What are you doing to future proof your trade business?
Every trade business owner has their own set of business goals. Some want to continuously grow and increase profits. Others are content running the same way and becoming a self-sustaining business. There’s one goal you all need to have in common if you want to stay in business. You need to be future proof.
Future-proofing your business is the act of ensuring that your business is well equipped to withstand future trends and competitors. Without doing this, business will slowly start to dwindle until soon enough, you won’t have one left.
You can’t predict the future. You can take certain steps to prepare yourself for whatever you’ll face.
Here they are:
Take advantage of technology
As a business owner, you need to anticipate the growth of your business and find solutions for upcoming issues. One way to do this? Through implementing and updating your technology.
For example, over the course of the next few years your business may grow massively and you’ll be booking more jobs than ever. How are you going to handle this? If you don’t currently have a job management system to help you assign and manage jobs and customers easily, it’s time to get one! Or if you do already have one, are you using all of its features?
Another example is the management of accounting and bookkeeping. If your business grows, you need to have cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping. It’s a good idea to invest in top-notch accounting software to streamline your accounting process and listing.
Don’t become dependent on one service
It’s nice to have a certain service you’re known for (e.g. if you’re a plumber known for pipe relining specifically), especially if it generates most of your revenue. However, this can be a major issue when future-proofing your business.
You see, depending on just one service line means there are fewer return customers, no cross-selling strategies, and fewer opportunities for business growth. There is also the fact that if ever the main service fails, your business will most likely lose its main source of income. It will have difficulty in sustaining itself.
Our advice? Continue focusing on your niche if that’s genuinely what you’re best at and what your customers want. Make sure you have a back-up plan and upselling/cross-selling strategies in place to ensure your business is future-proof.
Organise your finances
In the future, your business may experience growth! Whether you chase this or it happens naturally the result is the same. More work and increased profits, and also the need for more staff, new equipment/trucks, more facilities, the list is endless. This equals more expenses.
A common problem with growing trade businesses is they’re unable to manage their finances wisely. There’s a sudden influx of cash and unexpected expenses but no system to manage it!
Even before your business grows, you should be budgeting and planning so that you can adapt to these future changes. During these changes, closely monitor your financial dashboard (check out our previous article on building your dashboard here) to ensure your cashflow is ticking along nicely.
It’s important to keep track of changes in your industry since it can affect the future of your own business. For example, rising supplier costs in your industry can affect the budgeting of your future business growth.
Furthermore, you should also keep an eye on your competitors at all times.
If their business is growing, you may need to conduct promotions in order to be able to compete with them. And don’t be naïve to think that they won’t do the same! If it is your business that is experiencing growth and they start increasing marketing to compete, you need to fight back harder.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you as the business owner, to decide the future of your business. So what will it be?
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