When was the last time you decided to think about the future of your company? It’s not always about what products you plan to sell or where you plan to expand. Sometimes it’s about building up a solid business that can last many years into the future with virtually no risk of falling behind and eventually collapsing.
Future-proof businesses have no fear of being made irrelevant because they’ve all been integrated into society. Try and imagine what life would be like if Microsoft “suddenly” collapsed. They would stop pushing updates to their operating system, a lot of productivity software would cease to work and all of the cloud services they manage will shut down. Same with Google; if they suddenly went out of business then many of the websites you browse would be much harder to find and you’d need to resort to other search engines instead of Google.
So how exactly do you future-proof your company? There are many different ways to integrate yourself into society, but there are also other considerations that you need to keep in mind if you truly want to future-proof your business. To give you a hand, we’ll go through some of the most glaring issues with most businesses these days and how they fail to future-proof their company.
Are You Constantly Training New Staff?
New staff will become the backbone of your company. When existing staff eventually retire or move on to find new jobs, you’re going to need replacements and it’s difficult to integrate a completely new member of staff into your office culture, especially if they need to manage an important role. Getting a new manager that has to take care of dozens of employees will be extremely difficult.
Sure, your employees might respect the manager and treat them fairly, but it’s going to take a long time for your new manager to get involved and become part of the company culture. You’ve probably experienced it in the past as well; joining a new company as the newbie despite having more than enough qualifications. It’s a daunting experience that is made easier with time, and over time you’ll be far more comfortable working in your position.
In other words, make sure you’re constantly training new staff. Whether it’s new interns, freelancers or apprentices, always look for new talent to join your company in a variety of different roles. If you fail to add new people to your business, then you’ll eventually be left with a company that will fail when too many of its core members of staff leave. Focus on building up a solid company culture and make sure you’ve always got new members that are willing to learn.
Does Your Business Embrace New Technologies As They Come?
Technology is an incredibly important component of business. It drives our computers, makes us more efficient and also assists in marketing. It goes without saying that technology investments will go a long way in your company. Businesses that fail to adopt new technologies as they release will quickly find themselves struggling to cope with the evolution of businesses.
One great example of this is when businesses first started using the internet to grow their company. The start was difficult because getting stable internet connections wasn’t exactly affordable and building websites required specialists that were expensive to hire. However, as time went on, more and more websites began to pop up and more businesses switched to using online services to assist their company growth. Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to start up a website and start using the internet for the sake of growing your company and expanding your brand.
You may notice that websites such as Google and Amazon started extremely early. They constantly innovated and adopted new technologies as the industry changed. If you’re not willing to adapt as a business by embracing new technologies, then you will continue to fall behind until you reach obscurity and no company wants to drop that low.
Who Will You Hand Your Business To When You Retire?
Another thing to keep in mind is the leadership of your company. Most people would just simply hand the company over to a CEO or never retire, but what about when you finally pass away? Sooner or later you’ll have to either make the decision of handing your business over to someone else or selling it entirely.
If you have a family, then you may want to pass your business on to your children. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to groom them by teaching them how to run the business and how to grow it in the future. If you fail to give them the right lessons, then you’re going to struggle with making this all-important decision in the future when your time is almost up. It’s not exactly the most positive thing to think about but if you want your business to be future-proof, then you need to learn how you can pass your business on in the future.
Whether you need to find a probate attorney to help make your will official or if you need to train a new CEO to fit your shoes, it’s important to start planning for it now especially if your health is declining or you’re already thinking about retiring. Everyone deserves to retire in peace without having to worry about their company and you should be no exception.
How Many Companies Are You Partnered With?
You also need to think about other businesses and how they can work together with you to create a better future together. Imagine if you’re a smartphone manufacturer that is on the cusp of international recognition. It’s such a competitive market that you’re going to need assistance from other companies that develop your computer chips, your screens and also your software.
There are virtually no companies in the world that are completely self-sufficient. Even Apple will partner up with Samsung in some cases because they both know that competition is good for the industry and Apple knows that Samsung provides some of the best smartphone screens and components hence why they’re used in Apple phones. In fact, it has been said that Samsung will actually make more from the new iPhone X than Apple themselves because they rely so heavily on Samsung’s parts.
Although it seems strange to rely on a competitor for your business, it’s ultimately one of the basics of how you approach your business. Competition is always good to have because it prevents the market from getting stale, and you’ll be forced to work with other companies in order to source the right parts for your company’s products. In short, if you want to future-proof your company then you need to learn how to network and partners with other businesses so you can help keep each other afloat in the industry.
Have You Reached The Apex Of Your Business’s Growth?
Sadly, some businesses will reach a point where they can no longer grow anymore. This is just a limitation of the industry and demand itself, not so much the business’s ability to promote their products and grow. For example, if you specialize in products made for art, then you should understand that not everyone is into art and not everyone can draw. This severely limits your audience and you need to accept this as a fact. No matter how hard you advertise or how much money you pour into marketing, your audience is limited due to the interests of your audience.
If you want to future-proof, then you need to attract the largest audience you possibly can. This is why billion-dollar companies like Apple and Microsoft are doing so well. Microsoft offers an operating system that has over 90% total market share. A large number of people in the world use computers and even more people use operating systems for things like server rooms and powering specialized’s computers. As a result, many people use Microsoft products and they’ve become a huge part of the world’s technological ecosystem. If you don’t have a product that is needed by a large population of the world then there will always be a limit to how much you can grow.
In order to break that limit without switching your industry, you need to focus on appealing to customers that otherwise wouldn’t care about your products. For instance, if we use the art example again, your focus should shift from showcasing your art products to getting more people to try art. You should show people how wonderful arts and crafts actually is and you need to give them a reason to care about your products.
Some Final Words
As you can see, a lot goes into future-proofing your business and you need to think with a unique mindset if you want to truly make your business stand the test of time. Whether it’s innovating your company, changing your business model or even planning ahead by training a new company leader, there’s a lot to consider.