You don’t want to stand still for too long when you’re running a company. While things might be going just fine right now, it’s always important to keep one eye on the future and to make sure that when that time comes, you’re in a stronger position than you are now. While we tend to think of growth as simply acquiring more customers, that’s just one aspect of growth — in fact, it’s more of a symptom of growth. There are things you can do that’ll help to nudge you in the right direction. We take a look at a few ways below. 

Check the Forecast

You could do absolutely everything correctly and still face troubles in the future. Why? Because if the forecast of your industry is uncertain, then there’s no guarantee that there will be much of a future to talk about. The rise of AI and automation, for instance, will have profound effects on certain industries, so you’ll need to see how at-risk you are when it comes to whatever it is that you do within your sector. If you’re aware of the changes that are to come, you’ll be able to position yourself to weather those changes. It’s when you leave things too late that you can run into problems. 

Hire the Right People

When we talk about growth, what do we mean? We’re not talking about simply the profit line moving in an upward direction. It’s our ideas, the execution of those ideas, that counts. Your company’s future will only look as bright as the quality of your employees. If you have a team of grade A players on board, people who will be successful no matter which company they’re working for, then you’ll be on the right path. If you have a team of lower-quality employees, then you might run into issues. So you’ll want to figure out a hiring method than ensures that your company has a bright future. Also, keep in mind that there is something a skills shortage for certain industries, so you’ll be well-served by having a continuous hiring policy, rather than only trying to find an employee when someone leaves. 

Get the Tools

There are many aspects of the future that are outside of your control, and also many that nobody can predict. But there are various pieces of information you can have about the future of your business. You can have a pretty solid grasp on your future spending relating to your IT, business contracts, and supplies, for example. It’s all about knowledge — if you’re aware of the issues that you may encounter in the future, then you can take steps to reduce that spending now. There is software that can help you. You can drive revenue growth using this contract management software, for instance. Elsewhere, you could work with companies that offer long-term strategic planning for your services (as in the case of your IT). 

Improve and Innovate

Whatever you’re doing at your business might be working right now, but who can say whether that’ll be the case in the future? As such, it’s recommended that you’re investing your time, energy, and finances into innovation. Of course, the form that this will take will depend on the type of business that you have, but it’s possible for all industries. Here you can take a leaf out of the book of the largest companies. Apple, for instance, didn’t stop once they’d come up with their Macbook — they progressed and produced the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Always look to the future to see how you can improve your company. If you stand still for too long, then all that’ll happen is someone else will come along and take your place. 

Invest in the Right Areas

You’ll always have to have some cash in reserve, but it’s also important that you’re investing in certain areas of your business. You’ll want to spend money on improving your technology and infrastructure, so that you’re able to work efficiently, for example. Your staff, and especially training for your staff, will also be money well-spent. It’s all about putting money into areas that can be improved, rather than into black holes. 

Focus on Strengths

Finally, while you should focus on the future, you’ll also want to look at the past. One of the best ways to ensure a bright future is to focus on your core strengths as a company. What are you good at? How do you help people? Keeping these things in mind will help you as you move forward. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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