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To survive the down economic times, companies of all stripes learned to cut costs and do more with less. To return to growth, drive greater productivity, and improve profits, businesses must operate not just faster and leaner, but more creatively. You need to get more involved with partners outside your walls. Look beyond the intelligence in your organization and tap some from outside. Manage a more interconnected web of relationships that affect your business in different ways.
To do this, you need to follow three basic tips:
1. Get connected. It’s not enough to assemble a supply chain and execute transactions. You need to set up networks that facilitate true collaboration around key commerce processes—both internally and externally—with your employees, your customers, and your suppliers. Share best practices with these stakeholders and use these connections to react faster to market opportunities.
2. Be efficient. You can set up all the cost-savings programs in the world but you won’t deliver true value to your bottom line without automating tactical, transactional work to drive greater efficiency and productivity.
3. Stay informed. Information is a critical tool for survival in a competitive environment. Don’t just research industry trends by yourself; participate in communities that deliver market insights and best practices. Learn about your trading partners’ financial health and about what is going on in supply markets.
If you embrace creative new solutions and look outward for insight, you can position yourself to ride the next wave of growth.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.