It’s an undeniable fact that the most successful businesses don’t just operate in the present, they have definite plans for the future too.
That means the owners need to have a clear picture of where they see it being in five or even fifteen years’ time. But, while that’s all well and good, there may be no way to plan ahead for what the British post-war Prime minister Harold Macmillan famously referred to as events”. In his case he was describing the issues that faced him in running the country, but the same can be said when it comes to running a business.
However, there are certain steps any business owner can take to help ensure not just a future, but a bright one too.
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Project Your Future Income and Expenses
The first step is always going to be to project the financial state that your business will be in at set points in the future. For example, look forward to one year, five years and a decade from now. It’s important to be realistic rather than overly optimistic. There are two reasons for this. The first is that exaggerating your forecast can set up unrealistic expectations that you have no chance of achieving. The second is that attainable forecasts provide you with targets to aim for and against which you can measure your success.
Build up Capital
There is nothing quite like having a buffer of money in the bank in case “events” get the better of your business too. It could be an unexpected drop in sales because of a loss of big client or urgent repairs needed for your premises. Generally, a fund equivalent to three months’ operating costs is considered to be about the right amount and it should always be stored in a bank account offering easy access to your money.
Monitor Your Costs
This may sound very obvious. But there are many instances in which businesses suddenly find that costs are so high that it’s jeopardizing future plans for expansion. So, it’s a good idea to regularly review expenditure and examine ways in which it might be reduced.
Protect Yourself From Fraud
It’s an unfortunate fact that many businesses find themselves being targeted by online scammers and other fraudsters. In fact, it’s been estimated that small businesses suffer to the tune of $125,000 on average when they are victims. With limited turnovers, this is a figure that few can afford to lose. As well as being aware of dangers, there are positive steps you can take. One example would be only to use business checks with built-in security features such as tamper-proof paper and security holograms. So should anyone ever try to change the amount on a cheque or misuse them in any way, they simply wouldn’t get away with it.
Be Fully Insured
Insurance is one of those expenses that seem unnecessary, until you actually need to use it. But going without, or not having enough cover, is a disaster waiting to happen. It’s best to take advice from a reputable broker about how much and what kinds of insurance that you need. Then, if the worst does ever happen and you do need to make a claim, your overall business operations will not be affected now or in the future.
Keep Good Credit
More and more over recent years, individuals have been sold on the idea of maximizing their credit score. This is just as important for businesses. After all, you never know when you might need to take out a loan or other form of borrowing to expand the business. There’s plenty of advice online about how to build your credit rating, for anyone who doesn’t know.
Invest in the Latest Tech
We live in an increasingly technological age – so stay one step ahead by regularly updating the equipment you need to do business. It is also a key strategy to go online, for your business’s success. Taking your business digital allows you to read more people and keep consumers up to date at the click of a button.
Add this to the seven other pointers and – taraa! You’ll have successfully future-proofed your business.