Top Eight (8) Business Inventions That Makes Businesses Easier To Run (12/06/2016)
Businesses are complex by nature. It takes human labor, materials, and equipment, among others, to make a business work. Hard work and dedication are not the “only” necessities of business success. It takes a lot of factors to achieve business efficiency. Thus, humans have created a variety of inventions to ensure that a business runs smoothly and becomes successful in the long run.
There are a lot of inventions that helps businesses become more efficient. Below is a list of the top inventions that has made the life of business owners easier.
1. Computer/ Laptop
This famous equipment can be used to store and calculate data regarding the business and its employees. In addition, computers can be used to create and store documents regarding necessary business transactions.
The efficiency of the computer (or laptop) is not limited to these. Internet access is possible through this equipment. With access to the World Wide Web, the business is given with a whole new light of opportunities at its disposal.
The Internet is by far one of the most important inventions made for business and personal use. It can be used by businesses to search for information regarding their target market, competition, and business partners. Prospective client contact information and innovative business ideas can also be obtained through the Internet.
Through social media, the business can create a follower (customer) base by creating ingenious profiles targeted to their market. Websites can be promoted thus letting the clients know of the business’ existence including their contact information. The internet can also be used for marketing articles, videos, and other materials that might be leveraged to increase sales.
3. Communication Devices
Interested customers can use emails, telephones, cellphones, and fax machines to ask the business regarding its product and services. The business, in return, can also reply using the same mediums stated above.
The business sales force can utilize communication devices to contact prospective clients and maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Thus, businesses are capable of updating customers regarding new business developments. Plus, these devices improve the life of clients by providing them with efficient customer support hotlines.
Negotiations and partnerships with other companies can be formed through communication devices. These can be of use when a particular business makes inquiries regarding other businesses’ products and services that might be necessary for their operations.
4. SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This model of business planning encourages business owners to analyze the four internal and external factors surrounding the company. It encourages a business to capitalize on its strengths, minimize its weaknesses, grab their opportunities, and counteract their threats.
This tool is particularly useful during the brainstorming process. It is used with a certain objective in mind. For example, you should analyze your SWOT if you are trying to enter a new market or trying to create a new product.
Strengths can be analyzed to identify business areas that are performing efficiently. This provides the company with its competitive advantage. Weaknesses, on the other hand, are minimized since they are the characteristics that put the company in jeopardy.
Opportunities are leveraged to increase business profits. Strengths and weaknesses can be analyzed to find external opportunities that can be capitalized by the company’s internal factors. Finally, external threats to the company are thwarted by downplaying their weaknesses and maximizing their strengths. Threats can be in the form of changing target market perceptions and new competitors.
5. Accounting Software
Computerized accounting systems are very important nowadays even in stock market programs using trend analysis. Although large companies create their own, small- and medium-sized businesses can leverage this opportunity and purchase off-the-shelf systems for their perusal.
There are a lot of advantages when using accounting software. It can provide the management with the following details:
- Balance sheet, trial balance, trading and profit and loss account
- Aged debtor’s summary
- Stock valuation
- Budget analysis and variance analysis
- Stock analysis
- Payroll analysis
- GST/ VAT returns
Some of the benefits of using these systems include speed, accuracy, and the ability to clearly see the financial condition of the company in real-time. The data are always legible and prevents errors due to poor figures. Efficiency of the company is increased since there is a better use of the employees’ effort and time. Finally, accounting software also help reduce expenses by providing clear, up-to-date information thus reducing staff time on accounting tasks.
6. The Business Plan
A standard business plan contains a company’s products and services, market analysis, strategy, implementation, management, and financial plan. The business plan is one of the top inventions to improve business efficiency as it helps the business owner foresee what might happen in the future. It also serves as a guide in implementing the business.
For example, through its market analysis section, the entrepreneur can pinpoint the target market and its needs. He can also assess the underlying competition. This is a great method of planning how to target the customers while marketing the product.
Through strategy and implementation, the business is able to plan a variety of marketing tools it can use to improve the turnover of products and services. Finally, the financial plan is necessary to predict the flow of cash within the business. It allows the owner to check if a particular business will thrive in a certain environment or not.
7. Michael Porter’s Three Different Business Strategies
Michael Porter created three different strategies that can be used by various businesses of all products and services. The three strategies are called Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus.
The Cost Leadership Strategy is a method of gaining competitive advantage by developing ways to increase sales and taking it away from your competitors. Two ways are done to achieve this. The first method is by reducing costs and providing an industry-average price. Using this method, the company increases its profits. The second one is done by providing lower-than-average prices which consequently leads to increased market share.
The Differentiation Strategy is done by making your product and service unique from that of the competitors. You “differentiate” your offer thus making it more appealing to the consumers. This is done by providing well-researched, high-quality, highly-developed products, and by clinging to a different marketing appeal. Effective marketing tools can help your target market understand the benefits of your “unique” product and/or service.
Finally, the Focus Strategy is done by companies who want to concentrate on specific niche markets. Through targeting a particular market, they are able to develop a product and/or service that cater to a comparatively narrower set of audience. This is usually utilized to create brand loyalty among the customers.
The three different strategies can be used by businesses to increase their sales and consequently enhance their profits. These three strategies can be a good rule-of-thumb to follow especially when one has to focus on a particular strategy to ensure that one’s business thrives in the long-run.
8. Organizational Structures in Business
Our last invention that is of high importance to businesses is its organizational structure. The five common ones are Matrix, Functional, Product, Customer, and Geographic Organizational Structures.
Organizational structures are very important as they are frameworks which allow the employees obtain their goals while doing their assigned tasks. A business which has a well-thought-out organizational structure allows efficiency in delegation of responsibilities. It also helps effect change throughout the entire business structure. In addition, decision making is finely executed and the decisions made are properly implemented by the organizational force.
For example, a company with a huge variety of products can benefit from the Product Organizational Structure. In this framework, a specific product type guides the structure of the company. The business benefits by creating product categories while creating totally distinct processes for each type of product.
As businesses become more complex every single day, various inventions are being made and tweaked to profit from their desired purpose. The top inventions above are only piece s of a big pie. However, they are all useful in creating a successful business that will thrive in a particular environment at a particular point in time.
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