Essential Strategies For Future-Proofing Your Business

June 19, 2019 10:37 pm

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On the surface, the future seems bleak for many business owners. Thanks to the rise of online business behemoths such as Amazon, and with an increasingly competitive marketplace comprising other large as well as small businesses, the chances of failure (for some) are high.

And statistically speaking, this seems to ring true. With data suggesting 20% of businesses fail within their first year, and 70% of businesses closing their doors after experiencing ten years of business, it would be of little surprise if any potential startup owners decided to think twice before venturing out into the business world.

However, it’s not all bad news. While the chances of business failure are relatively high, those thinking about starting out in business, or for those already in business, some solace can be taken from the fact that, even within the statistics mentioned, many businesses do stay open. 80% survive their first year, and 30% of businesses (on average) are still open after ten, so all hope isn’t lost. Being a business owner today is risky, but when there is a chance of success, there is no need to fret unduly.

Should you be in business, or if you are tentatively taking your first steps into the waters of whatever marketplace you are interested in plunging into, you can increase your chances of survivability. It’s about having a strategic vision; a plan to future-proof your business. You need to be proactive, and here at MoonProject, we believe that means adherence to the following.

Focus on your employees

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According to employee engagement and retention statistics, only 15% of employees are fully engaged with their jobs. 52% of workers plan to look for a new job in 2019, and 60% of workers say they have been approached by other firms and recruiters. Check the linked article for a range of other stats, some of which might make for uneasy reading for business owners.

With low retention rates and the potential for employees to be snapped up by those looking to make a better offer, you, as the business owner, need to focus on keeping your employees. If you are constantly having to hire and train new staff, your business will be on rocky ground. Not only will you suffer from disruption to business productivity, but you will be looked on less favourably by potentially decent hires who may take note of your employee turnover.

You need to do right by your employees. This includes giving them the training they require for the jobs you give them to do, as going back to the linked statistics, 51% of employees apparently consider quitting if training isn’t offered. You need to offer a range of benefits to attract potential employees to your side and to retain your best employees. And you need to treat them fairly and with respect, so they don’t lose morale and quit.

If you can attract the best hires and keep your best employees, then you are essentially future-proofing your business. These are the people who will help you drive your business forward, so do your best to keep hold of them.

And a quick word about attracting the best hires. If you really want to future-proof your business, you should promote your business to the freshest minds coming out of college and university today. Armed with knowledge about new business practices, these are the people who will shape your business now and in the future. Perhaps today is the day you made contact with the educational establishments near you, not only to advertise your business to them but to take on the best and brightest interns before your competition gets hold of them.

Focus on new technologies

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Technology is ever-changing, and while you don’t need to invest in every new gadget or piece of software that comes your way, you should still focus on those that will potentially make your business easier to run, improve your customer relationships, and keep your business relevant.

So, research the technologies that might make a difference to your business. Attend conferences and trade shows to hear about the tech that is relevant in your industry, and if possible, try and get hands-on with them. Keep an eye on the best tech websites and blogs so you can stay up to date with new and upcoming technology revolutions and evolutions. Monitor your nearest competitors, and try to find out what they are investing in. And look at industries that might be seemingly unrelated to your own, but who might one day impact your business. Learn from the fall of camera-giant Kodak, for example, who failed to take into account the impact of the smartphone industry in relation to their consumers. With the Apple iPhone and the gazillion other smartphones that followed suit, people no longer needed to buy standalone cameras as they had something able to take a decent picture in the palm of their hands. Take heed then, and keep an eye on tech trends within all facets of the business world so you don’t become irrelevant.

As examples of technology you need to be keeping an eye on, you might want to consider the latest innovations from Google. Not content with being the world’s largest search engine, but thanks to their daughter company, Wing Aviation, drones will soon be delivering to your door. For your business, there are advantages here. For starters, as the world pushes for a cleaner environment, you will be less reliant on using your business fleet to transport goods to other businesses and other customers. And in terms of your customers, they are more likely to use your business with the faster delivery system that drone technology offers.

Another emerging technology is VR (virtual reality). Popular amongst gamers, VR is now being used by businesses for marketing purposes. It’s about staying in trend with the technology that your consumers are using or will potentially use, in much the same way as you would invest in apps when looking to reach the smartphone generation. Take a look at these VR marketing examples, and then consider the potential for your business.

And our final word on technology is this. If you are in the tech-related industry, what could you do to innovate? By creating something new and relevant for today’s (and tomorrows) consumers, you will be future-proofing your business. The same applies for any business, of course, so no matter what industry you are involved in, look to innovate so you can stay one step ahead of the competition.

Finally

We don’t have a crystal ball, so we can’t see the future of your business. And neither can you unless you have somehow innovated with time travel technologies. So, while there is no guarantee your business will succeed into the future, you can improve your chances if you focus on employee retention, acquire the best hires, stay relevant with new technologies, and innovate within your industry.

We wish you the best of success.

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