Change is necessary to maintain forward momentum, especially in the business world. You must release new products and services, you must adapt existing processes, and you must continue to hire new talent. But these are just a few things that need to happen throughout the timeline of a successful business.
Regular upgrades are necessary because without them, you and your brand will be left behind. You can bet hard-earned money that the competition is always evolving, and if you don’t too, there’s no way to keep up.
Of course, upgrades can be hit or miss. Make the wrong ones and they’ll have little to no impact on your business. Make the right ones and you’re looking at increased customer support, better profits, and much more.
So how do you decide which upgrades to make? What are the necessary upgrades that will have a lasting impact on your business?
1. Add New Customer Support Channels
Customer satisfaction is a critical element of any successful operation. Simply put, if you’re not making your customers happy, your revenue, products, and opportunities are going to suffer.
By increasing customer support options, like adding a new communication channel, you can be sure they’re getting the resources they need. Thanks to online platforms and modern technology, it’s easier than ever to introduce new channels.
Live chat, social media, or a proprietary system are all excellent choices. You might also consider revamping your phone support to include local and experienced representatives, as opposed to outsourcing.
2. Increase the Value of Your Offerings
Every business exists to solve a problem of some kind, and they do this by offering products or services that aid their customers. A sure way to improve influence and positive sentiment is to expand that support.
For example, Home Depot offers in-store courses for DIY projects. Everyone knows Home Depot’s focus is to sell home improvement supplies and resources. However, through these workshops, they give customers even more value and more reasons to shop and use their services.
There are many ways to do this, like offering ebooks and online guides, training courses, free gear or incentives, and much more. By increasing the value of the goods or services you provide, you instantly make them more desirable.
3. Renew Your Output or Tools
Introducing new products or services to your catalog is critical. You don’t have to get rid of old offerings, but sometimes phasing them out can be beneficial. The main goal should be to innovate and upgrade.
You can also release iterative updates, like a low-cost version of a premium product or one that has fewer features. This kind of lateral move is excellent when you see interest from customers who cannot afford your current products or services, yet research shows a viable demand.
Whatever the case, regular product updates should be in your repertoire, including the tools you use to get your job done or innovate on another front.
This works even for service-based businesses. With something like transportation, logistics, or development companies, fleets should be renewed regularly. Somewhere in the range of 150,000 to 250,000 total miles is the typical expert recommendation.
4. Conduct Thorough Research
Market research is a critical part of modern business, but the tools for doing so have changed and you should take heed. It also means that when you have the opportunity, you should upgrade your efforts to include the new programs and resources.
Specifically, AI and machine learning are revolutionizing the field of research. Through a massive influx of data and information, these platforms can accurately discern segmentation, customer sentiment, market demands, and so much more. You want a piece of that pie, because it’s a game-changer.
5. Upgrade the Brand’s Image
Logos and slogans need to be swapped out every so often so they don’t become stale. However, the brand’s general image is always the most important focus. How do customers see your company, and is it in a positive or negative light? Moreover, why do they see your brand that way?
Are you involved with a third party that’s known for nefarious activities? Do customers see your products as green and environmentally-friendly, or the opposite? Do people love doing business with you because you have a positive impact on the local economy or community?
These are all things that should be considered and incorporated into future strategies and decisions. They are also high-brow upgrades that you can make to change the impact and influence of your company, especially if you’re moving in a positive direction.
6. Train Your Team(s)
Depending on the job or project, it’s always beneficial to provide advanced training to your employees. The cost of doing so will be offset by the optimization and success of a project or venture. This is especially true of niche trades and positions, where the work involved requires someone highly skilled or experienced. Knowledgeable employees also tend to be more engaged with what’s going on.
According to go2HR, 40% of employees with poor training leave the company within the first year. Moreover, The Huffington Post reveals that companies investing in better training see 24% higher profit margins. Investing in solid training programs for employees is almost always a safe bet.
Building Momentum: Keep Making the Necessary Upgrades
The market and consumer demands are always changing, even within a specific niche. This means that if you have any hope of keeping your business afloat and maintaining the momentum you’ve achieved, you will need to continue pushing forward.
The simplest and most effective way to do this is to upgrade various processes and areas of your business, like releasing new products or improving employee training. If you can continue making the necessary upgrades, your business will flourish.