Five key ways you can prepare your business for the future now:
In the mid 1800’s no-one would have expected the motor car to be invented, and definitely not in production lines created by Henry Ford 1913. When the World Wide Web was rolled out in 1990, many thought the internet was a fad and would die off like flared jeans. Since the industrial revolution, technological advancement has leapt forward at an accelerated pace and business owners, both large and small, need to keep up. Who would have thought the digital camera would bring down a company like Kodak? This article highlights five things to think about to prepare your business for the future.
Change your mindset
If you are one of the majority of New Zealand business owners that sit behind the curve when it comes to adopting new technology, try to change your thinking by looking not just at the costs and other barriers, but at the opportunities that you might be missing. If you have trouble working through costs vs benefits vs opportunities that may be lost, seek advice from a professional consultant who can help you with this.
Imagine a different future
Think about some of the things that might change in your industry, and imagine how you might respond to them. Look at what has changed in the near past and what change is being forecast by those ‘in the know’. For example, if you are a builder, would 3D home printing put you out of business, or would your company be the one supplying the technology and coding the machinery? What would it cost to make the change, and how could you begin focusing resources to make the shift? Technology aside, look at other environmental factors that may affect your business in the future such as economic conditions, industry factors, personnel resources and competitive advantage.
Listen to new ideas
Have a conversation with a scientist. Talk to a new graduate. Spend a day in a business outside your own industry. Looking at things from the outside and getting alternative perspectives on our own approach can be extremely useful in not only identifying potential changes but also new concepts and opportunities that might let you lead disruption.
Be alert to signs of change
Technological disruption can seem to sweep into a business from nowhere. But there are always warning signs if you are prepared to look for them. Uber didn’t arrive in New Zealand first, catching the taxi industry by surprise. The industry had ample time to develop their own ordering apps if they wanted to be prepared for the company’s inevitable arrival here.
Create a dynamic business
Once you have accepted that change is inevitable, it can have an enormously positive effect on your business. If things are always done in a certain way, it might be time to challenge the perceived wisdom and try a different approach. Bringing in fresh talent and new ideas can stimulate change. And investing in innovation can prepare you to move quickly when change arrives.