How your business can better prepare for being 'fit for the future'
Wondering how to help your business thrive in the future? We’re here to help.
Our research started in 2019, when we set out to discover which businesses are best prepared for the future. This year, we wanted to take this further, to understand how these organisations have adapted. These are the businesses we consider ‘fit for the future’ (FFTF).
To gain this insight, we surveyed businesses alongside B2B International, and our findings were later analysed by the London School of Economics (LSE). Together, we examined the relationship between being FFTF and business performance – both in a corporate and social context – and the results were eye-opening.
Want a sneak peek of what we discovered before diving into the full report? Here are some of our takeaways.
Invest in digital – and see your business thrive
Businesses around the world are embracing digital transformation, but there’s a disparity between small businesses and large enterprises. However, our research showed that the size of an organisation doesn’t impact its potential to become FFTF. After all, thriving in the future isn’t simply about investing in tech, it’s about adjusting your business’ mindset and being open to change.
Overall, we saw that organisations considered FFTF can think on their feet, embrace new technology and tackle challenges head-on, which, ultimately, has a direct impact on business performance. Findings by LSE found a 10-point increase in a business’ ‘fit for the future’ score increases the likelihood of outperforming their competitors financially by 36%.
Stay in tune with customers – and react to their changing expectations
Customer expectations have skyrocketed over the last year, and 75% of businesses have seen an increase in those expecting businesses to be contactable around the clock. But their expectations don’t end there, customers expect businesses to devote time to social issues and operate sustainably too.
In a time when business success had to be the priority to ensure companies survived, the sustainability agenda naturally slipped down the priority list. But 38% of FFTF businesses have identified that being sustainable is ‘absolutely necessary’ for them to operate.
The world of commerce is growing every day, and customers want all businesses to evolve – and staying in touch with their expectations is the first step to becoming FFTF.
Embrace the hybrid working world – and accept the changes it brings
The pandemic saw work patterns change dramatically, with flexible and remote working taking centre stage. With their adaptable attitude, FFTF firms embraced this movement at a faster pace – and 89% said they’re happy with the faster adoption of new technologies to enable this.
Now, remote working has become the norm, businesses have noticed that employees also expect greater flexibility – and FFTF firms are taking these changes in their stride. Overall, these businesses are optimistic about technology and see its role in improving existing jobs, enabling their workforce to flourish, and creating greater flexibility, plus remote working opportunities.
Approach technology with positivity – and use smart solutions to bolster your business
In our digital world, technology is around every corner. From social media to artificial intelligence; automation to virtual reality; to some extent, it’s involved in all businesses do. This creates opportunities and challenges in equal measure, but FFTF organisations have proved better prepared to tackle these head-on.
Although automation is becoming more readily available, businesses aren’t seeing this as a replacement for staff. Rather, 40% of FFTF firms are utilising automation to minimise mundane tasks and keep employees engaged. Plus, with assistive technologies boosting inclusion, FFTF businesses are maximising new technologies to simultaneously better business and employee careers.
Overall, FFTF organisations identify technology as an increasingly important strategic asset; they’re adapting to the digital world and embracing tech to create new opportunities.
Take your business forward – become ‘fit for the future’
Despite the recent challenges all businesses have faced, those considered FFTF adapted faster than the rest. These businesses are confident and well-prepared to address emerging trends, challenges and new possibilities.
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