As a business owner this year, you have had to deal with an extraordinary number of changes. Many of us have had to adapt now we’re in ‘Pandemic Normal’.

But if this year has taught us anything, it’s that we can never be sure of what’s around the corner. Your business needs to be prepared for whatever the future may bring. It’s time to future proof your business.

We provide our 7 tips for future proofing your business during and beyond Covid-19.

1. Have an online presence

A staggering number of small businesses (some reports say almost half) do not have a website. Which, when considering 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting or making a purchase, and the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic has meant a lot of businesses have had to shut their doors due to restrictions, is a worrying figure.

The most common reason small businesses give for this: It’s either not relevant in their industry or the cost is too big.

The latter is certainly a misconception, as website build prices vary widely today. There is a wide array of businesses offering to build a basic website for a few hundred pounds, and there’s dozens of online sites, like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify to name a few, that allow you to build your own website relatively easy, for little cost.

If you don’t have a website because of the cost or if you think your products or services wouldn’t sell online, think about the following:

  • How can potential customers find you and contact you?
  • Where can potential customers read reviews about your products or services? (This makes potential customers much more likely to purchase from you if they can read positive experiences and connect with those)
  • Where can potential customers read success stories? (Again, this will help build confidence in your business and therefore its reputation)
  • How can you share your knowledge to a large number of people?
  • How can you drive more traffic to your business and enter new markets?

If you don’t have a website yet, get in touch with us and we’ll point you in the direction of our business contacts who can help you get the ball rolling.

2. Make your business less dependent on you

One way you can actually improve your business and make it more attractive to potential buyers is to be less involved.

A business that is heavily reliant on one person will only last as long as that person has the energy to keep spinning all those plates. As soon as they stop, it all comes crashing down. A4G can help you make your business less dependent on you.

3. Systems, systems, systems

Following on from the previous point: you need to have systems in place.

This isn’t the first and won’t be the last time this is mentioned in an A4G blog!

Systems are one of the foundations of A4G and have supported our continuous growth. If you haven’t already done so, we would recommend reading The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber which discusses how to grow your business in a productive, systemised and assured way. They will also make the business less dependent on you.

Get in touch with our team and we can help you start getting your systems and important processes in place.

“If you’re too busy to build good systems, then you’ll always be too busy” – Brian Logue.

4. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

You may have an established business and perhaps it’s been some time since you experienced for yourself what your customers experience when dealing with your organisation. Test your processes by ordering products, making a complaint or not paying an invoice.

Your business is only as good as the poorest performing department. Your business may have the greatest sales team in the world, but if the after sales is awful, those customers won’t return, won’t refer and will more than likely share their bad experience with others.

5. Consider outsourcing or offshoring

There might be functions where you lack the expertise, or overheads that you could reduce with a few simple changes.

It can be daunting putting this work in the hands of others, but as long as they are non-strategic or not customer care related (a mistake banks have made by offshoring their call centres) you can reap rewards.

Workplace pensions are a good example. They don’t influence success but are complex and required by law for the majority of small businesses. Richard at A4G Bookkeeping  can help with this.

We can also set up a meeting to review your processes and see where costs could be cut by outsourcing or offshoring certain tasks.

6. Retaining your best staff

For most small businesses, the most important asset is its staff, so keeping our best people is essential (plus, recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming process). If you don’t know what motivates your employees, then find out.

Yes, salaries will be mentioned but there will be other factors, and these can be aligned with the business’ objectives in order to work towards mutually beneficial goals.

Also, don’t forget to ask what they like and don’t like about what your business offers. They might just have some great ideas.

7. Move your accounts to the Cloud

At a time when the business world has suffered massive disruption by Covid-19, you need more than ever to be constantly making decisions on the next steps for your business to give it the best chance of adapting and recovering.

To stop on top you need accurate information, in real-time, on a weekly basis. You need a cloud accounting software. And if you already use one, you need to embrace it and make sure you are getting the most out of it.

For more on embracing cloud technology, download our PDF on ‘embracing cloud accounting the new normal’ here or get in contact with our team who can talk you through your needs and how cloud accounting can take your business to the next level.

The effects from Covid-19 will likely impact your business for many years to come, which is why now is the best time to future proof areas of your business, so you can continue to do what you do best: running your business, no matter what the future brings.

Contact me today!

Josh Curties

BA (Hons) FCA

Partner & Principal Adviser

01474 853856

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