If just one business trait stood out this year, it has been resilience. While some markets and industries fluctuate more than others, it is not uncommon for companies to experience adversity and be stretched beyond what is deemed comfortable. A test of business leadership and the sustainability of a company is how both react during times of profitability and times of hardship. This is true for Fortune 500 companies all the way down to the smallest startup. If crises are necessary to shake businesses out of a comfortable lull, 2020 has certainly done just that.
But if we only wait for a worldwide crisis to realize we’ve become stuck in routines with a mindset of “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” a vaccine for COVID-19 is not going to save us. Instead, it’s necessary to adopt an innovate-focused, digital transformation mindset. We don’t always need first-hand experience in hardships to learn some very important insights and lessons. We can turn to both success stories and stories of trials to help us identify where our businesses have become complacent and how we can improve and grow as a company. To explore a few valuable lessons that can transform a business for the better, let’s turn to our industry leaders: those named to the Fortune 500 list.
What Makes a Fortune 500 Company?
Fortune 500. The coveted title that might only be surpassed by the Fortune 200, 100, 50, 10… you get the idea. We’ve heard the term thrown around so much that we might have forgotten the significance. Those who make it onto the Fortune lists are the top largest corporations in the U.S. based on revenue for that fiscal year. While some may applaud and others be resentful of these titan corporations, there are lessons to be learned all around. Without discrediting the challenges that come with running a multi-million or even multi-billion dollar business, we have chosen to highlight a few significant lessons that can be tailored to businesses of all sizes.
Many look to the CEOs and Founders of these Fortune 500 companies as examples of what success looks like in business. The company culture will always start with the type of leader that is at the head of your business. Effective leaders help their employees understand the significance of their role in making the business thrive. Enabling employees to use their unique skill sets will help keep up company morale and contribute to a more successful and positive work environment.
For the top companies in the U.S., mergers and acquisitions abound. For smaller businesses and up and coming enterprise level businesses, mergers may not be on the table. However, it is always a good reminder to look across industries for innovative ways to improve business processes and not get pigeonholed into your niche or industry sector. While honing in on what you do best, a different perspective can be just what is needed to ensure that you don’t remain stagnant. Goal setting, constant assessment and adjustment as needed will help your business remain at the forefront of your industry.
An exorbitant amount of time, thought and effort is put into the branding and presentation of these top Fortune 500 companies. The ideal is to ensure that all ads, customer experiences and company messaging are instantly recognizable. Look at the list of the top 10 from 2020 and see how easily their logos come to mind or if you can recall their slogan. Smaller businesses may not have the benefit of world-class marketing experts or a large department dedicated to the development of marketing assets and brand management. However, your marketing team should take the time to establish a brand guide that includes a designated tone of voice, colors, fonts, graphic styles, logos and other elements. These decisions will inform your branding and contribute to a positive and consistent customer experience.
A Common Mission
Whether it is short or long, includes a message from the founder or outlines core values and competencies, a mission statement is integral to a Fortune 500 company. In addition to your customer branding, the mission of your company should be evident through the interactions that people have with your business. Your mission statement cannot be mere words on a page or plaque; It should drive your business transactions, guide your team and influence your hiring decisions. It can also be used as a benchmark for success and play an important role in the internal direction of your company. When everyone is focused on different goals, it will be difficult to measure success and various departments may end up working against each other in order to complete their individual missions. However, when everyone is aligned with a common mission, it fosters greater accountability and efficiency and can even encourage collaboration across departments to achieve company goals.
What Can Fortune 500 Companies Gain From Digital Transformation?
There is another component of Fortune 500 companies that we would be remiss not to include. If we look at the first ever Fortune 500 list from 1955, we see companies such as General Motors, General Electric, Chrysler and U.S. Steel, a list that is heavily focused on the oil, gas and manufacturing sectors. Here is a snapshot of the top 10 from the 2020 Fortune 500 list.
All ten of these companies have a digital presence, from websites to mobile apps and digital customer experiences. Whether it has greatly contributed to their success or simply been accepted as a necessity in our current business climate, they have embraced the innovative, digital transformation mindset. Amazon, Apple and AT&T in particular, stand out as companies dominating the tech sector.
To what extent has digital transformation influenced the success of these businesses? At 7T, we have watched company after company embrace new technology and scale, leaving their legacy systems behind. This year in particular has reinforced the necessity for agile development and digital business strategies. Thankfully, it seems that now businesses are ready to listen.
Work with 7T, A Trusted Dallas Development Company
If your business is ready to undergo a digital transformation, 7T is ready to help. Our talented team of business analysts and developers will guide your company through the identification of pain points, establishment of a development plan and execution of a development project that will reap a large ROI and help your business scale. Reach out to 7T to leave behind your legacy systems and discuss your development project today.