4 Ways to Help Futureproof Your Start-up
Lately it feels like the world is moving at hyper speed: politics, technology, culture – everything is subject to rapid change. Before getting into the tangible steps start-ups can take to future-proof their business, let’s break down exactly what is meant by future proofing.
Future proofing is the act of ensuring that no matter what changes occur in your industry and the market beyond, your business has protective measures in place that will reduce the negative impact of these developments to your business. In a way, this is a mental concept first, one that needs to be at the forefront of any start-ups business plan and vision. Preparing for the unexpected and adapting a proactive mindset to market changes is one of the ways to practice futureproofing.
Now, let’s look at some other steps start-ups can take to tackle the issue before it has a negative impact on business.
Think about openness
Openness and flexibility must become part of your start-ups regular vocabulary if it’s to continue growing. By embracing these concepts and demonstrating your willingness to act on them to employees and investors, you will start to shape business strategy proactively, ready to tackle any possible changes. It’s difficult to pin-point exactly what the future will bring but even anticipating it keeps the business on alert and in a better position than those who don’t plan for change or don’t believe in it altogether.
Think about ‘more’
Companies no longer simply sell products to faceless customers – social media has changed the game. Consumers are after experiences and, as a start-up, you need to adapt to this mode of thinking if you are to capture this lucrative part of the consumer market. Think about ways that can add value to your product and evaluate the entire customer journey to make it memorable and enjoyable. Constantly review this process, considering competitor activity, to ensure that you’re ahead of the trend and that customers feel confident recommending more than your product to others.
Think about technology
It’s impossible for start-ups to not think about technology but we advise taking it a step further. Just like market changes, developments in technology are likely to have an impact on your business. Think especially carefully about security if your start-up is primarily IT-based as the rate of cyberattacks has grown in recent times. Can your business withstand a cyberattack and how will it recover should one take place? Spend your cash on ensuring the reliability of your technology to futureproof your start-up.
Think about culture
All employees and colleagues in a start-up must be aligned with the vision to futureproof the business, which means looking for people who are open to changes and flexible in ways of working. Without this, all efforts to implement futureproofing strategy will be questioned or met with negativity – ultimately interfering with your success. As a start-up, think carefully about the kind of people you employ and your company culture; it’s not useful to have a room full of uncommunicative employees that aren’t plugged into what’s happening in the world. Encourage conversations about the future and look for people who are always a step ahead of their game.