3 ways to future-proof your business

| 28 May 2015

By Jacques van Heerden

With the growing use of technology in business, there’s greater need for business owners to meticulously plan ahead for guaranteed sustainability. Here’s how your business should plan for the future.

It’s 2015, and the average age of a Fortune 500 company has dropped to a 12 year cycle. Fact is, more businesses are being started per year than ever before – thanks to technology.

It’s more important than ever to future-proof your business. In fact, top industry experts recommend every business should, at the very least, have a three to five year plan on how they will transform their market.

Planning, goal setting, vision layouts – call it what you want – it comes down to the same principle. Your business must be able to withstand economic highs and lows. You don’t want to build a company that becomes extinct within a couple of years. There is a big difference between making money and leaving a legacy.

Despite the rise in technology, the fundamental value of putting people – your employees and clients – first remains essential to running a successful business. Here are my three tips on future-proofing your business:

Focus on company culture
There is nothing more important in business than performance. How do you amass performance? Through happy and motivated employees, or as I like to call them: team members. By ensuring employees have a sense of belonging, and that their well being is front of mind, industry leaders have cultivated happy staff complements and seen a tremendous increase in performance.

Focus on quality not quantity
The biggest mistake in the initial stages of starting a business is focusing solely on generating revenue, usually at the expense of quality service. Focus on offering quality service and producing a first-class product. Remember, you’re not only solving a problem, but also delivering service of a high standard that will ensure happy customers.

Over time, your numbers will increase and your company’s reputation will improve. We are moving into an era where the market yearns for intimacy. Companies that start connecting with their customers on an emotional level will continue to make an impact in the future.

Use technology to your advantage
Every single day there are thousands of new products that go live on the Internet. The days of being the sole provider of a single piece of software are over. New start-ups are solving the problems the first editions couldn’t by listening to users’ needs, and giving them the support they require.

Make use of the technology available to you. If you have a wine distribution company, you should have an app available on iOS, Android and the web to make order management and tracking faster. If you have a restaurant, you should have an online reservation system so customers don’t have to pick up the phone.

Do whatever it takes to make your clients’ lives as easy as possible. We’re living in an age where information is freely available at the click of a button. In order to stand out, be different – be spot-on when it comes to providing solutions and be willing to give more than you take.

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