Businesses need to adapt to survive in a rapidly changing world. New consumers, new technologies and new ways of working mean those that don’t embrace these sometimes-meteoric shifts can end up getting left behind. Predicting the future is difficult, but there are some steps you can take to start to future-proof your business for the exciting, if a little daunting, times ahead.
You won’t be able to future-proof your business overnight, but with a little help from us, hopefully you’ll be able to tell your AI from your Gen Z.
What does ‘future-proof’ mean?
The term future-proof means the ability for something to maintain its value over time. When we use future-proofing in a business sense however, it refers more to being able to predict changes in the market and preparing your business by investing in infrastructure, technology and personnel to help keep the impact as low as possible when things start to change.
How can I future-proof my business?
1. Understand your audience
The first step to future-proofing your business is understanding who you’ll be selling to in the future. The best way to do this? Find out who you’re selling to today! If you can get inside the minds of your current customers, you start to discover what they like and dislike most about your business, how and where they interact with your brand, and what changes you need to make to provide a better customer experience in the future.
From Millennials to Gen-Z
Millennials maybe all the rage right about now, but Generation Z is hot on their tail. These mobile-obsessed, financially-conscious young upstarts grew up online and it won’t be long before they’re brimming with disposable income and occupying high-powered decision-making roles within businesses. Understanding and beginning to tailor your marketing efforts to catch their eye is worth the effort. This means getting online, getting more visual, and most of all, getting personal.
2. Invest in new technology
Most businesses that fail to transition when there is a big shift in the market do so because they failed to embrace change. Investing capital and training in new technology that gives your company the opportunity to be agile across every area of the business is crucial if you’re looking to set yourself up for the future.
The AI revolution
Wherever you look, artificial intelligence (AI) is being adapted to make industries quicker and smarter. Tech trends often come and go without much lasting impact, but the robots have arrived and they’re here to stay. AI and machine learning can be used by almost any industry to help them future-proof their business from time-saving customer service automation to predicting consumer trends and behaviour.
3. Take your business online
Everyone from baby-boomers to Gen Z now use the internet as their primary source of information when making a purchase. This trend is only going to grow as digital natives start becoming mainstream consumers. Everything from online reviews to Google star ratings can influence a consumers’ buying decision, so sorting yourself out with a comprehensive digital strategy sooner rather than later is key if you want your business to survive in the upcoming digital era.
Search, search, search
Getting the correct mix of paid and organic is your best bet for dominating the world of search. Google is king, and ranking high on page one for your business’ key terms can come at a cost. With a smart SEO strategy and some timely pay-per-click advertising, however, you can start using search engine marketing to increase brand awareness and drive more engaged customers to your site.
Can reviews help me future-proof my business?
Yes, they can! By listening to your customers’ feedback, you can learn their likes and dislikes about your brand, service and products and start to build a detailed picture of your audience! Knowing what they want from your business and identifying the topics and trends which matter to them most, means you can adapt your offering to better suit their needs. This insight also gives you invaluable information you can use to tailor your marketing and upgrade your customer experience.
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