• Future-ready Business
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  • Future-ready Business


Must-do strategies for future-proofing your business

16 November 2017

A successful business is one that is forward-looking and adaptable to change. In today’s rapidly-changing business climate, companies must have strategies in place in order to maintain a competitive edge in such an unpredictable environment.

 

“Agility is a key attribute of businesses… which is important for companies that want to achieve greater business success, sustainability and continuity,” says Mr Ang Hak Seng, Chief Executive Director of the People’s Association and Chairman of the Singapore Quality Award Management Committee.i

 

Diversify your product offering

Seek opportunities and ways in which your business can add value to your customers. Go beyond the sale of products alone to curate a customer experience like no other.

Even if your business is thriving on one great product, a future-forward company should always be thinking about other methods to expand their product portfolio.

Depending solely on one channel to sell the product puts the business at a great amount of risk. Uber for example, recently launched a second app, moving from ride-hailing to takeaway food deliveries. They saw the opportunity to mobilise their fleet of drivers to transport more than just people but food too, and leveraged on their present-day experience with app-based services.

 

With diversification, comes risk and uncertainty, as with any crucial business decision. There are several questions that a business should answer so as to help them evaluate the probability of successii:

 

·         What can our company do better than any of its competitors in its current market?

·         What strategic assets do we need in order to succeed in the new market?

·         Can we catch up to or leapfrog competitors at their own game?

·         Will diversification break up strategic assets that need to be kept together?

·         Will we be simply a player in the new market or will we emerge a winner?

·         What can our company learn by diversifying, and are we sufficiently organized to learn it?

 

These questions instigate issues necessary for discussion and answering them would result in a clearer and more structured decision.

 

Build a company culture that encourages innovation

As the world is changing, so too, are customers and their needs. Hence, businesses must constantly innovate in order to remain relevant.

A future-proof business is one that is able to cultivate an environment of innovation in the workplace.

Harvard Business Review highlights three simple ways in which you can encourage a greater culture of innovationiii:

 

  1. Task your staff with demanding projects, whilst also ensuring that the projects suits their resources and skills.
  2. Think carefully before you assign projects. Avoid assigning out of convenience but instead, consider which employee would feel stretched by the project and has the ability to ‘rise to the challenge’.
  3. Set a goal for a 70% success rate. This takes away the pressure that employees may have with a 100% success expectation, increasing their chances of taking more risks - a necessary trait in innovation.

"The onus on business leaders is to make the right technology choices that make employee and managers' working lives easier – saving money and time that can be reinvested in better systems and continual innovation." iv – Work institute report by PwC

Simplify your communication solutions and invest for growth

Invest in upgrading your office communications infrastructure to increase productivity in your office, and guard against potential market disruptions.

 

As your business expands with more branches, a strong and unified communication solution is key. The systems and structures your business adopts should have some flexibility to maximise benefits and allow companies greater leeway in expanding.

To stay future-ready, having diversified product offerings, an inherently innovative company culture, and simplified and flexible solutions is the answer.

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