A business rarely exists in the moment. In fact, if all you are thinking about is the moment, there’s a very good chance that you’re actually focusing on the past. For a business to succeed, you have to be able to peer into a metaphorical crystal ball and have some idea of what’s going to come next.
Of course, that’s very much one for the “easier said than done” files. Things happen. The world changes; life gets in the way; bad things come from nowhere; or things go so well that your existing plans are sufficient. While you will never be able to guarantee what happens next with your business, you at least have to have some idea of what your guiding points are supposed to be.
There are five key areas where you should have some idea of what your next steps are when it comes to your business. So, without further ado, you should always have one eye on a crystal ball to divine the future including…
Evaluate The Economy
More than almost anything else, the economic situation – both in your country and globally – is something that can do great harm to your business. If consumer confidence is beginning to shrink, then this can mean that fewer people are spending money – which can deny your business its customer base. Even if you work primarily business-to-business this can impact you; somewhere along the business chain there will be customers. If there aren’t, then no business is going to be ordering from you.
So it’s always worthwhile to keep an eye on what’s happening globally. If you sense signs towards recession, work on your strategies for keeping afloat through lean economic times.
Invest In Ideas
You could just continue your business as you always have and never make any changes. This can be perceived as stability… or it begins to look like stagnation. Think about your business ideals and what you would love to be able to aspire to, then think about how you’re going to get there. Maybe you want to float your business; take advantage of the SR&ED tax credit system to give you further chance to experiment; or just hope to one day sell your business on and earn a tidy profit.
You always need to keep your eyes open for the next steps in this regard, and what can help you get to those goals as quickly as possible.
Noticing The Natural
Finally, it’s worth always ensuring you have a backup plan in the case of natural disasters. No matter what you sell or which services you provide; somewhere in your business chain is a company that relies on natural resources. What happens if there is an earthquake or a tsunami that knocks out the supply chain?
You can’t predict natural disasters, but you can notice signs that suggest there is a problem on the horizon. Small earthquakes, for examine, can be a harbinger of something bigger. Climate change is producing more storms and hurricanes. Always try and have a backup plan if your existing suppliers are suddenly and unexpectedly unavailable to fulfill your needs.
While you may not have a crystal ball, you should now have some idea of the possible vulnerabilities in your business – and what to do about them.