Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, Gives 7 Tips That Every Business Should Think About
1. Think small.
Businesses of all sizes could learn from the example of small businesses. The Regus Business Tracker Study showed that companies with fewer than 50 employees are more bullish about 2010 than their larger counterparts, suggesting the economic recovery will be led by them. There’s also evidence that smaller companies are more go-getting and externally-focused - putting their energy into marketing and customer retention, while large firms are struggle with internal concerns like cost management and staffing.2.Take a trip. When it comes to focusing externally, businesses shouldn’t let international boundaries stand in their way; China, India and other emerging economies have huge potential for future growth. With communication technologies becoming ever more advanced and ever cheaper, doing business abroad can fuel future growth prospects. A word of warning, though: research into new markets is key, as is finding the right international partners otherwise costs can begin to spiral out of control3.Work smarter. Businesses all over the world are looking at the cost of headcount, but many neglect to look at other fixed costs. For the majority of businesses, property is the second biggest fixed overhead. Even so, 95% of businesses fail to identify it as an area where they could make major savings. Instead of locking themselves into costly, fixed-term property arrangements, they should look at more flexible arrangements, such as short- or medium-term leases, or virtual working. Flexible working can reduce a company’s property costs by up to 60% whilst creating a more motivated workforce.4.Go green. Take the opportunity to benefit from more energy efficient technologies. Cost-saving, green technologies like energy monitors, and air conditioning and lighting can significantly cut utility bills. Organisations like [Carbon Trust] can give advice on energy-efficient technologies and grants. In addition virtual and flexible working can reduce a company’s travel costs, as well as cutting employees’ carbon footprints.5.Look around. Recovery or no recovery, some sectors have been thriving even during the recession. Telecoms, for example, is strong globally, with many developing countries installing new mobile technology. Sustainable technology is also doing well, thanks to strong investment in the sector. Businesses of all sizes should look for ways to benefit from the opportunities in thriving sectors, and never get so trapped by day-to-day management that they fail to spot new openings.6. Outsource. Companies should focus on revenue-generating activities and outsource the rest. Property, administration and support services can all be handled by other people, allowing businesses to concentrate on the activities they do best.7. Network. Love it or hate it, networking is vital for meeting new customers and contacts, and gathering information and advice. It’s one of the easiest ways to generate new business
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