Everyone who owns and runs their own small business does so with the dream of a bright future in mind. The thought of slinking back to the world of work with their tail between their legs and submerging themselves back in the 9 to 5 is the stuff of nightmares for many entrepreneurially minded people. But while we may look to the future in the sparse free time we have, our time spent on the premises (whether it’s a physical premise or whether your workplace is wherever you plug in your laptop) is spent spinning plates. With so many emails to respond to, so much metadata to trawl, so many customers' queries to respond to and so many employee questions to field it seems as though it’s enough of a struggle just to get to the end of each day, let alone plan for the future.
But if you throw yourself into solely the operational aspects of your business, you won’t be able to plan your strategy to accommodate the future. This is akin to driving a car on the freeway when your kids are screaming at each other in the back seat and dedicating all of your attention to them rather than keeping your eyes on the road. As difficult as it may feel, there are some fairly easy and actionable ways in which you can ensure the future proofing of your business…
Keep an agile approach to tech
Many new businesses are a little gun shy when it comes to investing. They’re conscious of their bottom line and deathly afraid of overheads. As such, they’ll invest in the tech that they need to get the job done and keep using it until it either breaks or becomes obsolete. But while understandable, this approach can hobble a business.
Not only can it make you unable to adequately face the changing challenges your business faces, it could actually end up costing more money. Just look at the way BCA can aid your business by replacing your existing phone lines with VoIP. A good entrepreneur should always be investing in new tech and isn’t afraid to throw out systems that are no longer aiding in their productivity.
Don’t rest on your laurels when it comes to customer service
Your vision is the guiding force behind your business and your employees’ hard work is what translates your will into action. But as easy as it can be to get wrapped up in your processes, never let this come at the expense of the customer experience.
Use training and assessment to ensure that your standards of customer service remain unimpeachable. Ensure that customers have open lines of communication and a forum through which they can provide feedback including a transparent complaints procedure. If you don’t listen to your customers, don’t be surprised when they don’t come back.
Make an effort to retain your customers while always looking out for new ones
As important as it is to treasure the customers you have, in an age where consumers are becoming more and more fickle, you simply can’t afford to assume their loyalty. You should always be on the lookout for new ways to bring new customers into the fold through digital marketing and incentivizing good old word of mouth marketing. A great way to do this is by taking a page out of the Uber playbook and incentivizing your customers to introduce their friends, family, and colleagues to your business.
Who knows what the future will bring? But just because you can’t predict it doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared for it!
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