The world is changing faster than we could have imagined. Many business owners and organizations prefer to defend and preserve the past instead of adapting to the change. As a result, they are unable to future-proof their companies.
Future-proofing means expecting whatever lies ahead and developing ways to minimize or prevent its negative impact. It’s crucial because change is constant. But while it can be challenging to future-proof your business, ignoring change won’t make you get away from it. So it’s either you change with it or fail to thrive.
Here are key ways to future-proof your business.
1. Practice Open Innovation
Business owners tend to focus more on sales and product development than their customers’ changing views and preferences. Consequently, they lose their customers, get a bad reputation, stay behind the competition, and miss marketing opportunities. That’s how essential customers’ voices are in your business.
The thing now is to embrace open innovation. It’s where you promote collaboration and invite insights from your customers, suppliers, partners, or any person outside your company. This concept is practiced since there’s always greater knowledge outside your company. In addition to that, it’s the most consistent yet cost-effective source of great business ideas.
Gone are the days when the silo mentality or traditional R&D secrecy in companies is a must. In this digital time and age, a future-proof client listening system that is streamlined, automated, and client-reaching is ideal. The more external insights you’ll address and take advantage of, the higher the chance of solving an issue easily and quickly.
2. Apply MVP Technique
Another way to bring about open innovation and future-proof your company is through a minimum viable product or MVP. Simply put, it’s a pared-down version of a new product. It’s put in place just with basic features but enough to catch customers’ attention.
MVP’s primary purpose is to collect sufficient feedback from the initial users before releasing a full-fledged product. The validated learning from customers can help you iterate and improve your new product right away.
Releasing MVPs provides opportunities for immediate benefits to your company. If things go wrong in the future, you can quickly get valuable results, build solutions, and then roll them out to commence real-world trials with real users. It’s an excellent way to future-proof product developments without wasting resources, like efforts, time, money, and advertising.
3. Be Resilience-Centric
Needless to say, bad risks should always be mitigated as soon as possible. It’s basic in every business. Of course, it’s impossible to know future problems. But there are certainly a lot of ways to better prepare ourselves, which is also a kind of risk management.
The first is to identify possible points of failure and gaps in your business process. For instance, many online business owners tend to ignore data security, consequently putting themselves at risk of going out of business. If you’re unsure of these potential risks, practice employee-level open innovation and a favorable environment for it.
Next is to take immediate measures, depending on the risks you identified. Let’s take financial risk as an example. When facing a serious cash crunch, don’t hesitate to borrow. If you’re worried about putting undue financial pressure on your business, opt for flexible online loans lender. Recent fintech has better loan options that are tailored to your needs.
4. Go Tech Savvy
A survey showed that the COVID-19 crisis had sped up digital transformation by several years. What’s more, the majority of these technological adoptions will stay for good. So if our future world is going to be hyperconnected and cyber-physical, it’s best to be increasingly acquainted with technology and its trends.
If you’re already into virtual processes, take stock of the digital ways and technologies you’ve carried out. When it comes to being tech-savvy, bear four things in mind. All the technological measures and gadgets you’ll opt to should promote enhanced employability, marketability, self-reliance, and productivity.
5. Carry Out Process Optimization
Process optimization aims to increase efficiency by seeking new possibilities for improvement by using resources to their fullest. Doing so can skyrocket business efficiency, keeping your business competitive and offering more value to customers.
In other words, process optimization is continuously adapting processes to improve their features while staying within your limits. It keeps companies of all sizes nimble enough to expect and adapt to change, which is basically future-proofing. It also helps you identify and implement new ways to make your business more efficient and cost-effective.
Future-proofing your business doesn’t mean you’ll always have solutions to any future issue. Instead, it’s about having an adaptive, open-minded, strategist, and resilient company. If you’re future-proof, your business will become more agile and flexible. Ultimately, you won’t see chance as a struggle but as an opportunity.