How to prepare your business for the future

How to prepare your business for the future

Changing with the times is key to surviving in the business world.

The past few years have tested the mettle of business owners, from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain crisis to the looming threat of recession All of this has been a lesson for startups to constantly evolve and stay afloat.

To keep up with all the challenges that come their way, companies must be prepared for the future. Future-proofing is the process of anticipating and planning your business so you can withstand stressful situations in the future. Here are some tips you can follow to help your business stand the test of time:

Get a clear picture of the current situation

To prepare for the future, you must first understand how your business currently operates, the challenges you face, and ways to meet them. To do so, you can conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to review or develop new strategies to promote the growth of your company. This can be achieved by asking people on your team the following questions—

  • For the strengths section: What do we do well? What are the main assets of our company (both tangible resources, such as capital and a strong customer base, and intangible assets, such as a strong knowledge base and network)?
  • For the weaknesses section: What is hindering our ability to remain competitive? Are there gaps in our team?
  • For the opportunities section: How is our market segment currently performing? Are there any ongoing or upcoming events (eg changes in government regulations) that could have a positive impact on our business?
  • For the threats section: Who are our main competitors? Are raw material prices favourable? Is there any technological development that could make our service obsolete?

Once you’ve done the SWOT analysis, you’ll understand your business problems and how to use your strengths to address them. Remember that you need to do the SWOT analysis with a clear goal in mind (for example, if you need to change your marketing strategy) in order to find the information you were looking for. make sure you also research your competitors and the industry in general to get an idea of ​​how your business fits into it.

Digitize your business

It wouldn’t surprise anyone if startups have shifted their operations online in recent years. Therefore, one of the first steps that any company can take to remain relevant in the long term is have an online presence. Not only does it make you more accessible to your customers, but it also helps optimize business performance.

To create a hit online presence, you must take into account the needs of your client. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and has a customer relationship management system (CRM) to tracking customer preferences.

Improve the skills of your employees

As technology advances, the skills people need to be good at their jobs are constantly changing. So if you don’t want to constantly hire new workers to handle new challenges, you need to train your current employees to keep them up with the changing demands of their jobs. More than 60% of all the positions that a company may need in the future can be filled by current employees, provided they receive adequate and sufficient training.

Having a reliable team is integral to the success of your business. One of the biggest reasons employees Leave it’s that they feel they don’t have growth opportunities with their employer. Additionally, employee turnover, which has been rampant during the recent “great resignation”, costs American companies US$1 trillion annually. Therefore, training your team will help you be better prepared for future challenges by saving your company a lot of time and money in the long run.

Establish a hybrid working model

The post-COVID world has a new understanding that most jobs can be remote. Remote work helps people maintain a better work-life balance and delete the time and energy required to commute to and from work each day. If allowing remote work leads to better results, it makes sense to give your employees the flexibility to choose between working from home or from the office.

Of course, at the end of the day, you need consider what your employees want and use it as the basis for your decisions. Doing so will help you retain employees for the long term, which, as we’ve already established, is crucial for growth and reduces the financial stress of hiring new staff.

Use human resources (HR) management technology

Managing employees effectively is one of the tasks that has become particularly challenging in the post-COVID world. To reduce the burden on the HR team, startups should opt for technology solutions to automate hiring, onboarding, and payments. The implementation of technology in the hiring and management of employees can be a cost effective solution and help companies make the most of the employee data they have at their disposal.

Several companies are providing these services:

  • Ascendify: The US-based company uses AI to compare employees based on non-quantifiable aspects such as communication skills and relationship-building abilities;
  • Payfit: Paris-based company helps companies with payroll automation and leave management; Y
  • Headversity – The Canada-based company provides mental resiliency training and provides company executives with a comprehensive overview of the mental health of all employees.

Of course, if you invest in such digitization programs for your company, check that your company is actually using the technology you invest in. evaluate how these investments in technology contribute positively to the growth of the company.

Finally, remember that preparing for the future is a process, but not a single solution that you can implement. While these are some helpful ways to future-proof your business on a personal level, you should keep trying new ideas to see if they work. Future-proofing creates a more agile and flexible company that aligns with the way startups must work in general to stay relevant.

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Header image courtesy of Freepik

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