Bluebox CEO, Paul Herman shares his tips for future proofing your business
Last week, I was privileged to be given the opportunity to hear one of the world's leading 'Futurists', Professor Nick Barker, address a select group of CEOs on what the world may look like in the future. Not five years into the future, but 30 years and beyond.
To say it was an eye-opener is a real understatement. The professor started by quoting Jeff Bezos and citing the one question he is rarely asked. This was not 'What WILL change in the coming decades', but rather "What will NOT change in the coming decades?"
The purpose of the talk was to develop the skillets of CEOs and business owners in our rapidly changing world. It is safe to say there is a lot to consider when thinking about what the world may look like in 2049. It might only be 30 years away, but there is every chance that driving your 'own' car at such a point in time will be 'illegal' as a result of the 'safe and low risk environment' created by driverless cars and a desire from various governments to mitigate the risks of 'human error'.
Many of the CEOs I was with present, including myself, had not been challenged to think in this way before. Accordingly, the session was incredibly insightful. So, what were MY takeaways from the morning:
We are living and working in a period of rapid non-linear acceleration. Growth is now exponential and the way we marvel at how infants (including my brood who are teens and under) have used technology from the age of 2 or 3 years old should not be ignored. We have lived at an incredible time where those over 40 have seen the microchip not only introduced, but also the significant acceleration of its processing capabilities. Technological change needs to be considered in almost every single business and industry, including our own.
The 'Jobs and skills' market is changing. Rapidly. Yes, Schools are citing that over 50% of the 'jobs of the future' do not exist today. Have you actually considered the impact of this for your own business? It is NOT all about the kids of today becoming 'coders', but rather anticipating what your industry will look like in 30 years' time. An exercise such as this, which Bluebox will happily host, will provide great insight and competitive advantage as you plan strategically for the future.
Finally, the focus on 'core competencies' in a business is becoming increasingly important. Looking at one's business and identifying your core competence(s) will be key. Where does your business add 'value' to your customers and what is your business doing that could be outsourced? Financial control using 'third party FDs'? Instead of a 10-year lease, a 'serviced office' solution? These are but two examples. But what else could be outsourced? Have you considered those things? Are there ways to reduce fixed costs in your business and get better results from using third parties who are competent and skilled in those areas?
The talk was fascinating and it got me thinking about the importance of 'future-proofing' businesses, including Bluebox. Speaking for ourselves, as one of the leading businesses in the corporate finance world (we would like to think!), we are more motivated than ever to make sure that our business is fit for the future from both a team and client-facing perspective.
All business owners should take the time to assess what the future can bring and how changes, both internal and external, can not only future-proof you, but also make your product and service far more relevant to your customers and clients.
If you would like to have a discussion regarding the planning for the sale of your business, including future proofing options, selling a business or fundraising then please do get in touch, or if you would like to attend one of our upcoming Events please click here for more information.