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Leveraging resources: The art of getting more by using what you have

jari hytonen u389n hUF70 unsplash“In the business sense, leveraging is largely accepted to mean ‘to use something you already have in order to achieve something new or better’, says Annelize van Rensburg, Director of Executive Search at Signium Africa and Chair of Signium Global Board.

“Leveraging a company’s available resources, relationships and opportunities provides executives with the building blocks of a strategy for long-term competitiveness and market advantage.”

By reviewing which resources can be leveraged to best effect, says Van Rensburg, business leaders can create the framework for a strategy flexible enough to implement across various sectors of their business. Here, she highlights the three areas most likely to pay dividends by leveraging: Human resources, data collation and management, and marketing.

The human part of resources

“By raising skill levels, overall business knowledge and competences of employees, leaders are able to achieve greater productivity,” says Van Rensburg. “In fact, executives can work wonders by recognising the real value of their human capital.

“First and foremost, I would look to invest in employees' growth and development through training that will provide current or future opportunities for advancement, noting research that shows happy, well-trained workers are more engaged and productive,” she asserts.

“Additionally, fostering a positive work environment where employees feel valued and heard can significantly boost retention. Encourage open communication, listen to feedback, and offer competitive benefits to make your company a place people want to stick around.”

In short, Van Rensburg says a strong focus on nurturing and developing all employees is a win-win strategy that can boost productivity while keeping your best talent on board.

Striking oil with data

“It’s long been said that data is the new oil,” says Van Rensburg. “By collating and leveraging the data most appropriate for your industry and company, leaders can extract valuable insights to inform decision-making, optimise operations and create new business opportunities.”

This usually involves data analytics and data-driven strategies, often to create a more personalised customer experience. Van Rensburg says that in our data-driven world, savvy business leaders have a golden opportunity to forge stronger connections with their target market.

“By tapping into the wealth of data at their disposal, managers can gain valuable insights into customer behaviours and preferences, thereby providing more personalised communication strategies while tracking and analysing the efficacy of their engagement efforts,”

The value of data in this respect is that it can facilitate agile adjustments to business decisions when necessary, while also ensuring information about people or processes is available for long-term business strategies.

“The key takeaway here,” notes Van Rensburg, “is to embrace the data. Get to know your own employees and your target audience inside out, and use that knowledge to foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with staff and customers. It's like having a secret weapon for business success.”

Marketing for maximum ROI

Leveraging marketing strategies, channels and resources to maximise the exposure or impact of a product or service can increase in business, says Van Rensburg. “Advertising, social media campaigns, content marketing and public relations initiatives all form part of a robust marketing strategy in any business.

“Astute leaders can supercharge their engagement with their specific target market by crafting marketing strategies that resonate on a personal level.”

First and foremost, she suggests, understand your market. Who are they? What do they want? What keeps them up at night?

Says Van Rensburg, “Once you've got this framework down, create content that speaks directly to their aspirations and pain points. Used properly, social media is a gold mine - be active, authentic, and human. Nobody likes a faceless corporation.

“Video content is booming now,” she continues, “so hop on that trend. Also, never underestimate the power of storytelling; it's how you build connections. Don't be afraid to try new things, experiment, and learn from the data. Marketing is all about forging connections, and the more you can relate to your audience, the better you will engage them.”

Once leaders have determined which of their resources to leverage and how best to do so, their strategy may be implemented regionally, nationally or even globally,” says Van Rensburg. “Increasing an operation’s footprint diversifies risk and enables you to tap into new consumer sectors and opportunities.”

Best time to start: Now...

Leveraging these three business sectors can play a crucial role in the business, enabling companies to optimise both resources and strategies to achieve objectives efficiently.

Says Van Rensburg: “Creating each section individually is like building a ladder to give a view of the bigger picture. With each rung, more of what you have to leverage becomes apparent.

“Climb a step, look around,” she urges. “There will always be another step to add to your ladder. But, as the US businessman, author and educator Stephen Covey suggests, ‘If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster’.

“A robust ladder placed strategically is vital in a warp-speed world. Constantly reviewing what you leverage and when gives any business the best chance of outperforming the competition.”

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