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Businesses have had to ride out a lot of changes in things like new legislation, advertising trends, technology developments, market changes and customer expectations.

So naturally businesses, big and small have had to become adaptable in order to survive. While you may feel you’re on top of current changes, have you prepared for the future?

Future-proofing your company is now more important than ever because the bigger companies are already doing it. They have whole teams dedicated to development of new ideas and strategies. Here’s how you can future proof your company and stay in the running with your competitors.

Embrace AI

AI and automation might sound like something from a science fiction film and is often central to scaremongering stories about robots taking all our jobs.

The good news is, we’re a long way off that and you have time to prepare but you should try and prepare now.

Some industries will be more heavily hit than others. You can use this this calculator from the BBC to give you some insight into how risky your industry is.

Rather than fearing AI and automation, try to think about how it could benefit you instead. Automating processes can save time and reduce errors which should be music to any business owner’s ears.

Head to the cloud

Cloud technology has been talked up a lot recently and for good reason. The modern consumer wants mobility and accessibility and to organise their everyday lives by the tap of an app.

Consider cloud accounting and storage for your business. This could save you from finding more space to store all those filing cabinets full of paperwork. Using the cloud could make maintaining your accounts easier. Being able to update whenever and wherever will lead to more accurate records.

Remote working

A lot of emphasis has been placed on achieving a good work-life balance in recent years. Therefore, remote working and flexible working have become more popular than ever. With technology like instant communication tools and remote access apps it’s easy enough for many employees to work flexibly, from home or on the go. This helps with staff morale and retention and allows you to attract the best candidates.

With more people going freelance, businesses can take advantage of flexible working by hiring people on an as-needed basis. This can save on money and office space as most will work from home.

Don’t rely on one income stream

The economy is always something to be wary of as are changing markets and new legislation. These things should be enough to keep businesses on their toes. One way you can be careful and protect your business interests is to ensure you’re not relying on one type of income stream.

If bad news hits the economy or the market and your business is susceptible to this, then you could end up short on cash or new custom suddenly. If you can branch out and add new revenue streams to your portfolio you’ve got something to fall back on.

Keep meeting needs of customers

One mistake that businesses make is assuming their clients’ needs and expectations never change. They will conduct some market research in the beginning and base everything on that even if the information is out of date.

Market research such as survey competitions, online polls and interaction on social media are simple methods but can go a long way in influencing what you should do next to ensure success. It also helps to make customers feel that their opinion and custom is valued which is always a plus.

 

How are you future proofing your business? Are you trying any of the tips above? Let us know how you get on!

 

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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