How to future-proof your business

With the UK in the thick of a global pandemic and a recession, many business owners have found themselves struggling to keep things afloat.

Covid has taught us that no matter how robust we thought certain sectors are, anything can happen. So in an effort to be as prepared as possible for anything that’s to come, here are 10 tips to future-proof your business…1.

  1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    In other words, don’t rely solely on one product or service to keep your business ticking over. Most businesses achieve success with just one great offering. Even if it’s very popular and responsible for generating most of your revenue, you must think about other ways to diversify your portfolio.

    Additionally, if you are depending too much on a single person, vendor or a small group of people for the success of your business, then you might face big problems in future if these people are not around.

  2. Always be prepared to adapt
    Even if your business is in a great place now, Covid has taught us that things can change drastically. While we hopefully won’t see another pandemic on this scale for many years to come, it’s still a good idea to be ready for anything. A business that can be flexible and adapt in times of trouble, rather than crumble, is one that can evolve and grow.
  1. Stay ahead of the game
    Your customers can’t always tell you what they want, you have to anticipate it. This needs some imagination and experience with the trends of the industry you work in. Study how people behave, listen to the things people say, pay attention to the issues people face and then provide a solution for them.
  1. Identify risks
    Future-proofing your business largely means reducing risks by establishing the possible points of failures in the future. These risks could be in areas like people, systems, processes, legal compliance, data security, etc. Similarly, you need to find out the gaps in your business and address them before they turn into problems.
  1. Always try new marketing and advertising strategies
    Old ways won’t get new results, so trying new marketing strategies regularly to reach a wider or new audience. Marketing isn’t something you should only do when you ‘need’ customers, instead try new campaigns and strategies to keep a steady flow of customers coming to your business.
  1. Maintain a strong customer relationship
    Business owners are normally so busy with product development and sales that they completely forget about the customer. Without customers or clients, you have no business. Take time to nurture your customers and listen to their needs. Even if a competitor comes along and beats you on price, if your customers are happy and feel valued, you’re more likely to keep them from going elsewhere.
  1. Stay in the know
    It’s important you make yourself aware of the developments happening around you, even if they are not related to your industry. Watch out for influencing factors that can indirectly impact your business. For example, with faster internet, consumer habits have changed dramatically which have affected lots of different businesses.
  1. Keep an eye on the balance sheet
    No matter how secure your business is, you should always be prepared for drops in revenue with ’emergency’ finance accessible. Aim for at least three months’ break-even in the bank for comfort. Keeping some profit back can help you survive the rough times and softening the impact of risks allows you to take more of them.
  1. Surround yourself with a strong team
    If your business relies on a team of staff, it’s crucial you employ high-quality people. Taking on staff who are the wrong fit can be time-consuming and costly, whereas the right team will bring new ideas to the table, have the best interests of the business at heart and help the business thrive.
  1. Analyse everything
    It’s important to track as much as you can within your business so you can compare previous days, weeks, months or years. This will highlight any trends which might raise a flag or provide opportunities. Understanding the numbers in your business means you can spot problems early and develop robust solutions based on dependable data.