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7 Ways to Future-Proof Your Business

It can take time for a business to figure out the techniques and approaches that deliver the best results. Having discovered those methods, it’s tempting to keep using them even as the rest of the world changes. Kodak kept promoting film even as photography turned digital. Microsoft kept pushing Windows and missed the rise of both smartphones and social media. Smart companies understand that the world is constantly changing and try to stay one step ahead. Here are seven ways to future-proof your business against today’s changes.

1) Understand Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets

You might not be accepting cryptocurrencies now, but there’s a good chance that at least one of the hundreds of coins and tokens bought and sold on exchanges will turn into a genuine international currency. You need to be ready. Take the time to explore leading exchanges like Binance and CoinBase. Understand how they work and what governs the price movements. Get to grips with the blockchain and the wallets. If you do start accepting Bitcoin—or any other coin—you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

2) Practice Calls to Action in Social Media Marketing

One coin that has a particularly good chance of taking off is Libra, the currency promoted by Facebook. If users are willing to adopt that currency, then we could see real changes in online commerce. International transactions will become much easier and social media companies are more likely to promote themselves as sales channels as well as marketing channels. That means social media marketers will need to add calls to action to their branding and engagement strategies. You can practice that now.

3) Know How to Serve Customers Anywhere in the World

Whether Libra or any other cryptocurrency makes the world smaller, markets will only become more connected. Customers from China to Brazil can already reach your marketing which means you need to know how to talk to them and how to deliver to them. As the rewards for being able to scale globally look more and more attractive, you need to build plans for that expansion. If you don’t, your competitors will.

4) Perfect Your Live Video Skills

It’s not just the markets that will change in the future. Marketing tools will change too. Facebook’s live video feature has already proved its value. LinkedIn’s own version allows B2B firms to build the same kind of relationships enjoyed by consumer-facing businesses. Live video could well develop into a killer marketing app. Practice using it. Understand what kind of content gets your customers tuning in and interacting. Be ready for the moment live video gives every business a public-facing window.

5) Understand How to Use Data

The story of the last few years has been the rise of Big Data. Technology firms have been collecting information about what we do online and how we do it. Companies like Facebook and Google then sell that information but other companies use it to improve their marketing. They send targeted newsletters to customers based on the emails they open, suggest products similar to ones they’ve already bought, and personalize their marketing. Tools to mine that data have already become easier to use, and they’re likely to get easier still. If you’re not already collecting, storing and mining your data, you should be. It’s only going to become more important.

6) Measure the Value of Your Data

It’s also worth understanding the value of that data. Companies like Google and Facebook are valued almost entirely by the price of the information they hold about people. You might not be in the business of selling access to that information but being able to use it yourself has a value. Get in the habit of measuring the extra income your business earns when it’s able to mine information from its database. Know what your data is worth to you because as data becomes even more important, you’ll find that it will be an increasingly valuable part of your assets.

7) Stay Ahead of the Trends and Changes

Finally, don’t limit yourself to these areas. The future is always surprising. New trends rise all the time, and some of those trends bring important changes that will affect your business. Make keeping in touch with the latest technologies part of your work routine. Read the technology press. Listen to futurist speakers. Always know what’s coming next so that you’re ready.