Your business operates in a world where innovation occurs at lightning speed. We see it time and time again: organisations that aren’t willing to move with the times simply can’t keep up. They fall short. Now more than ever, it’s time to find ways to future-proof your business.
Your employees have increasingly high expectations of how your company should operate. And your consumers expect a certain level of service. The things you do today will make a huge difference to how well your business survives the changing workplace landscape, and we want to help you thrive. Are you ready to face the challenge of tomorrow? To get you started, we’ve put together a list of ways to future-proof your business. Starting today.
Finding Ways To Future-Proof Your Business – What Is Future-Proofing?
Innovative businesses are implementing changes to ensure they can withstand the changes of tomorrow. That’s what future-proofing is; assessing your technology, staffing, and scalability needs to make sure your business will hold up against your competitors in the future.
It might sound easy, but finding ways to future-proof your business can be challenging if you don’t take the necessary time and steps to understand what business shifts are imminent.
Because future-proofing seems like an easy concept. In theory. But the truth is that many leaders don’t take the time to grasp the changes happening. Or, they simply don’t want to.
“You do have to change if you want to survive. But you don’t have to struggle.”
There is good news – it’s not impossible to make sure your business thrives in the future. In fact, you can have a lot of fun innovating change in your organisation if you open yourself up to new models of business. Because the future is coming – it’s already here. You do have to change if you want to survive. But you don’t have to struggle. Ignoring evolution doesn’t make it go away. Embrace it, and let it serve you.
Here Are 6 Ways to Future-Proof Your Business
1. Listen To Your Consumers
Your business can’t survive without customers, so your priority should be nurturing customer relationships. Customers know what they want from you. So, you need to provide them with a way to express concerns and have a voice. But make sure you’re prepared to listen.
So, how can you find effective ways to hear what your consumers want?
- invest in focus groups
- conduct research that tracks customer trends and views
- consider your consumer’s pain points and determine how you can address these – particularly paying attention to how these are likely to change in the future
- use your CRM to track behaviour trends and patterns to help you predict future needs.
2. Determine What Tomorrow’s Workforce Wants
Baby Boomers are reaching retirement. The Gen-Z workforce is taking over, and their expectations are far different from other generations. Flexible workplaces were already trending before the pandemic, but the Covid-19 outbreak accelerated trends. Now, workers expect to be able to work from home where possible.
To keep a thriving and productive workforce, you need to think about what your future employees will expect and start making changes now.
Key points to consider include the following:
- diversity across all levels of employment
- salary transparency
- mental health support.
How well does your organisation meet the demands of your future workforce?
3. Ensure Your Business Has The Capacity To Scale
True business scalability allows for expansion and revenue growth while minimising an increase in operational costs. You might not be ready to grow right now, but there are things you can, and should, put in place to set yourself up for easy, scalable growth.
Automation is the small business owner’s best friend. If you aren’t automating critical areas of your business, you’ll find it challenging to scale up. Now is the time to review your business logistics and find out which repetitive or monotonous tasks could be done by technology.
For example, if you don’t already have a CRM, you should.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology used to manage all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers. A good CRM is one of the ways to future-proof your business and complete repetitive and mundane tasks for you, giving your hard-working employees the potential to focus on more productive tasks.
Scalability is also directly linked to how well a company handles knowledge management. Successful knowledge management means maintaining information in a place where it is easy to access for all staff. This both cuts down time spent relaying information and stores everything future staff need to know in one place.
3. Be Nimble
When Covid-19 forced workers to work from home, the businesses that were most able to keep going weren’t necessarily those who were already working from home but rather those who were open to change.
Everything within business moves rapidly. To find ways to future-proof your business and keep up, you need to be prepared to move rapidly with it.
Now, we understand you aren’t psychic; you can’t pre-empt every change. Rather, this point presents an opportunity to start building a culture of openmindedness in your business. A culture where leaders aren’t afraid to question and shift their practices in line with global shifts.
Being open to embracing technology as the new normal alongside having a human-centric culture will stand you in good stead to face any unpredictable changes in the future.
4. Harness The Power Of Technology
You’ve likely increased your tech capabilities over the last couple of years. But are you using technology to its potential? One of the best ways to future-proof your business it to invest in the right technology now.
A great place to dip your toe into the technology pool is to look into automation. Now, we’ve already talked about automating some areas of customer retention, but what other aspects of your business could you automate? Consider such repetitive and monotonous tasks like:
- email campaigns
- customer journey emails
- lead scoring
- social media scheduling
- immediate responses to customer service requests
- SMS marketing
- live chats.
And though it may seem counterproductive, you can actually use automated systems to improve your customer service. Because customers today expect a certain level of autonomy – they want to be able to help themselves. Using technology, you can find ways to future-proof your business and create pathways that provide customers with the chance to answer their own questions at any time of day or night. To help them do so, you could implement chatbots and FAQ page journeys.
The possibilities are increasing all the time, and you need to be following them.
Are you employing all the strategies of a digital-ready business? Click here to take our free digital readiness test to get your digital skills assessment score. It’ll help you determine how your business stacks up against the new normal and how ready your business is for the future.
5. Save Up For A Rainy Day
If your business is going well, now is the perfect time to save up for a rainy day. You never know what is on the horizon; you can’t predict the unexpected. Maybe you’ll have a systems breakdown and need to make urgent costly repairs. Maybe your scalability is hindered by a lack of staff, and you need to make an investment in wages to be able to grow. Whatever the future brings, it pays to have a nest egg available to spend if you’re ever in need.
We’re Here To Help You Find Ways To Future-Proof Your Business
Nobody can predict the future. But you can prepare for growth and change. Make time now to find ways to future-proof your business. Take strategic steps. Understand your customers’ pain points and determine how you can help solve them. Above all, remain nimble and on top of global changes.