Every business starts from nothing during its startup stage. With time, some of the startups transform into successful and big enterprises while others fail. The reason for their success as compared to the failed startups lies in the fact that their innovations were far better than them, and also, they were filled with 100% zeal to succeed.
Now, if we talk about the present competitive scenario, technological innovations and changing customer mindset is forcing businesses to innovate new products and services. However, their traditional business models are unable to deal with such growth challenges successfully. This is where getting back into the shoes of a startup mindset comes into play!
Effective Ways to Achieve Business Agility
1. Start from Scratch
In a business, competition never fades away, and one has to evolve consistently to emerge as a winner. The problem with most of the firms is that they are too much invested in their existing business models and products. This, in turn, restricts them from seeing the world or new challenges from a different angle. On the other hand, thinking like a startup can make them start evaluating challenges from scratch and think out-of-the-box to arrive at innovative solutions.
2. Set Goals/Objectives
You should be clear with the objectives of your agile working methodology after reviewing the following:
• The reasons for agile working and the associated benefits
• The implementation of agile working all through the business
• The changes required for effective agile implementation
• The way it will offer greater customer value
• The way it will help existing staff, including new recruits, to adapt
• The starting implementation: One department or every department?
• The way it will add to company values
• The way this change will be justified
• The way results will be measured with respect to specific times
• The need to alter the reward model. If yes, how?
• The person to lead the process
3. Focus on the Basics
When it comes to startups, they have one or two niches to focus on and utilize all their resources to serve the same, helping them stay responsive and agile. On the other hand, larger firms have multiple plans all going at once, from trying to segment their customer community to becoming the best in their non-core products/services’ category. Firms should simply focus on their basics of serving the largest community as this is the only way they can ensure positive cash flow consistently and leverage other opportunities for growth and revenue. This is the reason most of the firms today opt for virtual accounting services to focus on core business tasks only.
4. Seek the Best Talent
Startups always focus on hiring the best talent as they know they cannot afford to hire people who are less competitive and interested in their products/services. Large firms need to understand the same and look for people who have a passion for the kind of work the company demands from them.
It is essential to look beyond a candidate’s resume for finding that x-factor in terms of experience, passion, personality, and more. In short, a company is as good as its employees, and hiring the best talent is a great way to keep your business agile.
5. Focus on every Sale
For a startup, a sale means everything, irrespective of the fact whether it is a big one or a small one. Big firms tend to focus on only sales that are big and look more profitable. However, they need to think like a startup and leave no stone unturned when it comes to making even the minutest of sale.
Of course, big firms need and must focus on sales that are big, but if they wish to stay agile under every circumstance, they need to leverage every sales opportunity that comes their way.
6. Act Fast on Client Feedbacks
Ask a startup owner what client feedback means to him. He will clearly tell you that it has so much potential that it can make or break his business. If, in the starting phase only, he doesn’t understand the needs of the client, his startup will never take off. Large firms also need to show such type of seriousness when it comes to feedback from clients.
They must not ignore their sayings, thinking they have a huge customer base since negative publicity can make this base number come down in no time, especially during challenging phases.
7. Communicate More and More
In a startup, effective communication takes place throughout the day since it comprises a small group of individuals who live like more of a family. Of course, there are limitations to things that can be shared amongst individuals, but such an atmosphere opens the communication doors for employees.
Firms need to ensure the same atmosphere type within their teams where every individual can communicate easily and let others know of his/her performance, operational, or any other issues. Also, it paves the way for effective sharing of ideas and solutions that can bring more value to the clients and the company.
8. Promote Self-Leadership among Employees
Leadership is imperative as a poor managerial layer may reduce a business’ ability to respond and weight it down. The solution could lie in providing staff with more decision-making options through the refinement of internal processes and empowerment of ground-level and customer-facing staff, something a norm amongst startups.
This leads to reacting to customer complaints, queries, and operational issues, etc. without the need for making a decision coupled with an additional approval layer. With this, not only business agility is achieved, but also an enhanced satisfaction amongst employees gets witnessed.
9. Focus on Essential Data to Act Fast
One of the best things concerning startups is the fact that they do not have huge data but focus merely on the basic key performance indicators (KPIs). This helps them devote their time and energy to things that are of the highest value and make decisions that are in the greatest interest of their new beginning. On the other hand, large enterprises have a massive data source, comprising important, less important, and not-at-all important information.
These big firms need to focus only on the information that holds maximum importance so that they can make quick decisions and do not lose out on the opportunities. For this, they need to create separate data teams focused on different types of KPIs as per their value, enabling firm owners to act fast on the most important information type.
Businesses, small or large, must realize one thing that in order to stay agile, they need to keep their basics right i.e. leverage every opportunity that comes their way to serve their customers and improve their processes. The above-mentioned startup mindsets will help firms in streamlining their business operations and focus on areas that bring maximum revenue and value to their clients.
Bigger firms must realize that they are one step ahead of the startup phase. Now, they not only have the past experience of a successful startup but an intelligent and competitive mindset of the present times as well, and the right combination of both will help them stay agile in the long run.