What exactly can you do to secure a better future for your business?
For those running their own company, keeping up with modern developments isn’t just about meeting trends and the changing market. There are plenty of things you can do now to future-proof your workplace and ensure it is prepared for changes as and when they come.
Start Protecting Your Data
The way we must handle data is changing.
The GDPR brings serious implications against the improper use and storage of sensitive customer information. Failure to meet regulations and comply with relevant data protection laws puts your organisation in the path of considerable risk.
Serious data breaches can occur if your data management processes aren’t adequately considered and adjusted to meet current legal requirements. Future-proofing your business requires a set focus on making sure client data is protected, and that protection is rigorously monitored.
Non-compliance with GDPR laws could result in fines in the millions. Methods of aiding and future-proofing your data protection methods include:
- Introduction of data encryption on all digital files
- Limiting the amount of paper data being taken on remote assignments
- Clear roles for each staff member regarding data access and handling
Invest in Online Faxing
The days of the physical fax machine are coming to an end. This legacy technology has been around for over 100 years, but by 2025, the major analogue platforms it uses to transmit documents will be gone.
Yet, for many businesses, sending and receiving faxes is essential.
Billions of fax documents are sent every year. Why? Because sending fax documents is more efficient than postal delivery: In addition, when compared to snail mail, sending documents by fax has:
- Provided a faster alternative of sending important documents
- Featured additional security for sending sensitive data
- Facilitated the transmission of signed documents
The loss of such capabilities following the 2025 switch off would certainly be problematic.
There is a solution, one that will allow you to future-proof your faxing capabilities and continue to fax uninterrupted.
Online faxing moves faxing to an entirely digital format. Instead of using a physical fax machine, you use computer software and mobile applications in its place. Going digital allows for all facets of fax documents to carry on as normal. Your business can send documents, receive faxes, sign important files using touchscreen technology, and much more. However, because online faxing works over the internet, it does not require analogue technology in order to operate — it simply requires an internet connection.
By upgrading your fax technology to an online fax service you help future-proof your organisation in two ways:
- You can continue to send faxes to others — regardless of whether they are using traditional fax machine hardware or online faxing software.
- You protect your ability to send and receive fax documents — even after the 2025 switch off.
Build a Paperless Work Environment
Investment in online fax technology can help feed into another concept that will dramatically improve how you operate in the future — it can support the development of a paperless work environment.
Many large organisations are establishing goals for paperless programs— a future in which they envisage all file management is done in an entirely digital space. While paperless objectives may not be met for a long time, that doesn’t mean you should wait around.
For your business, the smart move is going paperless now. Why? Because it helps future-proof your company in two ways:
- It allows you to reap the benefits of paperless work now
- It ensures you are prepared for when a rollout of paperless practices when they do occur for your partners and suppliers.
Other benefits of going paperless include reduced use of resources and associated costs through minimisation of paper; improved communication practices by adapting to newer and more efficient technology; better security of documentation (as highlighted by the above arguments for online faxing); and a boost to client trust through the adoption of modern organisational techniques.
Simply put, now is the right time to go paperless. Eventually, everyone will push for more digital practices, which means if you get a head start now, you’ll be ready for changes when they occur, making it far easier to adapt.
Going paperless involves a few different steps, including:
- Adapting to new software that digitises communication and document management — such as online faxing services
- The reduction of incoming paper files, like order forms and records, through liaising with clients and partners to create new digital processes
- The destruction of unnecessary paper documents and digital storage of required paper files and documentation.
Step Away from Interruptive Marketing
Any organisation that operates within the private market relies on one thing to ensure a future — growth.
Growth and development — be it through the attraction of new customers, clients or partners — allows your business to continue offering products and services. However, the way in which you should be looking to attract the individuals that enable growth is changing.
Interruptive marketing has become far less effective over recent years. This includes techniques like advertising, leaflets, sales calls, mail campaigns and talking to people on the street. Anything that you would consider ”traditional marketing”.
Instead, many organisations are moving towards inbound marketing— the idea that you acquire your consumers by having them come to you.
Search engines are the current king of lead generation —3.5 billion searches are made on Google each day. When people are looking for a new service or product, their primary method of search will be Google or similar platforms.
Future-proofing your business is about taking advantage of these platforms. Practices like search engine optimisation, inbound marketing campaigns, attraction of new customers, acquiring online reviews, social media engagement and other online practices get you noticed, bring in new clients and help you achieve a more stable future.