Starting a company can be difficult enough, but the real challenge is ensuring that your business stands the test of time. According to research conducted by Professor Richard Foster at Yale University, the average lifespan of a business listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 index of leading US companies fell from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years in 2012. However, as I know from my own experience as a business leader, there are effective ways to future-proof your company. Following are four tactics that could help you to increase the longevity of your enterprise.
1) Keep tabs on emerging technology trends
Technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate and so to ensure you don’t get left behind, it’s crucial that you keep tabs on emerging trends within your sector. By making sure you have access to the most up-to-date and efficient equipment and systems available, you can reduce the risk that your rivals will gain a competitive advantage over you. Making sure you have the best possible resources does require investment, but this will be money well spent if it prevents your company from losing relevance and being side-lined by more forward looking competitors.
2) Take steps to protect your brand
The internet – and particularly social media – means it’s now easier than ever to spread the word about your products or services and to build up your brand. However, the web also means that news of bad customer experiences can spread quickly. If you don’t take careful steps to protect your business’ reputation, you could find that your image is badly damaged within a very short space of time. This means it’s more important than ever to ensure that each customer has a positive experience when they deal with your business.
3) Nurture the talent within your team
Your personnel are likely to be your most valuable asset. Their hard work, expertise and insight could help to steer your firm to continued success. However, to ensure you make the most of the talent within your team, you’ll need to take steps to nurture it. This involves providing people with suitable training, rewarding good work and making sure personnel have access to appealing career opportunities. Doing these things should mean you are able to attract and retain the best personnel – and it will help the people within your organisation to fulfil their potential.
4) Don’t let nostalgia get in the way of progress
There’s a certain reassurance that comes from maintaining continuity within a business. However, it’s vital that you don’t allow nostalgia to get in the way of progress. If they aren’t up-to-scratch, everything from your day to day operating procedures to your marketing techniques and branding may benefit from an overall. Making major changes to the way your company does things may pull you out of your comfort zone, but it could help you to sustain long-term success.
Following advice like this should help you to make your business more robust and it could enable you to outlast your rivals.