8 Ways to Futureproof Your Business

8 Ways to Futureproof Your Business

In a hectic world of 24/7 consumerism and a relentless stream of technological advances, businesses need to balance daily activities while keeping an eye on the future.

But how do you effectively futureproof your business? We can help you out. In this piece, you’ll learn how to:

  •          Protect your business in an era of constant technological evolution.
  •          The best ways to target your audience.
  •          The recruitment strategies you’ll need.
  •          How to innovate and stand out in your market.

Let’s get started. First up…

1. Embrace Millennials (and prepare for Generation Z)

Your workforce will soon change. Over in America, it’s estimated, by 2030, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. We can expect a similar story in England.

Millennials are often multi-talented and university educated, they bring with them a new era of productivity. Technology conscious and self-aware, you will want to appeal to these sensibilities to attract them to your business.

Generation Z isn’t too far off, either. This ensures another dynamic shift for your staff in the not too distant future, too. With a love of technology and creative independence, they’ll also li higher wages than Millennials for financial security in a difficult economy.

2. Take advantage of new

You’ve likely already had sweeping technological advances in recent years. It can protect your data, help you adapt to new trends, streamline your operations, provide an ever-improving customer experience, and help you innovate on a strategic level.

Technology can influence your shop front (i.e. your website design) to how you manage your staff, or interact with your customers.

Elsewhere, the likes of cloud computing have allowed big names like Netflix to dominate its market. Cloud computing allows for reliable and real-time responses, making your business dealings for seamless. It’s in use with big name brands such as Netflix, as well as more common, far-reaching industries such as hr advice for small businesses.

But change is inevitable—what you implement now may fall obsolete in a few years. The solution here is to plan ahead. Keep an eye on upcoming essential changes and take advantage of them when they arrive.

3. Take SEO seriously

Many businesses still don’t consider SEO important enough to dedicate much time to. This is despite endless online articles passionately explaining the importance of an optimised website.

Small businesses are prone to this. Many consider it easy and only cover the fundamentals, too costly, or outright ignore it.

SEO is more complex than adding in some metadata. It requires an expert hand to guide you forward. If this is you, then consider hiring an SEO executive or manager if your industry is competitive and you need that extra edge.

SEO is a long-term strategy, but it’s one than can land your business with a strong foothold in Google’s SERPs. This can lead to a steady stream of relevant traffic and secure you a bright future.

4. Shake up your recruitment strategy

Traditional recruitment strategies are disappearing. Inviting candidates to your office to answer generic questions, for example, doesn’t cut it.

Many businesses now have a multi-layered approach. This can include psychometric tests, job auditions, the use of chatbots to facilitate candidate progress, or advanced techniques such as virtual reality experiences.

For your recruitment strategy, there’s no right answer. The point is your strategy should be changing. Experiment and innovate—try out new tactics, such as social media, to lure in younger talent with forward-thinking techniques.

At the very least you can save your business a lot of time. Instead of arranging various office-based interviews, simply drop your candidates a 10-minute screening call on FaceTime or Skype. That way you can quickly work out your top candidates, with all concerned spared the time-consuming nature of holding (or travelling to) interviews.

5. Step up your cybersecurity

Cybercrime is thriving. The cybersecurity firm Norton confirmed that, for 2017, £130 billion was stolen from consumers across the world.

Combatting threats with a cutting-edge, robust security network is essential. You need to confirm to customers you’re a secure business. When the media reports safety breaches, it can cause serious damage to a brand.  

Taking the steps to prevent this can begin today, but it has to be a long-term goal to limit risk as much as possible.

6. Analyse industry issues & disrupt them

Stand out from your competitors. Strive to do something different. If you’re stuck in a particular way of working, it doesn’t mean this is the best way to approach business.

You can perform market research, or ask your staff, for feedback on daily business operations. Consider their feedback carefully and you can really take it from there (so long as it’s actionable, of course).

Take it a step further. Have a look at common problems you find in your industry. Consider how you can disrupt the status quo. Establishing new processes to overcome these issues can turn your business, not only into a thought leader, but a bastion of the industry. It can also boost your sales, too.

This capacity to grow as a brand is where many others miss out. Due to the likes of micromanagement (that can bore employees), and strict policies that leave your staff frustrated, you can reduce your productivity rather than improve it.

So dare to be different. Embrace flexible work shifts, let employees who can work from home, and disrupt your industry with exciting new ideas.

7. Consider AI

Artificial intelligence will impact business in revolutionary new ways. One much touted example is with chatbots. Their use is widespread, ranging from assisting customers to helping recruiters.

But their use extends to security factors, which includes fraud detection and various other cybercrime issues for businesses.  

Businesses that are able to respond quickly to such opportunities are the ones who could steal a march in their industry. Failing that, you can at least join in with industry expectations your customers will come to expect.

8. Social shopping

Finally, as an example for how your market could develop, social media buying is on the rise. Consumers are moving from liking to buying—while this is far from an industry expectation, it does hint at the various innovations ahead that could further your reach as a brand.

Forbes considered the possibility recently. Are we heading into an era of social shopping? Instagram is currently testing a shopping feature, while Facebook and Twitter seem customer made for targeted campaigns. It states:

“While there are certainly critics of this, there is no doubt that social media platforms are becoming sales platforms. A big part of this is creating interfaces that allow users to make purchases and learn more about products while maintaining a seamless social media experience."

Some social media users may baulk at the idea. Such a move won’t be popular with social media users, who could claim it’s invasive. But you would be foolish to miss out on such a possibility—keep your eye on the developing trends.

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