Life is fast paced and ever changing, and to succeed in business you need to be able to move with the times. A business that does fantastic now could easily be made obsolete within a few years, and so looking ahead and being ready to adapt when needed can help to give your company a successful future. Here are a few of the ways you can future proof your business venture.
Invest in an App
All of the big companies of the world have got on board with apps, and know the fantastic things they can do for business. More sales are now made on smartphones and tablets than on laptops and computers, which is something you really can’t afford to ignore as a company owner. Many smaller and medium sized business still haven’t got on board so it’s something you could consider. Sure, your site may be optimised for mobiles- but an app gives far more benefits. An app is stored on the customer’s phone meaning your details are only ever a click of a button away. You can communicate offers or messages via notifications. An app also makes your company look more trustworthy and reliable too, as you have to be verified to get onto the app store. Particularly when you’re a newer or smaller business, convincing customers that you are who you say you are can be tricky. People tend to prefer to stick to the big brands they know and trust, so anything that can persuade them to give you a try is a good thing. In the near future, an app will be as important to a business as a website is now. However right now, you have the chance to get ahead and do what many of your competitors are missing out on. By the time they get on board, you’ll be way ahead.
Stay up to Date on Technological Advances
Technology is ever advancing, and as a business owner it’s important to be on top of these changes. Are there gadgets, programs or technologies that can make your life easier and improve your business? Are there advancements that could render your business obsolete? It’s important to know how to adapt and change if you come up against this. Take internet cafes a couple of decades ago- once widely used and loved. However the advancement of the internet and it becoming widely available in homes could have rendered them obsolete. However smart owners knew that they could continue with their business by targeting a different demographic. These days internet cafes are used by those in poorer people for things like job searches or for internet sessions for older adults where they can meet and use the web. Others have turned them into study zones for students, who may fancy a change of scenery from their laptop at home or in their dorm room. One of the big technological advances these days that could make or break many businesses is 3D printer technology. Using this as an example, is it something that would affect your business- either positively or negatively? If it’s something that could potentially render your products or services useless, how could you adapt and change your business model so that you’re still useful and relevant?
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
As with technology, you need to be keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing again in case your business ends up obsolete. While of course you need to be focusing on yourself and growing and improving your business, your competitors will be after the same customers as you and so it’s important to know what they’re doing too. Make sure you stay ahead of the game, read customer reviews and take on board criticism and negative reviews in a constructive way. Use this to make changes that will make your company better and please your customers. Conduct market research to make sure your products, pricing and everything else are right. Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best, to secure the customers you need you need to be more appealing than your competitors.
Consider Further Education and Training
Even if your business is going well, it doesn’t mean you should get complacent. Further training or education for either you or your staff is important, it helps to future proof your business by ensuring your skills are up to scratch. Do some research, are there courses you could go on, training days or business seminars you could book? Knowledge is power, continue learning and moving forward and then putting plans into action based on what you have learned.