Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
To be a great leader in business – you need many skills. Tenacity. Good judgment. The ability to sell a vision to disinterested people. But perhaps one of the most important attributes is being able to see into the future. That doesn’t mean that you need a crystal ball- but keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to industry trends and macroeconomic conditions is vital.
Understand Generation Z
While the headlines are full of news about millennials, the up and coming generation is going to be your customer base sooner rather than later, so pay attention to the specific needs of those born from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. There are many positive attributes here, from their stance on ethics, the environment and a focus on community and transparency and can-do attitude. But this generation is multi-tasking digital natives that move at the speed of light, so make sure you adapt your marketing strategies to align with their needs – as the customer make up changes, this could make or break your business. Revisit your business plan, brief your business manager and use analytics to determine how much of your current customer base belong to this group, and lay the foundations for future expansions and campaigns to match what they are looking for, as they become an ever more prominent and numerous segment of the customer opportunity.
Invest In Your Tech
As a big-ticket purchase, it’s only smart to consider future needs as well as current when paying out for new tech. Use your projections and business plans to get a picture of where you are likely to be in a couple of years’ time – will this current solution still serve you then? How easy is it to upgrade capacity or integrate with new systems? If you have engagements and customer meetings all over the place, is it better to invest in tablet computers and use Wi-Fi to access cloud systems wherever you go rather than paying to upgrade desktop PCs? What systems are there specific to the industry that you operate in that other companies are using successfully? It’s also worth investigating refurbished hardware. A lot of larger companies upgrade every year, meaning you can get nearly-new technology for a fraction of the price of out of the box. If you manufacture and you need access to specialist kit, work with a known supplier like Northern Mat & Bridge to ensure you get the benefit of the latest developments.
Get Support and Training
It’s no good spending money on new tech if no one knows how to use or maintain it. Consider hiring in specialist IT support on a temporary basis to troubleshoot any problems and make sure everyone is up to speed on the new systems. Have training manuals produced in-house that can be referred back to in case of any future complications? And make sure you are signed up for alerts on any security patches or upgrades that become available so you can stay ahead of the curve and keep your tech as up to date as possible.