Gaining Competitive Edge in a Changing Business Environment

According to an ancient adage, change is the only thing that is permanent. It is just a question of speed that mainly set the various types of changes apart. The rate of change is particularly pronounced when it comes to online business. Those who are unable to adapt to the rapid changes are unlikely to survive.

Factors

There are many internal and external factors that affect the profitability of a business. Internal factors include the management of the business, capitalization, model of operation, technological infrastructure and quality of products. External factors, on the other hand, include macro and micro-economic forces, political situation, business rivals, market demographics, and technological innovations.

Businesses that are primarily operating online and getting their leads online are the most susceptible to the rapid changes in the business environment. Case in point: the latest updates of Google in its search algorithms have radically affected many web-based businesses. Some were forced to close shops while others had to re-invest significant sums of money to regain their online presence.

Being highly visible online and attracting the target market are the primary goals of any online business. These goals are only possible with extensive and comprehensive online marketing strategies. However, strategies need to be continually fine-tuned or even radically changed in consonance with the changes being made by search engines.

Surviving

In order for an online business to survive and thrive in the rapid changing business environment, it has first to adapt to the demands of search engines. It must first be able to comply with the requirements of the search engines’ algorithms. For instance, the Google Panda update has penalized low quality websites that have thin relevant content and have many advertisements. Over-optimized websites were also penalized.

Consequently, many online businesses had to redesign their websites by updating the content and restructuring the code infrastructure. This meant additional expenses for many online businesses, almost equivalent to starting from scratch. Business entities that have enough capital funds were able to comply immediately and regain their rankings.

Thriving

In most cases, changes in the business environment are unexpected and may have unintended consequences. Many of these changes are beyond the control of business entities but those that can find solutions and adapt are likely to be rewarded. Hiring the services of expert consultants is oftentimes necessary to make the necessary adjustments.

Adapting to the requirements of search engines is only a basic survival technique for an online business. Maintaining a loyal customer base and continually improving the quality of products are still the best strategy to have a thriving business online.

The Importance Of A Disaster Recovery Plan In Business Environments

A disaster recovery plan is a detailed plan that is designed to outline how a business will recover from an unexpected event that causes costly losses. By developing an effective plan, businesses can restore the business’s ability to operate by recovering from the initial loss and resuming normal operations. While a business owner hopes that a disaster or catastrophic loss never happens to them, everyone should have a plan in force in case it does. US Department of Labor studies show that virtually 40 percent of all businesses who experience a disaster never re-open. Do not become a part of this statistic and understand the importance of a disaster recovery plan in business environments.

Crises and disasters that can affect your business operations can include theft, fire, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, power failure, Internet failure, hazardous material leaks and spills, security breaches, terrorist attacks, and computer hacker attacks. While the severity of each of these risks will vary, each exposure can close your business doors for good if you do not have an effective and comprehensive recovery and resumption plan in force. While not all of these risks can affect your business, you must plan for each risk you are vulnerable to.

While developing a recovery plan make take a lot of time and effort, once you have developed a successful plan you will ensure the continuity of leadership throughout the organization by relocating or repairing the damage that has been done in a reasonable time frame. You should outline realistic time frames on when facilities, records, assets, records and computer systems should be restored so that you know you are on track for business resumption. While some of the common disasters that occur today are preventable, it is important to develop a plan for every uncertainty.

The three primary goals of all disaster recovery plans that should include reducing the potential for injuries and physical damage to properties and records; stabilizing the effects of the disaster by beginning recovery efforts; and implementing the right procedures depending on the type of disaster that has occurred. While business insurance will pay for damages and loss to the corporation, re-opening your business and resuming operations requires planning. Assign individuals and committees responsible for implementing and following the recovery plan. Also, it is important to be sure that your business is not permanently closed because you failed to plan ahead of time for unexpected losses.

Reporting Software For Today’s Business Environment

One of the latest tools that has become available for today’s business managers is what is commonly referred to a reporting software. So, what exactly is reporting software and what does it do? Also, while it may be applicable to other businesses is it in fact applicable to yours?

Many Variations of Reporting Software

The fact, is that reporting software is available in several variations and is used for any of a number of purposes. In short, what it does is take raw data and convert it into an easy to comprehend format. At the same time it simplifies or refines this same data to make it far more easy to use.

Growth Brings Increased Potential for Losses

Unfortunately, as a business grows the financing of its operations can tend to spiderweb out in several directions. It’s just something that has become to be expected and accepted. Thus the margin for losses also tends to expand as well with growth.

Detecting Theft and Fraud

Reporting software allows a business to keep a tighter grip on their expenditures during these periods of growth, thus minimizing these expected losses. For instance, losses through theft or fraud can be far more easily and quickly detected with today’s modern reporting software.

Piles of Data Instantly Converted into Visual Format

One of the main reasons that reporting software makes managing a businesses expenses so much easier is that it instantly converts raw numbers and data into easy to understand charts and graphs. This is turn makes side by side comparisons a snap. Of course this in turn can make relevant correlations so much easier to see.

Quicker and Easier Information Management

No need for an accountant to crunch numbers and explain irregularities when they can be plainly seen on a simple bar chart. Also, subtle trends become not so subtle when they are laid out in plain sight on a line graph. In today’s business environment information is power and reporting software makes processing and managing information much quicker and easier.