Bushfires and COVID 19 have created a lot of challenges recently and we see a lot of businesses struggling to adapt and fail to keep up with the changing circumstances. So how can we future-proof our business in uncertain times from problems like these in the first place and go from being reactive to proactive in our everyday business practices?
Customers will always be your priority. No matter how much the business and the environment in which you operate the business changes. Building strong relationships with your customers will help your business weather any storm. Communicating the challenges to the customers and relating solutions for the customers the business can provide when unexpected events take place reassures the customer that we are in this together and that you are doing your best to prioritize that their needs will be met. This reassures the customer and helps solidify this as a relationship, not just a transaction.
Encourage your employees to speak up. In uncertain times people can be pushed to their limits and it is in the best interest of the company to train staff to be prepared for difficult circumstances, and to support staff when they are in the trenches. Remember they are on the frontlines of customer service and because of social media, the way they respond in extreme circumstances will reflect on your company. No matter if you fire them for an unprofessional response or reward and praise them handling it professionally, it is permanently public on the internet. Staff who feel secure and safe in their positions tend to make better decisions so that includes keeping the lines of communication open both ways. By listening to your employees when problems arise at the beginning of a problem, will not have time and space to grow into a monster problem later.
Keep your head up to see tomorrow. Consider where the future is heading and not where your rivals are in the present. Comparing your business to others in your industry can make you lose sight of the values important to your company. Investing in your staff with training on dealing with extreme circumstances, improving and diversifying the quality of your product and services, as well as adopting new strategies and technology may cost in the short term but will pay off when unexpected events take place. By pursuing this process of constant evolution, you’ll help actively grow your business’s capabilities and insights, and improve its ability to shift with changing markets over time.
Take calculated risks. Now that you are looking up it’s time to take steps. Following trends in your industry and in your customer’s behaviour can help you anticipate where your business can improve and grow. If you rely too much on, “it’s the way it has always been done” or “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” you may find your business left behind. If you are depending too heavily on one person, one location or one aspect of the business to help maintain the business you could lose it all if you lose one of the components. Look at these risks to your business and implement countermeasures to the system so that if one thing is removed it will not bring the rest of the company down. Risk management of possible points of failure for a business is something you will constantly review but in the long run, the reward is worth it.
Create a favourable environment for innovation. We can’t always predict future events that may or may not hinder our business, but we can get close to it. It’s not just about following the leaders in your industry but creating a culture of innovation in your company, you give your employees the freedom to experiment and grow from their successes and failures and become the leaders to follow.
Things are changing fast. A successful business cannot guarantee its survival if it’s not prepared for the future. Using the above strategies, you can future-proof your business to some extent and stay ahead of the competition.
Looking for a rapid strategy that shifts gears for you and your business in a time of uncertainty? Don’t leave yourself untethered in the vastness of space, reach out for support, our team is here for you.