The concept of future-proofing proves simple in concept but far more challenging in execution. Largely, this is because many businesses become so ensnared in their day-to-day projects that they fully exhaust their energy and resources by the time they begin to consider success down the road.
Even if you are winning out the competition today, it’s nevertheless important to consider: what does success look like one, five, or thirty years down the road? How will your customer base change? What are you doing today that will assure your employees to stay for the long haul?
Although businesses have always mapped their trajectories toward the future, technology has further complicated the question of long-term market dominance. Technology develops and evolves so rapidly that it has become increasingly difficult to implement long-term tech solutions when mapping out your business processes.
Below, we’ve shared a few key strategies for businesses looking to future-proof, as well as smarter tech pairings to ensure success well into the future.
Future-proofing: revamp your customer relations game
Most businesses spend a fair amount of time expanding their customer pool when looking to grow, but developing existing relationships can be an equally lucrative endeavor that often results in greater longevity with your customer relations. Repeat buyers spend upwards of 300% more than newer customers and require less time and resources to convert. Even more impressive, if a business can retain just 5% more of their current customer base, they can bump their overall profitability by 75%, rocketing their future profits from repeat purchases.
This is where retention tools that use gamification technology come into play. Gamification relies on the often competitive and rewarding nature of games to make purchases a more rewarding experience for buyers. When integrated with your online store, gamification software encourages repeat purchases through customer leaderboards, badges and awards systems that can roll into loyalty programs or extended discounts as customers invest more in your products or services.
Future-proofing: create scalable structures
Future-proofing is all about accommodating your needs today, tomorrow and in the years to come. What business architecture are you establishing now that will ensure you have the flexibility to change with the times? Scalable business structures will not only help you grow more quickly and effectively, but they are also pivotal to the future of your business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 50-60% of small businesses will fail by their fifth year, making successful scaling imperative to survive in competitive markets.
Businesses looking to invest in their technology and tools for the long-term have turned to solutions that grow—or shrink—with your demands to give you the highest ROI. Whether you’re a large operation or SMB owner, scalable call centers are one example of a service that simplifies the management of incoming customer inquiries. And since many modern call services are offered online through software, your business can enjoy a subscription-based platform with little to no upfront costs.
Future-proofing: create space for innovation
Innovation is the ultimate long-term strategy. This is in part because it seldom provides immediate value for an organization, and its successes come in equal or lesser measure with failures (with a staggering 95% of new product innovations failing). Larger companies can afford to dedicate millions in venture capital to finding new opportunities to satisfy their customers, but how can your everyday business adopt and enforce a culture of proactive innovation?
One effective solution to help guide innovative projects is to invest in big data automation software for insights on customer behavior. Businesses have always had access to a wealth of valuable and highly relevant information on their customers’ journeys and experiences, but until the advent of automation machinery, these massive amounts of data were nearly impossible to manually process and decipher. By utilizing the insights uncovered in your data, you can pinpoint areas where customers could be better serviced, which helps you convert to a more involved partnership between you and the buyer down the line.
Proactive innovation allows you to predict changes in the market, or even more powerfully alter them completely to your advantage. If you are the only company offering a certain product or service, you get to dictate the price point and how the game is played. By integrating innovation into your everyday business process mapping, you’ll be capable of more accurately forecasting shifts in your industry before they arrive and developing new avenues of revenue for future prosperity.
How do you continue to drive new value into your business with each year? Leave your thoughts on future-proofing your business in the comments section below.
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