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With innovation evolving faster than ever and clients demanding higher expectations in a rapidly changing world, do companies have time to remain viable and future proof a sustainable business?

Research demonstrates business owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs are investing energy defending or preserving the past rather than focussing energy on creating something new.

However, understanding your evolving industry, changing consumer profile and employees are essential to knowing what strategic deliverables to implement next – before your competitors!

As fast as today’s business world changes and evolves, to effectively future proof your business it is crucial to facilitate a tangible willingness to evolve by challenging assumptions and predict future demands.

We can’t predict the future however we can definitely prepare our business to face unforeseen challenges. Odds are it is possible that the way your business is operating may no longer present the most productive and sustainable way moving forward.

Coraggio recommends 3 critical considerations to tangibly and measurable effectively future proof your business to guarantee ensuing ongoing success.

1. Consider where the future is heading - ignoring change does not make it go away

Your end-users’ needs are constantly changing and how you position solutions today to service customer’s demands for tomorrow relies on pursing a process of constant evolution. Actively growing your business’s capabilities and expanding insights will improve your ability to shift with changing markets over time.

Implementing simple shifts in external-facing communications and operational strategies, such as repackaging your market offering may appeal to new audiences and create huge windfalls for your business.

Cited by ProfitBooks,

What got you here, won’t take you there. This simply means that the strategies that you used to acquire existing base of customers may not be useful to acquire new customers in future.

For example, a lot of businesses depend on print advertisements to acquire customers. With the rise of social media and new avenues like ‘Search Engine Marketing’ and ‘Inbound Marketing’, things are going to change for sure. Your old strategies will no longer work and you might struggle to acquire new customers if you don’t adopt to new ways.”

Kodak was once a billion dollar 140 year old company which failed to see the future and filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal,

“They (Kodak) never fully grasped how the world around them was changing. They hung on to now obsolete assumptions about who took pictures, why and when. Kodak always thought that people would never part with hard prints and that people valued film-based photos for their high quality. In other words, they saw digital as a direct substitute for film-based photography.”

On the other hand Fujifilm faired far better when it came to embracing new technology and realising how this would change the face of photography forever. Fujifilm chose to diversify and ventured into adjacent growing markets, such as LCD flat screens and healthcare diagnostic products, in addition to creating a ‘Document Solutions’ business.

2. To avoid market position slipping, don’t neglect your peripheral vision

Customers, industry partners and suppliers are your best source for winning ideas to maintain a competitive edge. It is crucial to proactively disrupt your business before you get disrupted by other parties, by giving employees a voice and encouraging them in the decision making process. Establishing a company growth mindset culture of continuous improvement is the most effective way to evolve your business’ broader market offering.

This will also evoke employee trust and respect when encouraged to speak up and share input and heighten morale by rewarding contributors for recommending potential company opportunities and challenges.

Your company stakeholders are an effective source to identify invaluable insights regarding new products and services which may prove to be a productive, value-add business line extension.

“Open innovation” for your business can be mined by gathering “real world” feedback from external sources implementing tools such as polls, surveys, questionnaires, market research and social media monitoring software by tracking popular topics and conversational trends.

Customers can’t always tell you what they want, you have to anticipate it. This requires imagination and experience by foreseeing industry trends to stay ahead of the competition.

Coraggio’s, CEO, Richard Skarzynski highlights,

“As the old adage cites – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Change is constant when you are in business and those that adapt, prepare and embrace change create a company culture of survival. You only need to consider the impact of Ubers disrupting taxis to recognise it is imperative to stay ahead of the curve. Your future consequences are shaped by present actions.”

3. Leverage data intelligence to facilitate innovation and informed business decisions

Innovation is largely a matter of perspective and process of constant reimagining and reinvention. Another way to future proof your business is to always keep an eye on where there is room to innovate. The fastest way to acquire this market intelligence is collating data which should not be under-valued and turned into an actionable plan to diversify products and services, expand into new markets to guarantee customer retention.

Understanding the importance of business agility and developing robust solutions based on dependable data is at the heart of strategic business planning, regardless whether you run a large multinational or a small family-owned business. This qualitative and quantitative data will drive key business questions, such as industry trends and shifts highlighting ‘How can I improve customer satisfaction?’

Your clients are what will keep your business alive in the future, therefore fine-tuning your customer experience strategy is about seamlessly building and maintaining a relationship. Once engaged and the bond is established, it is more unlikely customers will switch to a competitor — even if they have a compelling, high-tech offering or a similar product that costs less.

In essence, the more buttoned-up your business is, the better equipped it will be to handle any future circumstances. You can even view customer spending and clicking habits to gauge their wants and interests, enabling your businesses to plan for the future based on actual data regarding their preferences. When business owners and managers morph these findings into identifying multiple revenue streams and continue to innovate to provide customers their wants, the company is set for long-term success.

Quite simply, avoid positioning your company at risk by stepping back and assessing your market offering from all angles, challenging preconceived ideas and exploring how your supply chains, clients, constituents, employees and industry stakeholders are evolving. These decisions trigger actions to improve and future proof your business, as illustrated by McKinsey –

9 ways infographic

In conclusion, reinvention and diversification is likely to result in more agile and flexible business outcomes, collectively with mapping a sustainable strategy for evolution with an engaged workforce will generate a willingness to adapt to current trends.

Your company culture will shift to one that thrives on evolutionary change. You will no longer see it as a struggle, however embrace this opportunity for your business to be prepared and ready for the future.

What is Coraggio?

Being a business owner can be challenging and may include facing unchartered territory. However, it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Making the right decisions to future proof your business deserves more than the occasional conversation with a mate. It deserves to aggregate the experience and a shared knowledge of collective awareness from fellow executives to stay ahead of the curve.

Operating a company typically presents complex issues, sometimes on a daily basis. Imagine if you could leverage the experience from an extensive group of industry peers to improve your decision making and future proof a sustainable business, whilst being held accountable?

Also imagine if you gained the peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate business challenges, simply by connecting with entrepreneurs and gaining knowledge from business leaders? This is the strength of peer to peer leadership mentoring and impactful, meaningful relations.

Coraggio offers a mutual exchange of expertise, ideas and a support system enabling you to capitalise on a give-and-take dynamic amongst advisors who have walked the path before, mitigating risk to your business.

Leading business owners and entrepreneurs join Coraggio to become part of a highly effective business community facilitating leadership, guaranteeing accountability and sharing innovative ideas within a cohesive and confidential national network.

This mutual exchange of Member’s expertise tangibly results in sustainable revenue streams, increased cash reserves and productive outcomes to future proof your business.

Coraggio Chairs are industry leaders, Members are forward-thinking advisors and all Advisory Boards are dedicated to the ongoing success of their fellow Member’s businesses, offering Fearless Objective Advice – that’s the Coraggion Spirit!

Afterall, in the words of Henry Ford

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.

Would you like to be a part of this?

Want to be an integral member of a confidential group of business owners sharing their insights and experiences for the benefit of your business? Imagine how your business would benefit and grow from connecting with a broader community consisting of more than 400 high performing and driven business owners!

Explore membership today! Find out how our proven program can help you build a better business and become a better leader.

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