swiftly removed. As a result of this transition, defects in Cisco's products decreased by 40%, and the efficiency of resolving software bugs increased by 14%, thanks to improved team collaboration.
#2. Embrace AI-Powered Solutions Before It's Too Late
Artificial intelligence finds active application in eCommerce, logistics, marketing, finance, and HR management. Technology aids in predicting demand for specific products and the likelihood of employee turnover.
According to the 2023 McKinsey Global Survey, one-third of respondents noted that their organisations regularly use AI in at least one business function. Furthermore, 40% of respondents stated that their companies intend to increase investments in AI.
Implementing AI in business offers numerous advantages:
- Process Automation: AI streamlines time-consuming tasks, reducing the chances of errors and boosting productivity, enabling employees to focus on more creative and strategic tasks.
- Data Analysis: AI enables businesses to analyse vast amounts of data, uncovering significant patterns that inform more predictable decision-making.
- Enhanced Personalisation: AI facilitates personalised interactions with customers, delivering tailored offers that align with their preferences.
- Forecasting and Planning: AI delivers precise forecasts that assist businesses in optimising production, logistics, and financial processes.
- Improved Customer Service: AI enables companies to provide faster and more efficient customer support through AI-powered chatbots capable of real-time issue resolution.
#3. Foster a Proactive Security-First Culture
Experts forecast that global cybercrime losses will increase by 15% annually over the next three years. In 2015, cybercrime losses amounted to $3 trillion, and this figure is projected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025—almost half of the current US nominal GDP, which stands at approximately $23 trillion.
The World Economic Forum ranks cybercrime among the top 10 most serious global risks of the next decade, alongside challenges like climate change and forced migration.
What does the contemporary cybersecurity landscape look like? We've summarised the major trends:
- Blockchain Security: Blockchain offers a secure architecture for data storage and transmission based on cryptography, decentralisation, and consensus. Blockchain solutions can secure user authorisation, decentralise data storage, and safeguard against DDoS attacks.
- Zero Trust Principle: In an unpredictable digital environment, the Zero Trust principle is emerging as the foundation of security. It assumes that organisations no longer possess a secure internal perimeter. Instead, thorough audits of every user, process, and device are necessary, with data access rights minimised.
- Stringent Cybersecurity Regulations: Governments and international organisations are increasingly concerned about the risks that cyber threats pose to national security and economic growth. Accordingly, cyberspace regulation is on the rise globally. For example, the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, and similar regulations are being adopted worldwide.
- Employee Training: Every employee can either be a weak link in cybersecurity or a strong defender. To avert the former, organisations must invest in employee training. Team members should possess basic cybersecurity skills, recognise potential threats, and respond effectively. Employees should also practice discretion with emails and links, regularly update passwords, and maintain up-to-date software.
#4. Invest in Employee Training and Development
Presently, companies face a significant shortage of specialists, particularly in areas like IT, healthcare, social services, training, and education. With 3 million more job openings than available candidates, a tight labour market has compelled employers to take the initiative in training and developing employees.
This presents employers with several advantages:
- Employees already possess an understanding of the business.
- Employees exhibit loyalty to the company, project, and team.
- Employees align with the company's internal culture and integrate into the work process rapidly.
- Employers are already familiar with employees' strengths and weaknesses.
However, employees must be willing to learn and gain new experiences. This hinges on corporate culture and individual cases. Stagnation frequently prompts specialists to leave their jobs, according to a survey of 32 million participants from 125 countries. Moreover, LinkedIn reports that 94% of employees would remain in their previous roles if management invested in their development.
A typical practice is for companies to cover 50% of the cost of employee training related to the profession and responsibilities of specific specialists.
#5. Prioritise Employee Well-being Over Short-Term Revenue Targets
The traditional approach where decisions are dictated by a few individuals at the top is no longer effective. Most groundbreaking ideas stem from collaborative efforts within large groups. The most successful companies foster a culture of teamwork rather than relying solely on directives from upper management.
However, to nurture proactive employees who do not seek opportunities elsewhere, it's paramount to prioritise their well-being. This involves addressing corporate culture issues not solely through salary increases.
Implement Onboarding Programs
Research indicates that 26% of new employees depart from companies lacking onboarding and training programs. Onboarding programs significantly impact productivity and reduce turnover. According to Glassdoor, companies with effective onboarding experience an 82% increase in retention rates for new employees and over a 70% boost in productivity.
Create a Comfortable Office Environment for Offline/Hybrid Teams
Quality office conditions, including good lighting and ventilation, amplify employee satisfaction by 24% and increase productivity by 16%. A study by the University of Massachusetts discovered that introducing vibrant colours to the office can reduce stress, enhance creativity, and stimulate idea generation. To establish a comfortable workspace, it's essential to first identify your employees' needs.
Promote a Culture of Feedback
Research reveals that feedback reduces stress, fosters trust within the company, and elevates project performance. Approximately 27% of employees affirm that feedback helps them execute their tasks more effectively, and 24% would consider leaving if feedback were lacking.
Lastly, embrace a shift in mindset and view change as a catalyst for discovering new opportunities. When life hands you lemons, seize the chance to craft refreshing lemonade!
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