7 steps to future-proof your business

It’s no secret that the business world is changing at a very rapid pace. In today’s episode, I share 7 strategies to ensure you are future-proofing your business.

Shownotes:

  • Invest your time and your money in education
  • Be clear about who your business is helping
  • Distinguish your brand from the rest of the crowd
  • Protect your physical and digital assets
  • Create an inclusive business
  • Setup your finances for success
  • Streamline your business with AI

Transcript

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

 It’s no secret that the business world is changing at a very rapid pace. In today’s episode of the podcast, I’m going to be talking to you about seven strategies that you can embrace to ensure that you are future proofing your business.

One of the things that we’re going to be diving into in today’s episode of the podcast is AI, because this is obviously something that is going to be impacting all small businesses in time.

Before I dive into the episode, I wanted to share with you that I am running a small business free masterclass coming up very soon about this exact topic. Inside this masterclass, you will learn how to confidently use the easy AI tool that brainstorms you hundreds of magnetic content ideas in just seconds. You will learn some sneaky systems that add hours back into your workday while growing your sales. You will also learn about the dangers of artificial intelligence and things to avoid to protect your business and your brand. And you will also learn how AI technology is changing the way you should manage your money and your business cashflow. To sign up for this free training you can click on the link in the show notes for today’s episode. I’ll be delivering it live so I hope to see you there. Delivering across two different time zones as well. So there’ll be sure to be a time that works for you.

So let’s dive into some of the ways that you can protect your business as we look into the future. Well, there is a saying, I heard it from a Dale Beaumont, the founder of Business Blueprint, and he says you’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting. And I love that saying. I also say you have to learn more to earn more.

Which leads me to the first thing that you can do to set yourself up for success in the future. And that is to invest your time and your money in education. Yes, there’s a ton of free content out there, but don’t forget There really is a lot of power in investing into proven frameworks. I love to learn using a combination of both free content, but also paid programs, because I find they go a lot deeper and they also give you actual systems and frameworks. I know for me inside my programs, you get templates, you’ll often get a live access to me as a coach, as a mentor. And I love to do the same as well with my own education. Yes, I enjoy free content, but at the end of the day, true transformation happens when I really invest both the time and energy into my growth. And I really recommend the same for you.

Might be worth doing a little bit of an audit and having a think about firstly, what have been the things that you’ve been investing in lately, and what are the areas that you know are blind spots for you in business, things that you need to learn about. If you are someone who isn’t a huge fan of numbers, do you need to educate yourself more about the space of money? Or do you need to be learning more about technology and systems? Take a moment and think about the areas that you need to be learning about to be successful in your business in the long term.

The next thing to do to future proof your business is to be super clear about who your business is, how they help, and really be articulating that through your marketing and messaging.

As technology is advancing, there are more and more machines that are replicating what we do but also how we look, and I’m sure all of you have had the experience where a friend’s account has been hacked, or perhaps your business profile has been copied. I know this happens to me quite regularly. And one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself against that is to have a really clear brand tone of voice, be super clear about exactly who you are. And hopefully through my content, for example, if someone sees a crypto post popping up, they would think that’s not something that Clare would be talking about. And I am really grateful that a lot of people in my audience will reach out and say, Hey, there’s a fake profile. Or I think this person has been copying your content. But the more and more that you can stand strong in your brand, in your values, who you are, and be really coming up with creative thought and leadership and creating content that’s really different to other people, it will enable you to be ahead of the pack and hopefully ahead of artificial imitators as well.

Another thing that you can do to really distinguish your brand and help you stand out is to provide different customer experiences, providing excellent customer service, but something that is very memorable and different from the way that other people are doing things. And it’s the same with your content as well. There are some people who are always just so clever and coming up with new and original and creative things, and that means that both their competitors and people attempting to emulate will fall behind because they’re forever ahead of the wave.

The next thing you should be doing to make sure that your business is safe is protecting your assets. If you have a physical business, this means obviously having security and safety measures in place. You might have cameras up at your office or around your physical stock. You should be doing regular stock takes, ensuring that inside or outside of the team that you are protecting your physical assets. In this space, I also recommend that you have a look at your insurances, both protecting your business assets and also protecting you as the CEO of your business. It may be appropriate to have a look at getting life insurance, trauma insurance, business income protection insurance. There may be some things that are appropriate for you at this stage of your business journey.

Another thing that you absolutely must consider when you are thinking about protecting your assets is also protecting your digital or online assets. The future of crime is really in the space of cyber crime. I myself have shared on the podcast before that I’ve been a victim of identity theft. And if it can happen to me, who’s a trained accountant, who’s pretty paranoid about my online safety and security, it can happen to anyone. So I really encourage you to make sure that you are using password protection, regularly resetting your passwords. That you are taking legal action if you are seeing anything that’s suspicious happening or taking preventative action, so contacting your IT or tech team to make sure that if anything is a bit suspicious that you are checking it out.

I also recommend that you verify across platforms. This is just another step in helping people to know that it’s really you. Yes. It freaks me out the process of having to go through and scan ID into another online platform, but in terms of protecting business assets, for me, having that verification, people knowing, that really is Clare Wood on these social media platforms, I think that it’s just a really great way to protect your brand and to allow your audience and future clients to know that it’s the real you.

The next thing that you can do is to procedurize Everything. Make sure that if a critical team member were to leave, that you have documented processes in place, or even if something was to happen to you, what would happen in your absence? It’s something I think about all the time in my hubby’s business, because so much of his intellectual property is all in his mind. And I think if he was ever, you know, God forbid, temporarily incapacitated or something along those lines, what would, what would happen to all of that data, all of that knowledge. So I have a bit of a think about what that looks like in your business. Do your team need to document procedures? Do you? It’s worth taking a moment to think about.

And another thing to do is ensure that you have backup of your intellectual property. So how are you storing your data? What would happen if your laptop went missing or your iPhone? Is that data stored safely on a cloud somewhere? I still encounter business owners today that are running paper based businesses. And if something were to happen to their physical location, they would be in quite a bit of trouble.

So, you know, as the world is changing, we’re seeing more and more natural disasters. I myself last year was in Fiji when a cyclone hit, which was a pretty scary experience. And at the time, obviously your primary concern is around the safety you know, both of my family, but I was also really concerned about the people in the local communities and wanting to Make sure that everyone was safe there. And then the next thought that I had in my mind was keeping my business assets safe, because I can always buy new things. You can buy new clothes, anything like that. But if the business can’t keep operating, that for me is scary because that is our source of income and your business should be bigger than the piles of paper that you have and the actual physical computer, you really want to make sure That everything is backed up so that if something terrible was to happen, that you do still have the opportunity, the continuation of your business.

Another thing that you need to be considering when you are thinking about future proofing your business is creating an inclusive business. Having diversity and having the ability to serve people from many different backgrounds in a way that is safe and inclusive for them is not only good for business, because obviously you have more potential customers and clients, But there’s also a real component around how people will perceive your brand.

If you aren’t embracing diversity and inclusion in your business, we are seeing a big movement, a big shift. People are sick of seeing racism and sexism online and in people’s marketing. And if you want to make sure that your business is set up for long term success, these are things that you really do need to be thinking about. And if it’s not something that you’re super educated about, refer back to step number one, which is to invest in your education, both the time and the money into learning more about how you can build a more inclusive brand. I know I myself, this is something I’m still working on and I know that I make mistakes in this place, but you can’t just be ignorant and pretend that this isn’t something that is important to us as business leaders. We need to be creating environments and embracing diversity and inclusion in our business. And it’s not just good for us it’s also actually good for business.

The next thing, of course, these are just slide in there. I’m Clare Wood. This was going to end up in there is to be setting your finances up for success. I can’t go on and on about this enough. If you want to have a business that is going to be around for the long haul, if you want to have a financially successful business, you need to embrace your finances. Learning the skills around how to understand what your financial reports are telling you. Learning how to actually forecast your finances, have a plan for the future. Making sure that you are looking at your cash flow so that you don’t end up in a situation where you can’t afford to pay one of your suppliers. Or a tax bill.

This skill is a non negotiable skill to have if you want to be running a successful long term business.

And the final thing that I wanted to talk to you about, if future proofing your business is of interest to you, which it should be because it’s the future of your business. One thing that you really need to be thinking about is embracing AI.

Artificial intelligence is disrupting the business world at a rapid pace. And it can be a total game changer for you and your business. Now is the time to be learning about AI, embracing it, and starting to incorporate it into the way that you do business. Because it’s not just about efficiencies and streamlining, this is the future of business.

If you are completely new to the world of AI, or maybe you’ve already been learning a bit about it, but you’d like to learn more, I’d love to invite you to the masterclass I mentioned at the start of today’s podcast. It’s called 4 Ways to Use AI to supercharge your bank Balance, and inside you’ll be learning how to use these tools to create faster outcomes in your business and to be making more money. So I’d really love to invite you to come along to that free training. You can sign up via the link in the show notes for today’s episode.

To sum up today. It can be quite overwhelming to think about the future, but there are some steps that you can put in place to set your business up for a successful and long future.

I’d love to hear what you thought about today’s episode of the podcast. If it was helpful. There was something that got you thinking, you can drop me a DM over on Instagram at Clare C L A R E underscore wood underscore coach, or share it with a biz friend, share your big learnings onto an Instagram story and make sure that you tag me so I can say a big thank you for tuning in. I really appreciate you being here and I hope you’ve learned something of value today.

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

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