As a small business, you can make reasonable predictions about the future, but those “guesses” are never 100% certain. A pandemic or large event like the Great Resignation might throw off your forecasts and your future plans. That’s why it’s important to future-proof your business—so you’re ready to grow and scale, but with the flexibility to pivot if needed.
What Is Future-Proofing Your Business?
The phrase “future proofing” can seem vague, and so you might wonder: what does that mean? It’s a good question, and one worth asking, because the answer will shape your strategy and the actions you take to get prepared for what lies ahead.
Future-proofing is about differentiation and creating unique value for your customers. Because after all, that’s what helps you stand out and fuels growth. But it’s also about the technology and infrastructure that you adopt to support that future growth, so you can easily scale into the future.
Why Future-Proof Your Small Business?
The pandemic sped up digital transformation by several years, forcing companies to adapt and make changes–fast.1 Businesses that had little online presence needed to ramp up quickly to serve customers beyond face-to-face transactions. And employees needed tools to work remotely.
By future-proofing your business, you’re strategically putting in place the tools and infrastructure you need to support growth and change. In short, you’re building a foundation that will:
Support a Growing Workforce
Research suggests the pandemic created a small-business boom.2 And as your small business grows, you need to easily scale from five to 15 to 50 employees and beyond. Future-proofing can help support expansion, so regardless of how fast you grow, you have the infrastructure in place to help avoid the typical “growing pains.”
Set You Up to Easily Scale
As your team grows, you need tools that support that growth instead of slowing it down. Future-proofing helps you solve for problems that get in the way of growth, like unexpected device slowdowns or inadequate collaboration tools. You can scale faster and support employees who need to keep up with growing workloads, and do so securely.
Promote Sharing and Collaboration
The pandemic normalized remote work, with over one-fourth of U.S. employees still working remote post-pandemic.3 With this trend only expected to grow, small businesses can get prepared for the future with tools that improve sharing and collaboration capabilities. So regardless of when, where, and how employees work, they can stay productive and engaged.
How to Future-Proof Your Small Business
Future-proofing your small business can seem like a large task. But here’s the thing: You don’t need to go it alone. Think partners and teams, and how you can join forces with new resources and tools to help grow your business.
When it comes to technology, for example, you might start by managing IT yourself. But as you grow, you might look to an IT partner to support that expansion. Here are a few more ideas to consider.
Use Tools That Support Business Expansion
Customer expectations are constantly changing, but one thing that customers continue to want is speed. They want their products, services, and company interactions to be faster and more connected. You can support this demand by equipping your team with tools that improve productivity. For example, devices built with more powerful processors help speed up tasks, and they support workers in their efforts to get more done.
Improve Employee Connectivity
With so many employees working remotely, how they connect and how quickly they connect is important to supporting growth. Select tools that improve connectivity, like the Intel vPro platform. The platform comes with Intel® Wi-Fi 6/6E (Gig+) and is built with Wi-Fi technologies for videoconferencing in a business environment, supporting faster remote connectivity.
Balance Engagement with Security
Employee engagement is a challenge, with a recent survey finding that only 36% of workers are engaged at work.4 Support improved engagement with tools that help workers connect and collaborate easier.
Consider technology that strikes a balance between engagement and security. Tools designed to protect workers regardless of physical location support remote workers with staying engaged but do so securely.
Technology That Supports Growth
Technology is an important part of future-proofing your small business. But knowing exactly what tools are right for you can be more challenging. As you narrow down your options, consider tech that will help your team stay productive, connected, and secure, including:
Intel vPro® Essentials
As your small business grows, you need technology that supports you with scaling up quickly, so you can capture new opportunities. Consider devices with Intel vPro® Essentials, which give you the power, flexibility, and built-in security to keep your business productive—and help you to easily scale.
With more of your workers on the go, it’s not always easy to keep up with device updates. Remote management allows you to keep workers connected, productive, and secure — regardless of physical location. It works by connecting a “host” computer to all devices, so that you can finish updates, run necessary patches, and more, but handle those tasks remotely.
When you’re growing fast, the last thing you want is productivity slowdowns. But that’s a real risk when technology doesn’t support the pace of workers. One study found that computers five or more years old contribute to a 29% decrease in worker productivity.5
Business-class PCs support employees with faster processing power, so they can multitask and get the work done faster.
You work hard to earn your customers’ trust, and a large part of keeping that trust is future-proofing not only your technology, but also your security.
Protecting your data with software is a good start, but don’t stop there. Hardware-based security helps protect PCs below the operating system and provides built-in advanced threat detection out of the box, to help keep your business safe and support growth.
How Intel Can Help Future-Proof Your Business
As your small business changes and grows, technology built with the future in mind can help you prepare. Intel vPro Essentials helps you pivot, scale, and capture new opportunities—so you’re ready for the future.
It offers the most up-to-date high-performance features for collaboration, so no matter where your employees work, the technology supports them, and does so securely.