Future-proofing your business

In general, the term “future-proof” refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future; that the products or services you offer don’t become obsolete.

Future-proofing is a survival requirement if you wish your business to remain relevant as we cruise into the New Year and beyond.

The problem being, the majority of business owners don’t future-proof. Many companies rich with tradition and past success don’t understand that their history itself can be a curse to a lengthy and prosperous future.

The challenge to future-proofing your business or industry, is to break from the past without disavowing it, but not let your past control your future. You don’t have to look far to see the carnage that has been created in so many companies due to the stuffed shirts in the corner offices not wanting to break from tradition. Personal fears of being ridiculed, fear of change or just plain lack of motivation due to the extra work that may be created has caused many individuals not to take needed action.

That combined with not wanting to lose a tasty-fat paycheck, has many company presidents, owners, managers and other team members close up tight as a clam rather than helping secure a positive future for their companies by using their voices, embracing change and future-proofing for a brighter tomorrow.

Companies such as BlackBerry, Polaroid, Sears, Mexx and Barnes and Noble just to name a few, have done a terrible job in future-proofing – not enough voices used. These companies did not react quick enough to satisfy an ever changing consumer base. It’s paramount that you analyze current trends in customer consumption constantly and be prepared to do a 180 in a moment’s notice if required.

It’s truly amazing the numbers of business owners that continually complain about it being so tough, yet don’t take any action to remedy the sad story they keep telling themselves and all those around them. Why not make the year 2015 one to remember for all the right reasons. Make this a year of not repeating what you have always done. Take action, if you require making dramatic changes to your business model, just do it. Stop waiting for the perfect time, that time will never arrive and please stop waiting for permission or acceptance from those around you to validate your ideas of change, just do it!

I see the writing on the wall in my own community for so many businesses and industries that require immediate help if they wish to remain relevant. Living In a small/medium sized market with far too many radio stations, furniture stores and frozen yogurt establishments, just to name a few, that are all to similar to their competitors. It’s only a matter of time before the winds of change cause those that didn’t future-proof to change, one way or another.

Future-proofing. Get to know it.