None of us can predict the future, however, there are plenty of practical ways to be ready.
Are you looking at ways to prepare your business for the future? At EC Credit Control our debt management agency has been operating since 1988 – not long after the world experienced a major stock market crash. We tend to take a long-term view of things as a result.
By doing the same with your business and positioning it for the future, we know that even in today’s market there is plenty of room to thrive.
In this blog, we explore some ways in which you plan ahead for future success.
1. Create (or boost) your digital presence
One of the key changes in people’s behaviour this year was the marked increase in doing things online. Whether it was to socialise, make purchases or pass the time, people have been flocking to the internet in record numbers. Many have overcome their fears about online shopping or video chats and have started to include these in their every day.
If you haven’t already created a digital presence, now is the time to do so. And if you do have a digital presence but it needs some love, now is the time to give it.
Here are some tips to build your online presence:
- Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find your business and utilise your services.
- Claim & set up your Google My Business listing so that people can find you.
- Optimising your website experience for mobile phones and testing out what the experience is like – how easy is it to use? Do you have a nice way to shop or make bookings online?
Ensure your online payment process is user-friendly – offering multiple ways to pay is one of the things you can do to make it easy for your customers to pay on time.
2. Upskill your staff
Your business is only as strong as your staff. In today’s world, your staff is just as pressed for time as your customers. Adapt to modern ways of engaging them and help build their collective strength.
- Think you need to hire someone new? Take stock of who you have at your disposal. Upskilling existing staff can help empower them and save you on recruitment
- Organise career development plans to retain your best employees and ask them honestly where they see their progression. You can focus on providing real help on their career path and motivate them to grow
- Your team should be growing with your business. Help them keep pace by sharing your vision and bringing them into some of the planning
- Help your employees be clear of the job with a modernised employee handbook. Gone are the days of creating a manual and forgetting about it in the drawer – check out a few ways to create a great employee handbook here.
3. Future-proof your processes
It’s time to look at your processes from a critical viewpoint. Could someone step in today and be able to keep your business running without you? Without clear processes, how much is your business really worth?
Steps you can take to prepare your business for the future include:
- Prepare your systems for scaling. Review them, ensure they run smoothly under all common scenarios, and ask your customers and suppliers for feedback
- Assess your total debt management process, and test whether it checks all the boxes in future-proofing your business
- You can download our free guide to debt management here or ask us to build you a customised debt recovery plan
- Record everything for future employees, ensuring that all the valuable knowledge that’s in your head (or the heads of your key staff) is accessible to others
- Make employee manuals accessible and enjoyable to use, so your people will be driven to utilise them
- Put time and effort into your systems now so you don’t repeat mistakes. As a result, you will save time and customers in the long run.
4. Build a financial war chest
It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it happens or not, and to what degree, you should put resources into surviving a downturn.
- Having a good amount of cash reserves will help you keep trading through any difficult patches. Start building your cash ‘war chest’ and channel any funds you can in this direction
- Protect your family and your assets upfront. Update and upgrade your asset protection and ensure your PPSR registrations are correct and valid for today’s legislation
- On a personal level, ensure your Will, Enduring Powers of Attorney and insurances are relevant and up to date
- Talk to your accountant and bank about cash flow, funding and the best way to position your business for the future. Incorporate this into your business and personal financial plans
- Protect your cash flow with a strong credit management process. This should look at all areas of your business to see what improvements may significantly bolster your cash flow
- Load any outstanding debts with EC Credit Control today. We’re an expert debt resolution agency that will act promptly in your interests, while still maintaining your customer relationships.
5. Review, reflect, reset
We believe business success comes from crystallising your thoughts into smart moves. Finally, take some time to reflect on these final ideas:
- Regularly review your market, audience and competitors and be prepared to adapt accordingly. This can be as easy as asking customers about their experience or engaging a marketing expert to help you undertake simple research
- Flexibility is key. Be prepared to learn, to be wrong, and to change your mind if new information comes to light
- Drop what’s not working and pursue what is. Don’t feel bad about it! Having the courage to say ‘no’ or change tack gives you the space to focus your energies on real opportunities.
Ready to see how we can help prepare your business for the future?
At EC Credit Control we’ve been helping businesses of all sizes succeed. Rather than looking at one end of the spectrum, we are focused on how your debt management process works as a whole.
We believe that in doing this we’re able to help you protect and build up your cash flow in a sustainable way, no matter what is going on in the world.
To sum up:
- Talk to our team about a review of your debt management process to ensure your business is set up to ride out a market downturn
- Explore the different Terms and Conditions of Trade and point of sale documents we can help personalise for your business.
- Load your outstanding invoices online now and hand them over to the experts.
- Find out how we work.