How to Future Proof Your Business

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If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that none of us can predict what tomorrow will bring. Lockdowns, economic unrest, countless disruptions to our day-to-day life — these are realities that few of us would have ever seen coming. This level of uncertainty is scary for anyone, but it can be especially daunting for business owners.

The good news is that, even if you can’t say for sure what the next season will bring, you can take reasonable steps to secure your business for the long-haul. This is a process that’s often called future proofing, and it’s something worth investing in right here and now.

Tips for future proofing your business

So how do you do it? Consider a few strategies.

1) Be flexible. Imagine if you owned a plumbing company that was almost singularly focused on installing conventional tank water heaters. Once upon a time, this may have been a good business model, but when the popular tankless models were introduced, you would have found yourself scrambling to keep your customers on board or to adapt your business model. The point? It’s best to have multiple streams of revenue, and to be open to new income streams that develop.

2) Listen to your customers. Often, your customers will be the best bellwethers of where your industry and your business are headed. That’s what makes surveys and questionnaires so valuable. As you listen to your customers, be attentive to the things they like best about your company; these are areas to double-down on. Also be mindful of areas where customers think you’re weak; these are areas where you can improve, potentially opening up new opportunities for growth.

3) Invest in continuous education. Trade service professionals have good reason to feel secure in their work: There will always be homeowners who need pumpers, plumbers, electricians and HVAC repair services. Not even the disruption of COVID-19 has changed that. With that said, industry trends do come and go. Homeowners may cool on a particular form of home improvement, or new technologies may emerge to make home maintenance easier. By focusing on continuous education, you can have a good sense of industry trends, and be ready to adapt accordingly.

4) Develop core values. What separates your trade service company from the competition? Is it your expedient service? The friendliness of your technicians? Your competitive prices? Think of the values that set your company apart, and consider inscribing them in a company mission statement. These values can be a kind of north star, reminding you of what your team is really good at even when external factors seem chaotic.

5) Ditch what doesn’t work. Part of future proofing is learning from the past. If you’ve tried new service lines, sales avenues or marketing strategies that just haven’t worked, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move forward. These may be failures on some level, but they can still inform your future plans.

With these tips, you can ensure that your business has a firm foundation. Even if you can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, you’ll be ready for almost anything.


About the author: Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



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