A business that was once competitive and successful may no longer be sustainable long term. We’re living in a savage setback era. But the recovery period is in action for many. Now, learning to future-proof your work is one of the most valuable assets.
So how do you think critically about the future of your business? Here’s how to create a structure that adapts well to change and stands the test of time.
1. Upgrade your digital assets
A silver lining in the chaos is the existence of the Internet. It has allowed businesses to stay open, people to work from home and communicate through video. Invest in an upgrade of your digital assets and consider migrating business data to the cloud.
Make sure you:
- Update your website, ensure it’s secure, streamline content flow and use a good hosting platform to increase site speed
- Edit web copy and optimise for SEO, add a regular blog
- Tighten your cybersecurity and defend your business against attacks
- Review document processes and CRM software
- Strengthen remote access policies, working from home doesn’t mean working without security
2. Minimise risk with insurance
The economic effects of COVID-19 have altered the risk profiles of many businesses. The best way to manage your risk is to take out the right insurance cover for your industry.
Professional Indemnity Insurance protects service-based sectors and those who offer advice for a fee. The benefits to businesses mean you’re covered for breach of contract or mistake from the professional services you provide. Taking out this type of cover also shows professionalism. It can prove to clients you run a serious business equipped to back up the quality of your work.
In Australia, PI insurance is a basic requirement. It protects your business and personal assets, but your reputation too if a client does make a claim.
Risk management should be your first financial planning priority. The more robust and comprehensive your plan is, the better you can handle exposures.
- Insurance policies to confirm they reflect your current status
- Business objectives, such as rolling out a service or expanding into a new market are protected against loss exposures
- You understand your current financial position to make better-informed business insurance decisions
- There’s a recovery plan in place, just in case
Tip: Remember, PI insurance isn’t a substitute for risk management. It must be used as a component of an overall, effective risk management plan that’s monitored and changed when necessary.
3. Foster the customer experience approach
Customer Experience (CX) is the customer’s perception of your brand. Without a positive impression, you run the risk of clients switching to competitors.
Economic hardship has altered consumer priorities since the pandemic. To accommodate, businesses must perfect their CX strategy. You can do this by building and maintaining customer relationships, humanising your brand, communicating change, fostering stability and tackling the future.
The key is to show your clients you’re taking ownership of the situation, as much as possible. Temporary improvements that satisfy customers now may inspire permanent enhancements to your business model in the future.
4. Review your delivery method
When cash flow is volatile, businesses are either forced to adjust or get left behind.
Social distancing rules saw small restaurants convert from dining-in to takeaway and delivery. Online support is at its peak – and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Creative product inventions, like DIY take-home boxes have motivated sustainable trends. These deconstructed meals allow for great consumer experience and are a clever way to sell of raw ingredients.
- Rethink how you can get your goods or services to consumers if things change, no-contact services may partner with delivery companies, service-based businesses could offer educational-based training to audiences
- Deliver your product/services through digital channels to meet the new demand
- Look for areas to reskill or transform
- Increase customer base by tapping into online communities
- Listen for changes in customer behaviour
- Adapt content marketing and business plans
- Leverage new technologies
- Generate fresh ideas for pricing and terms, update T&Cs
5. Leave room to grow
Being future-proof relies on a business’s ability to innovate. But when creativity is strangled by unplanned company culture, there’s no room to grow.
To pioneer the pillars of innovation avoid micromanagement, overly strict policies and changes that decrease productivity.
Strengthen humanity in the workplace by:
- Allocating more time to soft skills
- Using processes and technologies that connect people rather than divides them
- Building resilience, trust and collaboration.
This post was written by Jayde Walker. After six years as a Senior Content Writer, Jayde now helps businesses create better content, connect with customers and get the most value from their stories through the little typewriter. Jayde specialises in writing about small business, property investment, building design, travel and home improvement industries. She has an undying love for vintage typewriters, 90’s rock music, streetpress and exploring people’s ‘why’.