The world is changing faster in ways that companies could have never envisioned. Despite this, several businesses have stayed adamant about future-proofing their businesses, making them more vulnerable to the negative impacts of unexpected future events.
Also, technology, trends, and customers’ demands and preferences constantly change, so future Proofing is needed to survive this situation. Otherwise, businesses will likely end up being irrelevant and outcompeted.
There are many ways to prepare for the future besides securing funding with trustworthy options like CreditNinja loan lender. So, whether you’re running a small or big company, listed below are five future-proofing ideas you can try.
Gone are the days when focusing on sales and product development was the thing. The new trend is open innovation. It’s where you encourage people outside your business, such as customers, suppliers, or partners, to share their insights about your business. However, open innovation still has risks.
For example, revealing information not intended for sharing, such as intellectual property, could happen. As a result, businesses could lose their competitive advantage. Nevertheless, the best part of it is that it’s client reaching. It straightforwardly accommodates the changing views and preferences of customers.
The more you consider customers’ voices and address their concerns, the more productive your business is. Think of it as outsourcing relevant and more accurate customer targeting and market research at no cost.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
In promoting open innovation, a minimum viable product (MVP) can give you a hand. It’s a pared-down version of a product with features enough to catch public attention and be used by early users who can then give feedback for future product development.
MVP isn’t a prototype. It doesn’t only test the design and technical aspects of a brand but also assesses fundamental hypotheses for a business model with real-life data. Further, it determines the more profitable product features, so it’s often considered the sweet spot between risks and return on investment (ROI).
Although MVP can make them prone to negative feedback and imitation risks, companies can still build immediate solutions from customers’ validated learning. What’s more, they do so without wasting too much effort and resources, including time, money, and advertising.
Utilizing resources, like customers’ validated learning gathered from releasing MVPs to their fullest to seek new possibilities for improvement, is called process optimization. It aims to maximize output and minimize costs, leading to successful business bottom-line results.
A successful process optimization project requires five Cs:
- Conscientiousness (define the right key performance indicators or KPIs);
- Collaboration (build feedback explicitly);
- Communication transparency; and
- Continuous execution.
They should be thoughtfully implemented to avoid risks, such as misunderstanding KPIs and the process’ current status quo. Further, since process optimization promotes continuous improvement, businesses can reduce the risks of keeping an inefficient process unchanged and be more compliant with laws and regulations, competitive, efficient, and cost-effective.
Digital Transformation (DT)
Studies show digital transformation (DT or DX) has been sped up by several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it can help companies be more acquainted with technological trends, many are facing challenges.
Some old, big companies are also in doubt about DT due to security risks, legacy systems, risk-averse organizational culture, and the looming digital skill gap. Despite these, many businesses realized that DT’s benefits outweigh these challenges. On that account, statistics show that many businesses are fast-tracking their DT initiatives this year.
Being cyber-physical and hyperconnected improves data collection, resource management, collaboration, and productivity. In addition, as 63.1% of the global population are Internet users, digitizing a business translates to customer-centricity, which creates loyalty that leads to higher profits.
People are getting used to instant gratification caused by digital technology these days. Many are even thinking of it as a standard already. On that account, it’s safe to say these technological adoptions will likely stay for good, so embracing DT will surely future-proof businesses.
Resilience-centered businesses can recover fast in case of any critical and catastrophic situation, such as a pandemic and global inflation. It can also persist in the face of substantial changes in the business and economic environment using different strategies.
These strategies include the following principles:
- Layering (using two or more business elements to fulfill the same goal);
- Complementarity and consistency (integrate all elements well with all the processes);
- Foresight (evaluate how all business elements work together in daily operations and threats);
- Accountability and transparency (monitor human and technical components and fix errors before they escalate); and
- Precautionary (conduct stress tests for risks).
In a nutshell, a resilience-centered approach gives companies three main abilities: identify threats faster, withstand the initial shock better, and recover faster. All of these give companies a competitive advantage over any business with similar present and future issues in the market.
The inability to forecast and acclimate to the shifting business environment is among the reasons for untimely business failures. Hence, the usage of future-proofing is deemed necessary. A future-proof business doesn’t only minimize the effects of unforeseen events and pace with the latest trends and customers’ demands. It also keeps employees highly adaptable, engaged, and satisfied toward the future of work.