Work on and in your business
SPEND TIME ON DEVELOPMENT
WHEN it comes to business, no matter what you do, you can’t be a dinosaur.
“We all know what happened to them,” business expert Linda Hailey said.
She said innovation was essential to survival in business, whether you were a plumber or a pastry chef.
“It’s a turbocharged market. Everybody can access information so much faster, and people go off things faster too,” Hailey said.
“You have to be across the practical stuff like how to use technology and you have to know about marketing – and particularly who you are marketing to.”
Markets have become tighter than ever but that has brought opportunities.
“A clothing site might make bamboo bibs for babies – a niche market that tra- ditionally small businesses couldn’t access easily,” Haley said.
“But online anyone in the world can search ‘bamboo bib’ and find your site. You can be a one-man band and have as much presence as a large business.”
Of course the volume of information and expertise available online can also make life harder. For instance, people who leave their job with another company and go out on their own as consultants in their area of expertise may find it hard to compete with all the information and advice that is readily available.
Researching your market and developing ways to target that market are key.
Hailey said small businesses need to spend two or three hours a month working on their business, rather than in their business. This means taking a step back from the day-to-day activities to look at how to improve their operation.
Fit For Business is a partnership between Community Newspaper Group and Allianz. Pastry chef Francois Galand among sweet treats in his shop.