Businesses are forced into change by social evolution and technological transformations at every level.
Failure to adapt to those changes can have a negative or even fatal effect on your company, and it’s important that you not only adapt swiftly to the changing business landscape but that your strategic planning is adaptable and prepared for the changes yet to come. Future-proofing your business doesn’t have to mean picking up on every new technology, nor does it mean making daily changes to your marketing strategy, but it does mean that you need to protect yourself against advances that your competitors may utilise before you do. You don’t need a crystal ball, but you do need to be aware of the best ways to future-proof your business.
It used to be that a business was restricted by geographical location, with stores selling to neighbours and not much else. Due to the massive impact of the internet, any business is now able to access a global market, and you need to be aware of how that can affect your management strategies. Whether it’s outsourcing your IT department or creating a horizontal management structure, it is in your best interests to streamline where you can and focus on your employees. They are your best tool for future-proofing, and the more focused they are on their roles, the more likely that they will see issues coming before they have a damaging impact.
Offer Brand value
You may have built your brand into something trusted and recognisable, but customers are fickle. However, by ensuring that you focus on not simply providing a product but an experience, the more likely that you will keep customers while making more. Customer retention is one of the most important factors of your business, no matter what size, and failing to close on a potential client, or allowing a dormant customer to fade into history is the fastest way to ensure that your business doesn’t survive.
Protect your customers
With everyone connected and online sales growing on an annual basis, it’s not simply a task to maintain your customers’ privacy, it’s also your moral and legal responsibility. There are laws under the Data Protection Act 1998 that mean you need to keep your customer’s privacy a key issue, and when the General Data Policy Regulation (GDPR) is passed in May 2018, anyone wishing to trade with Europe will need to abide by the new data laws. The GDPR offers customers more protection, and as a business owner, it is up to you to keep their information safe and private.
Protecting your company from the future is a vital point in any business action plan, and only by keeping an eye on what’s coming can you minimise the risk of being overtaken by the times. The world moves faster than ever, and if your business is to survive, then it needs to keep up to date, because not moving forward is just another way of standing still.