The business world is changing fast, and businesses have faced a great deal of uncertainty over the past couple of years with economic uncertainty meaning most businesses have been simply trying to survive rather than thrive. If any lessons can be learnt, it’s the need for proactive thinking and future-proofed businesses that are prepared for the most unexpected challenges to help lessen the impact and drive the business forward rather than it being left behind.
Even the most successful businesses can struggle in unsuspected circumstances; you should never be too busy to keep an eye on the market or become too bogged down in the day-to-day tasks to think of the bigger picture.
Let's have a look at some tips to help you future-proof your business:
The start of the pandemic forced businesses to go digital almost overnight with businesses forced to adapt their business operations digitally, in terms of remote working, increased online presence and virtual operations. Since the pandemic, it has now become an expected norm that all businesses should be digital focused. If you haven’t already, now is the time for digital transformation as it’s become a necessity to survival – integrating and streamlining your digital processes are vital to efficiency and growth. According to research, 96% of business owners claim the Covid-19 pandemic sped up their digital transformation plans by an average of 5 years in the UK.
Be adaptable to change
Future-proofing your business means not being afraid to adapt to changes such as employing a hybrid working model for your workforce. After a couple of years of working from home on and off, the idea of flexible working has gone from a perk to expected. A staggering 85% of workers stated in a survey they wanted a hybrid working approach and 51% of workers would be prepared to leave their current job if a flexible working arrangement wasn’t available. Listening to employees and communicating regularly is fundamental to employee motivation and becoming adaptable to changing employee expectations is important.
Think outside the box
If you want to grow your business and prepare for the future, then you need to think outside the box and open to trying new marketing strategies and push the boundaries. For example, many businesses would have never considered marketing on platforms such as TikTok or Instagram for fear of them being the “wrong market”, but more businesses are experimenting with these platforms now and pushing out of familiarly in a bid to strive growth.
Use data, not guesswork
Used wisely, data can be a goldmine of insight to make timely, sensible decisions, but ignored and it can add very little value to your business. Use your data to see exactly what is happening within your business and compare to previous months, quarters or years, to highlight problem areas early so you can put strategies in place to rectify them before they become significant.
Keep an eye on your competition
If you’re successful don’t make the mistake of becoming too confident and disregarding your competitors, old and new. Always keep an eye out for competitors to see what they’re doing, how they’re operating and how they’ve changed to ensure your market position doesn’t slip.
Employ a good team
Employing the right people is crucial to future-proofing your business and to ensure it delivers the best products and customer service. Taking on staff that are the wrong fit for your business can be timely and costly, so it’s better to take your time over the employment process to ensure you build a team of people who will make your business thrive.
It’s also important to note here the value of communicating regularly with employees, because the last couple of years has left employees feeling understandably uncertain. Make sure you clearly communicate your plans for the year with employees to give confidence that your all on the same page.
Put tools in place
Equipping your business with tools to help your business grow is one of the easiest ways to future-proof your business. For example, reporting solutions that give you real-time information at the click of a button so you can manipulate the data and share it easily across your business. Tools which allow you to examine your cashflow and highlight any trends before they become critical. There are also tools to help you ensure a smooth supply chain so you can get real-time updates on stock levels and bottlenecks, and tools which allow you to manage the complete sales process from start to finish in one place. All these sorts of tools will help to future-proof your business if you integrate them throughout the business.
Have a vision
Finally, and importantly, never lose sight of your vison. You should always be clear on what you want to achieve and how you’ll achieve it, to know what your customers want and to envisage what the future of your business looks like. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself what could go wrong and what challenges could arise because these are what keeps you on your toes and your vison alive.
If the past two years have taught us anything at all, it’s that we need to be proactive and put strategies in place to prepare for even the most unexpected of events. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and become adaptable to change adoption of new ideas as these are key drivers for success. Most importantly, never lose sight of your vison.
For more information about how Pegasus can help you future proof your business with our award-winning business solutions then please contact us today.