There’s no other way to say it. 2020 has been a b*tch. Who thought back in January when we were making our new year’s resolutions we’d be spending the best part of six-months at home. Not me, that’s for sure. I haven’t been in business that long but there are some big lessons that 2020 has taught me about future-proofing my business and looking to the future.
You see, I set up my business for the long haul. I’m not looking for something to tide me over for a year until something better and shinier comes along. I’m also the sort of person who wants to look for the silver lining, so here are the five lessons I think we can all learn about from 2020 about how to future-proof our businesses!
When you niche too much, you’re f*cked
I know, I know – when you start your business you’re told to find your niche. To specialise in one industry or type of business so you can become the go-to person in what you’re doing for them. What Covid-19 has shown us is how high risk that strategy is. If I only supported travel companies or the events industry I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be in business right now. When the economy is all rosy having a niche is fine, but when it goes wrong what do you do if your niche suddenly disappears?
Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying don’t work with a specific industry or sector. If you love working with them and get results then do it. Just don’t cut yourself off completely. You never know when you might need them!
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Look at your current clients, now look at how much money you get from each one. Is there an even spread or is one client king? What would you do if that client went out of business or downgraded your contract with them?
Investing all of your time and resources into one client can be just as risky as niching down. 2020 has shown that you don’t know what’s around the corner, for your or your clients. One way to future-proof your business is to make sure that your clients are evenly weighted and you aren’t relying on one for the majority of your income. If you want to find out more than Catherine Gladwyn has released a book on this very subject that I’d highly recommend!
Diversify your income stream
There’s a reason why people write ebooks, sell courses or look to build other income streams. Building different income streams will help grow your business by creating stability in your revenue and reaching a new client base. Should another global pandemic hit you’ve got a more robust business model to help you weather the storm. Residual income is the difference between that feeling of mad-panic when you lose a client vs being able to think strategically about your next move, it’s planning vs. reacting. In an unpredictable climate, the less panic-induced decision making you can do the better.
Think about the future
Unless you’ve got a DeLorean DMC-12 time machine, it’s unlikely you’d have been able to predict this year. I would have laughed at you back in January if you’d told me a summary of this year! That aside, you need to keep an eye on the future. Think about what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in your sector and where you want your business to go. Looking to make changes and stay ahead of the game will put you in the best position to ride out future any global disasters!
Keep marketing even when you’re busy
We’ve all been there when you need to find some work you’re all over LinkedIn, connecting with people, engaging on posts, crafting witty content. Then you get busy, work comes flooding in and you don’t have time for your marketing anymore. That is until the work finishes and you need to find more. Sound familiar?
Social media is about building relationships and nurturing connections into friendships. That takes times. Regularly showing up on social media means that you’re already building relationships, and not just because you’re hoping they’ll buy from you.
No matter how busy you are, you need to show up. Keep marketing. Keep talking because you never know when you might need that support network.
Future-proofing your business is hard work, but as this year has shown it’s necessary for your future success. You don’t have to do all of these things at once. If all this blog does is kick your ass into creating a plan for taking your business forward then I’m sending you a high five! We don’t know what’s around the corner but if like me you’re in this for the long-haul then stop making excuses and start building a business that will survive whatever 2021 throws at us!