Change is coming for Canadian entrepreneurs and the best way to prepare is to future-proof your business. According to a recent study by BDC, six trends are set to impact on the way we do business in the coming years:
- The Aging Workforce – Canada’s annual working-age population growth is stagnating at just 0.2%.
- The Rise of Millenials – More than 50% of Canada’s workforce will consist of millennials and Generation Z by 2030.
- Cultural Diversity – Up to 80% of Canada’s population growth will be accounted for by immigrants by 2032.
- The Growth of eCommerce – Canadians are one of the biggest spenders online, and the figure is growing.
- Business Automation – Annual worldwide sales of industrial robots will hit 500,000 by 2020.
- The Rise of the Data Economy – 75 billion devices will be connected to the internet worldwide by 2025.
These trends are already changing traditional norms in the business world. Every company should be analyzing the likely impact they will face, and what they can be doing to prepare. The good news? It’s possible to position yourself to take advantage by following a few simple steps. Here’s four tips for future-proofing your business.
The Millennial generation thrives on connections, community and creation. They live in a digital age and have no time for traditional business staples if they don’t make sense in our modern world. To help appeal to them, it’s vital your business has a strong online presence. This should take the form of social media and an engaging, regularly updated website. Consider offering flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely when possible. How is your compensation structure? As costs of living continue to rise, many millennials are forced to jump around between jobs to keep up. If you want to retain this talent, an increased outlay on wages might be worth the investment.
Innovation is Key
Is nostalgia or a fear of upsetting the day-to-day balance blocking your business from innovating? Just because you’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean you need to continue doing so. Striving to make positive changes to workplace culture and practices puts your business on the road to success. This can be undertaken in collaborative fashion by asking staff and customers what they enjoy and dislike about your operation. Take their feedback and focus on the parts you can accomplish.
It’s impossible to discuss future-proofing your business without considering technology. A revolution in the way consumers shop is currently underway. And it’s being driven by the internet and mobile devices. This decade has seen remarkable growth in eCommerce so far. In 2011, Canadians spent $6.6 billion online. And, by 2016, that figure had tripled reaching $19.2 billion in sales. It’s vital for the continuing success of any business that they are positioned to capitalize on this shift to the online realm. At the very least, you’ll need a mobile-friendly website with eCommerce capability. Once you’ve created this, you’ll need to establish channels to funnel customers to your online shopfront. This can be accomplished via display ads, Facebook advertising and leveraging social media.
Automate Your Business
Automation has become a buzz word in recent times. We’ve all read articles speculating on how robots and artificial intelligence will soon take all our jobs. Fortunately, automation is nothing to worry about and should be embraced. Successfully automating aspects of your business will give you more time to focus on things you love doing. It will allow you to meet more customers, use your creativity to solve problems, and ultimately grow your business. Start by mapping out your processes. Look for ways you can automate aspects of your business. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) can centralize your customer contacts, making it easier to market and make sales. For further details, Small Business BC’s Operations and Systems Expert, Tim Bramwell, went in-depth on business automation in a recent article.
Interested in learning more about business automation and future-proofing your business? Book a one-on-one consultation with our Systems Planning Expert and find out how you can improve your efficiency and your bottom line.