Does this sound familiar? You’re lying in bed in the early morning checking the news before you get up and you read an article about a medium enterprise that was subject to data theft. You remind yourself you must revise your cybersecurity strategy. In the car on the way to work, you hear on the radio about an innovation that will make a whole line of products redundant overnight. This prompts you to read that newsletter, you subscribe to, to get a feel for what’s happening in your industry. So many things run through our heads every day to ensure the ongoing profitable longevity of our businesses, yet daily time constraints and the constant juggle of competing work priorities often lead to a scatter-gun approach to future-proofing based on a prompt or knee-jerk reaction. Spending some dedicated time each month to work on the ongoing profitable success of your business is well worth the investment and will help to ensure your business stays relevant and viable for years to come. Here are five things to consider in your planning.

1. Multiple income streams

The old saying “don’t put your eggs all in one basket” has never been more accurate. In today’s constantly changing environment, it is important to ensure you aren’t reliant on one source of revenue. Explore the opportunity to offer complementary products and services that add value to your target market and reinforce your position in the industry. For example, many dentists offer not just core dentistry but, also cosmetic dentistry- such as the latest in tooth whitening innovations both at home and in-clinic. For service-based industries why not explore what on-going passive income generating opportunities, you could introduce? Your accountant is always on hand to assist with financial scoping.

2. Industry, marketing and emerging technology trends

Staying up to date with industry trends and developments will ensure you stay current, relevant and potentially be seen as an innovator in your field. To stay up to date:

  • Follow thought leaders and influencers on social media
  • Attend industry conferences
  • Where relevant subscribe to the latest university publications
  • Stay abreast with industry publications and newsletters

Then try to spend 3-4 hours a month actively planning and scoping what can be done with any relevant knowledge you have obtained. Future proofing your business is not just about being aware of emerging new products in your industry and associated industries. It’s also about staying abreast of the latest in technology marketing trends. These trends will help you come up with the most effective ways to sell to your customers and deliver excellence in customer service ongoing. For example, audiences engage 619% more on Facebook messenger than they do on email. It’s essential for every small business to have a strategy that utilises both Facebook messenger as well as email. Artificial Intelligence bots are expected to take over a large part of customer service and market research in future years. How can your business embrace this simple technology and utilise to your advantage ahead of your competitors?

3. Are you planning for generational evolution?

As baby boomers age, Gen Xer’s reach senior management positions in their careers and Generation Z enters the workforce; it may be worthwhile considering how generational evolution affects your business. Consider product adaption, marketing as well as your human resource strategy. There could be new and emerging market opportunities that you can capitalise on. For example, Generation Z is now 70 million strong and are now entering the workforce. They are the first true digital natives how can your business capitalise on this in the areas of customer service, product development and marketing?

4. Pain Points

In our ever-evolving lives, new stresses and issues continuously arise for customers. Look at what problems are emerging for them both in your direct industry, as well as associated industries and consider how this could lead to a new source of revenue for you. Explore how you can adapt current products or services to address those evolving pain points and develop a communication strategy around those.

5. Study the Federal Budget and plan accordingly

Every year analyse the Federal Budget and look at what is currently in plan for regulatory or budgetary reform and understand the future financial implications for your business. Work with your accountant to develop a strategy that protects your business and optimises any potential planned reforms. There is no doubt that running your business on a daily basis takes up an inordinate amount of time, in an already hectic life. However, investing now in understanding new and emerging trends, evolving markets, and planning for the impact of impending federal budgetary reforms will stand you in good-stead to protect your business’ success moving forward. Feel free to discuss this with us at any stage if you need assistance with scoping the financial implications of any changes you are considering to make to your business plan.