Innovation and disruption are fundamentally about identifying and solving problems for your target market in a way that changes your industry overall. The angles from which disruptive development can be approached are endless, and leaves businesses with a broad variety of possibilities to sort and evaluate. Unfortunately, this theoretical wealth of options can be problematic for businesses, because some kinds of innovations are, of course, going to be more competitive than others.
Businesses all over the world have seemingly embraced the idea of flexible work. The firms that first implemented many of these policies experienced improvements in morale, efficiency, and equality. In theory, these policies should make it easier for mothers, caregivers, and people with disabilities to work. They empower workers, and give them the opportunity to work on their own terms, improving their efficiency and performance while lowering stress levels.
In 2011, a 16 year-old teenager decided to look into what the world might be able do about all the plastic garbage in our oceans. The next year, he presented his ideas on a TEDx talk, and went viral. He wasn’t interested in raising awareness, or just trying to reduce the problem. He wanted to accomplish far more, and it was the audaciousness and scale of his ambition that caught the world’s attention. Boyan Slat was going to clean up the oceans.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) launched an inquiry into late payment times early this year. This was done to investigate claims that small businesses were being paid increasingly late by larger clients, and being subjected to unfair payment terms in unequal business relationships. While the ASBFEO report’s preliminary findings were already quite alarming, the real scale and impacts of the problem are only now being understood.
In a recent article we discussed how Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are used to measure the quality of a business’ relationships. Specifically, they track how likely a customer is to recommend a business to a peer. In the 2017 February/March survey, the banking sector in general scored at an average -0.21%, while credit unions scored at a far better +40.43%. With our score of +63%, Fifo Capital is a very referable business that enjoys a high level of customer satisfaction. But what is it about us and similar financial institutions that allows us to perform so much better in regard to NPS than the sector overall?
Building a business is an enormous task that requires nearly unimaginable investments of time and effort on the part of the entrepreneur. Because of the sheer scale of the effort, business owners often fall into patterns and habits that help them manage their day-to-day work lives. This is completely natural, and helps people to psychologically manage stress, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for business.
Small localised businesses often avoid technological growth solutions on the assumption that the global Internet isn’t a practical tool for reaching clients close to home. After all, what’s the point of spending time and money advertising your local landscaping business to people halfway around the world?
Small businesses and homeowners all over Australia have been faced with rapidly increasing energy costs over the last several years. The increase has been so drastic that the country went from being one of the lowest-cost energy markets a decade ago to competing with Germany and Denmark for the most expensive power bills in the world today.
Employee relationships, like any other relationships, rely on excellent communication. Poor communication can easily lead to misunderstandings and faulty assumptions that can poison employee morale, and leave workers confused and frustrated. That, in turn, leads to low productivity, high employee turnover, and a generally unenjoyable work atmosphere. While any number of problems can impact morale, one of the first things a business should examine when dealing with these symptoms is to examine their hiring process and how employment contracts are written.
Small business owners commonly work staggeringly long hours and face an incredibly diverse set of responsibilities. Keeping operations running, managing clients, working with investors, and intervening to handle everyday emergencies can easily keep both entrepreneurs and their budgets exhausted. Unfortunately, this is only a recipe for bare survival, not success.