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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Bantjes

Future Proof Your Business

Several businesses have a lifespan as business owners don't always consider how their business will run or evolve in the future, especially once a trend has worn off, after a pandemic or social economic movement.

All successful businesses have a distinct pattern. This can be seen from switching or limiting their risk by operating more on a B2C basis and doing less B2B. When you analyze the risks of being reliant on another business for a product or service, then their weakest link becomes your weakest link in the supply chain.

Offer and increase value to your business.

Any good business is able to exploit one or all 3 of these key elements with a trending or essential product and service:

1. Be the first.

This is often a product of creativity or problem solving that has allowed businesses to be successful like Victorinox who manufactured the first multi-tool, the swiss army knife. This can be short lived as imitation products and services will find there way into market and compete with your business once the initial idea starts trending.

2. Be the best.

Businesses like Leatherman took the multi-tool idea and enhanced it with research and development and paired with their warranty made the best multi-tool in the market.

3. Be the most cost-effective.

A great example is VHS cassette tapes vs. BETAMAX. VHS was fair quality, but more cost effective making the cassette format far more accessible and successful globally.

Go B2C.

Large retailers like Walmart in the US very quickly launched their own house brands of new and trending consumer products, thus mitigating a lot of risk to supply chain and by dealing with farmers and manufacturers directly, plus there’s a cost saving strategy as they’re not paying an agency a fee to broker a deal. Initially they may use brokers to get products to market first but in the process, are optimizing supply chains by setting up manufacturing themselves or approaching producers directly.

Automation, Automation, Automation.

As the saying goes, a broken machine is easier to replace than a broken person.

Where possible, innovate and automate manufacturing and production. Do as much yourself, as human resources can be a liability to any business when there is little or no work.

Rather build and support a network of specialist entrepreneurs as they are most likely as committed to the work they do, being a business owner too.

Culture proof your brand.

Considering the ever changing social justice movements, brands need to ensure they do not make use of imagery products or services that in any way harm or exploit their workers, people of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or social class. In light of the ever-growing plant based diet movement and focus on environmentally sustainable practices, anything that would be considered animal cruelty or pollution must stop.

Change is the key to success and, of course, it is hard work, but if you remain open-minded, flexible and agile, you can build a better, sustainable and future proof business.

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