The rise of consumer-generated content facilitated by social media tools and feedback mechanisms has, and continues to, change the competitive landscape for small business. This landscape is now one where customers have become far more powerful. Coupled with this are environmental factors such as the economy, technological advances, and legal and social change which have become more volatile and unpredictable in their rate and direction of change.
Businesses need to be looking at the agility, their ability to respond quickly to challenges and opportunities that arise from this new dynamic environment. The pace of change, the louder, more frequent, and more numerous consumer voices, and the increase in uncertainty in the business environment means that business will be under the pump if they want to keep ahead of their competition. Staying in front today means producing more products (in quantity & diversity), with fewer resources and in less time to meet new or increased demand.
A Business Environment Impact Model is useful in demonstrating how the business environmental stimuli contributes to the impacts on the business in the form of pressures, problems, and opportunities. Together with the business missions, goals, strategies, and plans, the business environment impacts are dealt with using existing processes with core competencies via determined response activities. These response activities take the form of problem solving, risk assessment, managing constraints, and gearing the team to take advantage of opportunities.
An agile business that is able to mobilise their core competencies in response to particular impacts, is one that can produce measurable improvements in performance, solutions to problems toward a goal of competitive advantage. Learning from the experience will provide data that can be fed into the business mission, goals, and strategies, closing the loop.
The foundation of this capability, as seen in the above model, is eBusiness & IT infrastructure. The effective use of a mix of softwares and devices is required to effectively manage the maelstrom of stimuli and business objectives. The digital age is bringing to business a larger range of tools and technologies, and at a much lower cost than ever before.
The business that can utilise cloud based storage and eBusiness applications, increase the ability of their staff to operate from remote and mobile locations, and that can leverage media that enables direct conversations with the consumers, suppliers, competitors and peers, is one that is best positioned to respond quickly to business environmental impacts. The more agile the business the faster it can turn a pressure into an opportunity, and carve a clear path through the jungle to competitive advantage.
It is a good idea to invest in some assistance with eBusiness strategy and management, HyperWeb Communications is available to work with business through the steps of improving your eBusiness and IT infrastructure. Managing Director, Brendan Brooks, has a Master of Business & Technology and 11 years experience in the small to medium enterprise sector and can apply the knowledge and experience gained in the eBusiness sphere to help your business navigate the digital landscape and plot the most effective path for your business to achieve its goals.