As the leader in your organization, your first order of business in welcoming the new year might be regaining momentum, especially with the continuing uncertainties and challenges of Covid-19. If the last three years taught us anything, it was that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to adapt with the times if they want to stay relevant.

Proximity restrictions drove all of us to evolve and figure out ways to retain our clientele without dealing with them face-to-face. Online business transactions, environmental consciousness, telecommuting, shifting talent pool, purposeful enterprise, and the “metaverse” vision are among the important concepts shaping our digital transformation. In this new ecosystem, are you wondering how you can optimize your business processes and stay ahead of your competitors?

This blog post offers food for thought and interesting new ideas on where you can take your business.

1. Improve your cybersecurity practices

It’s no secret that technology is constantly changing, but many people fail to realize that cybercriminals are also evolving. Every business, regardless of size, needs to be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to avoid a cyberattack. If you don’t have cybersecurity practices in place — or it’s been some time since you last considered this — you should review your current needs and make the necessary updates.

One of the best ways to improve your cybersecurity practices is to run your team through annual or semiannual cybersecurity training. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involved a human element. If your team is well-trained in cybersecurity and has bought into a cyber secure culture, your business will be less at risk. Ensure they know the importance of password security, the different cyber-attack types, and how to protect sensitive company and customer information.

2. Outsource your business processes for scalability

The way we work is evolving! There has never been a better time to hire the best employees to work remotely from just about anywhere in the world. Here are a few of the benefits you’ll get from scaling your employees to your business needs:

    • Work with the best people possible.

    • Hire workforce per project.

    • Reduce your office space and equipment.

    • Set time limits on projects.

    • Get tasks done around the clock.

The biggest benefit you’ll see from this system is gaining control of your budget. By expanding and shrinking your employee pool, you’re not wasting money in between projects. This allows you to streamline your office staff and ramp up as your projects require. Give it a try!

3. Reduce the environmental costs of running your business to build resilience

In a recent report from Nielsen, 81% of consumers said it's extremely important that companies “implement programs to improve the environment,” and 30% of consumers said they're “willing to pay a premium for products that deliver on social responsibility claims.” Sustainability will create long-term value and longevity for your business as the world comes into the age of "conscious consumption."

Think of it as operating on a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. Truly eco-friendly companies not only create sustainable products, but they also approach every step of their operations—from sourcing to production to distribution—with environmental consciousness entwined into their brand.

West Paw, a pet supplies company that uses recycled plastics for its products, has kept 16 million (and counting) plastic bottles from landfills. Patagonia, a leading outdoor clothing company has pledged 1% of its sales to the preservation of the natural environment for over three decades now. Lastly, the company Pela prides itself in creating the “world’s first 100% compostable phone case,” and its goal is to prevent 1 billion pounds of plastic from being made in the next five years.

What's one simple action can your organization take today toward a more sustainable path?

4. Create a virtual storefront to boost sales

Every business has a website, but can your customers purchase your goods and services directly from your homepage? Without a strong web presence, you're limiting your business to local customers only when you can potentially operate globally. The Internet never sleeps, and neither should your business!

Adding a virtual storefront to your current website is not difficult at all. If you offer products or services that anyone can use, stop limiting yourself to the same group of customers. If the thought of expanding your reach makes you feel like you’re being pulled out of your comfort zone, remember that your competition has already done it. Follow the trends, or you may be left behind.

Click here to learn more about virtual storefront.

5. Leverage AI solutions to improve productivity and affordability

Prepare yourself for the AI boom in 2023! Throughout the past few years, many businesses have utilized Artificial intelligence (AI) to boost their profits and customer satisfaction scores, but the uses and benefits of AI will grow significantly this year. In fact, you’ll soon notice AI being used in new and beneficial ways in the healthcare and automotive industries.

If you aren’t using any form of AI in your business, you should immediately look into it. You can implement an AI chatbot on your website to provide personalized conversation and help your customers with their questions or needs. Some AI software will even track customers as they peruse your website and offer them product suggestions, which can help improve your sales scores.

Before purchasing your AI solution, it’s important that all businesses consider the benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence. When looking to optimize your IT management, a quick Google search for the best “automated small business solutions” will lead you in the right direction. Then you can focus the search on your specific industry. Whether you work in financial services, healthcare, insurance, logistics, or nonprofit, there's an AI solution that will work for you.

6. Make the move toward a more people-first culture with a clear purpose

Agile ways of working bring great benefits to organizations and individuals alike. But going from a classic top-down pyramid structure to a flatter, more flexible structure is not easy. When you’re changing your operating model and people’s roles, understanding what drives people is key. Work alongside your employees to make the change.

In his book “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek describes the difference between leaders that inspire and those who simply delegate; he encourages readers to look at leadership with a new outlook.

7. Utilize a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

There was once a time when businesses used in-house IT teams to care for their technology needs, but there are more efficient and affordable ways to do things. Now, companies use MSPs to handle most of their technological affairs. MSPs are well-known for their ability to help with technical needs since they have teams full of well-informed experts and access to the latest tools and other resources. They can take care of everything on the technology side of your business so you can focus more on boosting sales and pleasing customers.

If your business experiences power outages, human errors, or natural disasters, MSPs will work around the clock to get you back up and running. They ensure your data is backed up in case disaster strikes. If you’re worried about cyberattacks, there’s no better way to protect your business and its data than by hiring an MSP. They monitor your network security and keep patches up-to-date to prevent hackers from accessing your information.  Hiring an MSP may be the best thing you can do to protect your business.

Final Thoughts

It’s too early to tell if this year will be as challenging as the last, but even if it’s not, we need to prepare for the worst. If you’re not sure how these business trends can save money and grow your business, remember that we are here to help. As a Managed Service Provider, we can show you some of the latest business developments and solutions that just might be the answers you’ve been looking for. Contact The TNS Group today and let’s talk about your future.

Share this blog post with your colleagues and friends. Follow The TNS Group on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Cheers to a more prosperous new year!

Categories: Managed Service Provider, MSP Blogs, Solution Blogs