Tips and tricks: how to help your small business become ‘Fit for the Future’

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04 May 2022

Take the next step on your ‘Fit for the Future’ journey with these tips

It’s safe to say small businesses worldwide have faced a whole host of unexpected challenges, but those that came out on top have a few things in common. They're adaptable; they’re positive and ready to embrace change.

These are the businesses we call ‘Fit for the Future’.

Do you know where your business sits on the ‘Fit for the Future’ spectrum? Take our assessment to find out. Whether you’re right at the start of your journey or well on your way to future-proofing your business, read on to see how you can help your business thrive.

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How can you make a real mindset shift within your business?

Change can be scary, but adaptability’s necessary to future-proof your organisation.

Here are a few pointers to get started:

  • Make the most of new opportunities but, remember, even well-thought-out plans can change.

  • Step out of your comfort zone – this tends to be where the most exciting things happen.

  • Listen to peers and welcome ideas – you never know when a new path might present itself.

  • Stay as positive as possible, even when times are tough.

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Once you’re in the right mindset, how can your business become truly adaptable?

  • Seek out new opportunities.

  • Challenge your business by taking risks that could help achieve your business’ goals.

  • Examine the value each challenge would bring to your customers too.

  • Measure the level of risk against potential gain.

  • Look at what your competitors are doing and work to stay ahead of the crowd.

  • Align your business aims with trends where you see potential value.

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Customers are the reason for business, but the pandemic reshaped what they want. So, what can your business do to keep up with their changing demands?

How to keep up with customers...

  • Make sustainability a priority. Whether big or small, make a conscious effort to go green.

  • Take a stance on social issues. Speak up and implement meaningful initiatives.

  • Introduce new technology. Provide digital-first services that give customers access around the clock.

  • Focus on personalisation. After all, 75% of businesses are seeing this demand ever-increasing.

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Digital services are becoming more advanced every year, so what can your business do to find out which trends your customers want to stick?

  • Be available to customers through a variety of digital channels.

  • Send timely communications that are always valuable.

  • Listen to what customers say about your business online and make changes that matter.

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Building morale and boosting motivation help create company culture, but remote working can make this challenging. So, what can your business do to create a first-class culture from home?

  • Organise regular team catchups and make them engaging.

  • Communicate company values through your actions.

  • Offer flexibility where possible, but speak to employees first to find out what they really want.

  • Listen to employee concerns and suggestions, then take action.

  • Prioritise wellbeing by creating a strong work-life balance.

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If you need your team to work in a central space, how can your business provide flexibility in other areas?

Flexibility isn’t just about where you work, it’s about how you work. 50% of employees want to work with freedom and autonomy, so a one-size-fits-all approach won’t add benefit. Instead, start by offering flexibility in these areas:

  • Working hours

  • Office space

  • Technology

  • Breaks

  • Deadlines

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Tech is the glue that holds hybrid workforces together. But, if your business doesn’t initially have the capital to invest in tech, what can you do to keep up?

  • Make small, but impactful, changes by…

  • Identifying mundane tasks that could be improved.

  • Assessing whether automation – no matter how simple – could improve performance.

  • Determining whether any processes can be mimicked offline to boost productivity and efficiency.

  • Putting the money you have into the areas that need it most.

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As specialised skills become more desirable, what training can your business offer to help employees flourish?

Your employees are your most valuable asset. That’s why ‘Fit for the Future’ businesses provide training to develop skills that can’t be replaced with tech. Get started by upskilling your team across these areas:

  • Social media

  • Digital marketing

  • Data analytics

  • E-commerce

  • Sustainability

Wondering how you can take your business to the next level to ensure future success? With extensive research behind us, we’re here to help you take the first step to becoming 'Fit for the Future'.

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