Pursuing the future is what businesses do. It’s where the ‘real’ success is and every decision is made with the intention of bringing it closer and closer to within reach. Obstacles and challenges are accepted as part of this pursuit and mental and technical skills are prepared for this eventuality.
The problem comes with the intention of being reactive. No one can guarantee that businesses won’t have to be reactive, but some businesses aren’t sufficiently proactive to minimize how reactive they have to be. There are practices that will help futureproof the business. Here are four examples.
Part of the future is the present. Keeping an eye on what the market around your business is doing is essential to being competitive today and tomorrow. This is applicable to tax changes or grants, price changes and distribution models, or the product itself.
For instance, TikTok followed the Vine model of producing very short videos, and was widely successful with it, but has since continually begun extending their potential video length to diversify their content to compete with other social media platforms. They are trialling three-minute videos now.
There are important practices which can begin right from the first step. Cloud computing is one of these which should be embraced early on as it will enable processes to be completed more smoothly and to a higher standard.
It also means that your business won’t be catching up with technological advancements as competitors are using them. They are accessible from any device as they are browser-based, have built-in security features, and integrate multiple services into one system.
There is a variety of cloud computing services. SysAid.com, for instance, offers an integrated IT support system that automates tasks and workflows to free up the workload for other areas. Customer relations management systems, bookkeeping, and marketing analysis – the scope of application in this area will allow you to focus on other workload areas.
A crucial, fundamental, and often taken-for-granted futureproofing practice is insuring your business. There are tailored policies which can be suited to your needs, what this allows is comprehensive and specific cover without having to pay for unnecessary extras. It can be a lifesaver should a claim be made that could cripple your business’s finances.
Emergency funds and savings are, while very necessary and sensible, often the defensive future-proofing tactic. It is a safety net, like insurance. However, what this can do is instill a frugal and conservative mindset.
Streamlining a business to keep process efficient and to-the-point is healthy, and putting saved money into a rainy-day fund is fine but there has to be an investment too. Success doesn’t always come from playing it safe.
Competitors will continually push each other, and stagnating is a very real danger if businesses do not continue to invest. Apple is spending record amounts of R&D.
This investment is in pursuit of stability and continuity as much as it is about improvement. Employees are a cornerstone of any business. However, it must be accepted that some will leave.
Investment in training programs is one solution to this problem. What this does is not only develop employees, new and existing, and raise the minimum standard of skill, but places an emphasis on knowledge being kept within the business’s pipelines.
Employee churn will not damage performance if there are seamless transitions between those new and leaving. Coupling this training with opportunities to progress within the business and rewarding them with good wages will keep on valuable employees too.
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