All businesses change over time. Typically, they expand into new geographical areas, consolidate their market positions or shift into new markets with innovative products and services. In short, no business model stays the same for very long because even very stable enterprises will face changing customer requirements and demographics. What this boils down to is the need to future-proof your business so that you can cope with such changes. How can technology help in this regard?
- Obtain New Domain Names for Future Brands
To begin with, many business models now rely on multiple brands and brand identities. If one of your brands takes off and becomes a big hit, then you won't want all of the digital influence it has to be restricted by having it exist online as one or two pages of your parent website. Instead, you should register the domain names of all your products, brands and sub-businesses so that they are ready to roll out whenever you need. Some of the leading hosting services will even provide you with free domain name registration so you can effectively reserve the names you want for future websites without the need to actually build them until you are ready. Bear in mind that some brands might never come to fruition but those that do really ought to have domains that relate directly to them. Otherwise, you can fundamentally undermine your online presence with obscure URLs that customers and search engines find are more or less irrelevant.
- Look For Scalable Software Platforms
Not all business software tools are scalable. Some have a limit on the number of users while others will charge you more if you use them after an initial period. This can hamper businesses over time, especially ones with growing or changing needs. Before you commit to any particular software system, it is imperative that you don't merely assess its compatibility with you current needs but what you think your future ones in a few years' time will be. This goes for operational outsourcing, as well. For example, you can now outsource all of your back-office operations in a truly scalable way, meaning that your monthly overheads will adapt to even the most challenging business conditions in which volatility is the norm.
- Seek Customer Feedback
When you are doing well as a business, it could be that your sheer commercial acumen is enough to keep you on the right growth track. However, unless you are actively engaged in asking your customers – and target clientele – what they want, you won't truly know whether you will be able to continue to deliver. This is why customer feedback is so crucial if you want to future-proof your business' growth. These days, obtaining the sort of feedback you need to make decisions that will affect your company's future can be automated, so this doesn't have to be a labour-intensive activity.
To Conclude – Futureproof Your Business Today, Not Tomorrow
Bear in mind that future-proofing a business isn't only about mitigating risks and threats but seeking new opportunities and thinking about how you can beat your competitors, too. If you are only focussed on the here and now, then you could lose a competitive edge down the line so leverage the technology that will allow you to stay one step ahead.