Overcoming Future Business Challenges That Will Hinder Your Growth

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Growing a business is tough–we all know this. From all the money you pour into your company to the many different legal threats lurking around each corner, there are so many considerations to keep in mind that it can often be overwhelming to new business owners. One of the best ways to overcome those challenges is to plan ahead for future growth, and in this article, we’ll be touching on most of the common subjects to think about when growing your business.

Future-proofing your business

First, let’s discuss the concept of “future proofing”. Future proofing is essentially preparing your business’s workflow for the future. It’s all about upgrading your technology to a point where it can last a long time, or reinforcing business practices so that you have a better chance of staying relevant in the future. There are many ways to future-proof your business, but we’re going to focus on the use of technology in this article.

First, the main problem with technology is that it has to be scalable. This means that no matter how many extra employees you add to your company, your technology needs to be able to support that growth. A good example of this is with your internet connection. If you’re adding a dozen employees then you have to consider the impact it has on your internet connection and networking in general. You’ll need more internet switches, you’ll need a faster and more reliable connection, and you’ll also need to consider IT consulting to actually help you grow in the first place. There are many factors to keep in mind when growing your tech and making it scalable, so make sure you plan ahead by speaking to professionals and getting a rough estimate of the cost involved.

Growing your audience organically

One of the most underrated things in business is slowly and organically growing your company. There are far too many people that focus on speedy and unsustainable growth because they want to seize an opportunity and make the most of it. Sadly, this comes with the added problem that your business is not going to be stable once that initial trend or opportunity falls off.

For example, you could pump your resources into the production of an item you sell that is currently trending. You could speed up production and even use additional capital to produce more varieties of that product. Sadly, if the trend dies out and you eventually lose your grasp on that market, then you’re going to suffer the consequences of wasted capital.

Growing your audience organically means capitalizing on trends, but it also means appealing to your audience, creating a customer profile to follow and also doing your best to monitor trends and not over-commit to something. Take it slowly, do what you can to analyze the market and give your business some space to take risks without overdoing it.

Growing your business is difficult without having a plan, which is why it’s important to think about how you can overcome not just present challenges, but future ones too.

How To Stay Relevant In Business

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It’s not easy staying relevant. As time moves on, so do advances in technology and customer behavior. The unwary business owner will soon be left behind if they don’t play catch-up, and as many have sadly found, they may be forced to close their doors as a consequence.

So, how is it possible to stay relevant in this ever-changing world? There are a number of ways to go about it, future-proofing your business to help you keep your doors open for longer.

  • Research online. Particularly when it comes to new technologies, you can find out most of what you need to know online. By visiting popular technology websites, you will quickly get the heads up on the latest technologies you need to be looking out for. Not every tech will be relevant to your business, and there are times when you may choose to sit out what could be a passing fad, but it’s still worth knowing what is happening now  and in the near future.

 

  • Ditch old technologies. By using old technology, you are making the lives of your employees harder, and losing respect and recognition from industry peers. While you don’t need to get rid of everything, there are still those newer technologies that will help you remain current. We are thinking fax over voip in favour of your old (and expensive) fax machine gathering dust in the corner of your office. We are thinking of cloud technology, rather than traditional methods of storing data. And we are thinking ‘live chat’ options on your website as a better means of staying in touch with your customers. Not every technology is here to stay, but these are some of the modern trends that will better serve your staff and customers.

 

  • Keep an eye on the competition. Particularly when you notice your sales drop, you do need to take notice of what your rivals are up to. Are their products better than yours? Are they using the latest payment methods to better serve the customer? Is their website in line with modern design and functionality? If they are getting more sales than you; if your customers are migrating over to the ‘enemy,’ you need to take note and make the effort to both match and beat them to give your customers what they want.

 

  • Survey your customers. Don’t second guess customer trends. Find out ‘straight from the horse’s mouth,’ using popular services such as SurveyMonkey to formulate a survey that can be passed on to your customers through email or social media. This is an easy way to conduct market research, and when you have the relevant data to hand, you can take action and update your operation accordingly.

 

  • Follow industry leaders. Who are the people influencing your industry? It may be a thought leader or a particular company that is spearheading change. Follow them on social media, read any literature they produce, attend industry events to speak and listen  to them, and learn from their example. There are people in the business world that are here today and gone tomorrow, but for those who have been in the game a long time, it is worth taking notice of what they have to say.

To survive in business, you need to stay ahead of the curve. Use our advice as a springboard to help you stay relevant in business for many more years to come.