It’s a fine balancing act in business between managing sales, cashflow, employees, suppliers and general operations. We’ve got all the tips to Make Your Business Future Proof, and protect your livelihood against life’s unexpected changes.
It doesn’t take very much for business to be interrupted by a change in financial climate, dropping profit margins, rising supplier prices, the effects of accounts mismanagement or for cashflow chaos to arise. Being smart about securing your business for the future means embracing and preparing for change while keeping your finger on the pulse.
Manage and measure business through sales, cashflow and customer and staff satisfaction. Clear business plans with KPI key performance indicators to set targets, manage changes and convert leads into sales keeps business energised.
As business owners, we need to manage our cashflow to pay the payroll, rent, and utilities. Sales and profits could be up but it is cashflow that ultimately effects business operations. Cashflow Chaos occurs when we lose income and clients, outstanding invoices are not being collected due to bad paying customers or poor financial management. Calling in the experts every 12 months to look over the financials and explore reorganising liabilities and debt or a business restructure can give your business the pep it needs for a secure future.
It’s hard to predict and track the marketing fads that come and go, but we still need to be aware of news and trends. With technology advancing at an incredible rate, staying informed has never been more important.
Analyse the industry and observe available market niches or learn about new goods and services with the potential for high demand in the marketplace.
Follow industry news on social media, subscribe to email newsletters and network.
Stay informed with regular and varied industry updates.
Learn To Adapt
Be prepared to learn, grow and succeed – and roll with the punches as they come along. Building your business requires innovation, and the cornerstone of innovation is built upon open open communication, calculated risk-taking and forward thinking.
Focusing on strategy is essential for growing business, so take time away from the everyday once a week, fortnight or month.
Keep Technology Up To Date
Just because it ain’t broke, doesn’t mean it won’t give you trouble. You can be locked out of software programs while exposing your business to security or business risks or – worse – pass risks and losses on to your clients.
Keep business operating at scale with updated technology, systems and processes to drive results.
Always look to refine your processes when problems arise. It’s not about when things go wrong, it’s about making sure they don’t happen again.
Optimise business so you work smarter rather than harder. Protecting your business for the future relies on innovation.
Everyone is vulnerable to online hacks, from major corporations who draw hacker attention, to small businesses who lack cybersecurity systems. Barkly reports that ransomware attacks and malware - malicious software - dominates world security where a company can be hit with ransomware every 40 seconds. And unless the entire internet can be fixed (we doubt this), ransomware and malware are trends that will continue into the future.
Learning to defend against cyberattacks is necessary. This can be achieved through healthy security habits with secure passwords, anti-malware scans, cybersecurity training manuals, regular backups and general digital caution with emails and internet browsing.
Be Big Picture Thinking
The devil is in the details. Don’t get so caught up in the micromanagement of business you can’t take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Take time away from daily operations to work on strategy.
Understand business cycles to know when to grow and tighten the belt to stay ahead of the game.
Keep business choices simple and strategic, from identifying new niches in the marketplace to refreshing business with a rebrand.
Stepping back with Big Picture Thinking is a never-ending process for improvement, driven by the thirst for knowledge and leading to business resilience.
Some companies achieve success with just one great product in a niche market or a mass market audience. Varying your product line or adding new and complementary products allows you to increase your chances while reducing your dependence on just one part of your business.
Identify & Manage Risks
Forewarned is forearmed. You won’t be able to predict the future but you can certainly take steps by identifying the risks or points of failure. You are the best person to identify the risks in your business and take measures to in reducing their impact. Pinpoint the risks or gaps in your business from key management and employee positions to systems, business processes, legal compliance or data security.
Listen To Customer Feedback
Your customers help improve your products or services, with insights into creating a better customer experience for return sales. Focus on changes in customer behaviour by tracking sales, while being open to feedback and staying informed of industry developments.
Inspire your staff by encouraging them to be involved with open communications. Give everyone within the business the freedom to experiment – test their ideas - while rewarding them for their work. Encouraging input with tasks and innovation keeps everyone in your business emotionally involved and connected while nurturing positive change.
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