Starting a business means taking a huge risk. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics data, 50% of businesses fail before their fifth birthday. While such statistics could scare an aspiring entrepreneur, you can use them to future-proof your business.
Future-proofing a business prepares it to avoid failure and survive downturns, crises, and pandemics. A future-proofed business can grow, stay relevant, and adapt according to situations. Here’s how to future-proof your business to ensure it succeeds now and in the future.
1. Improve Employee Retention
Hiring the right team is critical to the success of your business. You need to hire the right people and have them collaborate to grow the business. However, the key to future business stability lies in retaining top talent.
Improving employee retention keeps morale and productivity high. You can improve employee retention rates by making your business attractive to prospective hires, offering competitive packages and bonuses, consistent training, and catering to the different needs of your employees.
2. Leverage New Tech Early
Technological advancements set new trends in how businesses operate and meet customers’ needs. Tech enables businesses to improve operations, enhance communication among teams, become more flexible, and reach more customers. However, to enjoy the full benefits of emerging technologies, you must leverage them early in your business.
Also, leveraging new tech early gives you an upper hand over competitors. For instance, during the recent global pandemic, companies that had leveraged digitalization had a competitive advantage over late adopters.
For example, loan companies that offered online loans got more clients than those that didn’t. For them, business went on as usual and some even expanded. This is because customers were able to easily access an online title loan without worrying about getting infected.
3. Invest In Research and Development
The business environment is constantly changing and you have to innovate to stay relevant. Your business needs to keep changing and adopt new production methods, marketing strategies, and customer reach and acquisition techniques.
Future-proofing your business in this rapidly changing business environment requires investing in research and development. You must be able to produce better products and services for your customers and find ways to expand to new markets.
4. Listen To Your Customers
According to Statista, 35% of businesses fail because there’s no market need for their products or services. However, what the market wants changes with time, and you must keep up or go out of business. In other words, you must know what your customers want and give it to them.
Listening to your customers can give you a glimpse of the newest trends, products in high demand, and the next big thing in the marketplace. You can learn what your customers want through in-person conversations, social media interactions, market polls, and research.
5. Streamline Business Operations
Streamlining business operations can save costs and time and enable you to deal with unforeseen situations better. It involves assessing every operation and eliminating inefficiencies and unnecessary costs.
Start by tracking operations to eliminate bottlenecks, adopt required technologies, and optimize accordingly. Also, consider money-saving efforts like leasing company cars rather than buying to save on maintenance costs, taxes, and depreciation.
Future-Proofing Readies Your Business for Anything
Uncertainty is the only thing you can be certain about in business. You cannot tell if the market will embrace your offerings or if you’ll have enough cash flow to keep your business going next year. However, future-proofing can help your business maneuver the murky business waters by giving it the ability to adapt, innovate, and advance.