Do you have a crystal ball? Do you know what the future holds for your business? Most entrepreneurs will say “no”. But how can you protect your business against the unknowns of the future? Here are five steps to future-proofing your small business.
STEP 1: Diversify your product or service
You should not rely on one product or service to create all the income for your business. The reason for this is that if there is a change in your business environment or a new trend development, your business may collapse. Therefore it is important to have a diverse product portfolio of your core business.
STEP 2: Keep up to date with the trends
It is important to be aware of the latest trends in your industry. This does not mean you have to adopt each trend as it occurs but it is important to be aware of what is happening in your industry and in the general environment where your business functions. By being aware of trends and shifts in the environment in your business, you can put ideas in place should you need to pivot your business in another direction. You can keep up to date on business trends by going to Bizcommunity. Furthermore, you can keep up to date about local and global news by reading a range of newspapers to get a holistic view.
STEP 3: Use technology
It is important to understand the trends in technology and then use them to get a competitive edge. Look at your processes and see what technology you can use to improve your customer’s experience or to improve the way you produce your product or service. If you are an event planner, you can use augmented reality to give your client a tour of what their event will look like in the venue.
STEP 4: Identify and prepare for risks
Risk is present in every business. It could be in people, business processes, data security or legal compliance to name a few. It is important to identify potential risks in your business and prepare for them. If you rely on one person to do an aspect of your business, you should consider training someone else to do that job too. You should also consider finding more suppliers for the product or resources you use, so if something happens to your supplier, you will have a back-up.
STEP 5: Listen to your customers
Customers are one of the biggest stakeholders in your business and therefore it is good to listen to what they are saying. Do they like your product? What are they comparing your product to? By listening attentively to what your customer is saying you can find ways to improve your product. You can also see how they see the industry moving.
By following these five steps you will be well on your way to future-proofing your business.
Proudly brought to you by the NSBC.