Running a business is very difficult, as so many obstacles are likely to come your way, some based on your own decisions and some that are completely out of your control. We’re here to introduce some things that you can do to prepare for the things that are out of your control. This is so important, as even if things are going well for your business, then it doesn’t mean that they always will be. It is best to prepare for the worst even if it is unlikely to happen, as things can truly change within a matter of seconds. So, protect the future of your business with these tips!
Have A Succession Plan
The first thing that you should do to future proof your business is to have a succession plan in place. You need to identify all of the absolutely essential roles within your business, the people that the business couldn’t function without, and then plan for the future if they were no longer in the business. This could be that they decide to leave, or it could be due to illness or death, and as upsetting as the prospect might be, if you prepare the business will be in a much stronger position if it were to happen.
So, map out all of the key people in your business, then you should get business life insurance for each of those people. This will help to cover the costs for a while if they are to leave the business. During this time, you can then begin to action the plan that you had in place, whatever that may be. So, say for someone you know you would need to hire an expert to replace them, the business life insurance could help to pay for the recruitment fees. If you know that there is someone within the business that has the potential to fill the role with the right support and training, then you should have a plan in place to make that happen. Every time someone leaves the business, you should adjust this plan so you are always in control.
Of course, it probably goes without saying that you should do everything you can to keep your employees, from regular pay rises to company benefits, support out of work and so on.
Get The Right Insurance
Another thing that you will need to do to future proof your business is to get the right insurance! You should work with a professional broker who will be able to assess your business and all of the different types of insurance you might need for you specifically. We have already mentioned business life insurance, but then there are so many more like public liability insurance, product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, credit insurance, business contents insurance and so much more. Plus, working with a broker will help you to make sure that you get the best deal, as opposed to going to insurance companies directly who may not give you the right cover at the best price. This will be an investment for your business, but it is a miniscule one compared to the fact that this could one day be the thing that saves your business!
Stay Aware Within Your Sector
Next up, you need to make sure that you stay aware within your sector. You might have a business model that works well and has worked well for the last 10 years, making it tempting to leave everything as it is. However, the world is changing very quickly and industries which have remained the same for 50 years are now needing to adapt in order to compete in today’s business world. So, you should have people within your team who have specific innovation roles, looking at what competitors are doing, how the industry standards are changing, how consumers are changing and what you as a business are lacking. You might find that you are leading the way in terms of innovation, but without the data and research to back this up, it simply isn’t good enough. This is one of the biggest issues many businesses face after they have been successful, which is getting complacent and not pushing further. Worst case scenario, you are prepared to compete with other businesses in your industry, best case scenario your focus on innovation becomes a huge strength that pushes you miles ahead. So, stay aware and push for innovation in your company and you will be massively surprised at what that could mean for your business.
Save For Rainy Days
Something else that is essential for every business is to save for a rainy day. You never know what might happen, so it is absolutely essential that you have a minimum of 3 months worth of business expenses in the bank, or ideally you would have 6 months or 12 months worth. So, think about absolutely everything that your business needs to function and everyone you need to pay, including staff wages, rent, bills, marketing fees, insurance, maintenance, and so on. In the eventuality that the worst should happen, you have something to fall back on to try and get your business back on track. Again, when everything is going well, this is likely to be the last of your priorities and it can be easy to get lost in the excitement of the profits. However, it is absolutely essential that you do this to protect your business and potentially save it in the future.
Don’t Stop Marketing
Another mistake that people make when things are going well for their business is to stop marketing. Again, things can change dramatically at the flick of a switch, so you should always maintain marketing at some level to keep your business in people’s minds. You might not want to directly be spending money on actual advertisements if you don’t have the capacity to take new customers on, but a great thing to make sure you always invest in SEO. SEO can take around 6-12 months to take effect, but once it does and you build up your ranking positions, when people search for a term related to your business, you should appear. You don’t have to spend anything to appear on the search engines (which is different to PPC where you do have to pay to appear), but instead you just pay your fees to an agency and they help you to build and maintain the rankings. So, keep up with your marketing efforts and when things slow down, you will have something to fall back on!