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Signs Your Business is Stuck in the Past

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

When your business is stuck in the past, it’s going to derail growth. You aren’t going to be able to keep up competitively, nor will you be able to innovate. 

So how do you know you’re stuck in the past or at least not keeping up with the current environment?

The following are signs and things to watch for. 

1) You Use a Lot of Paper

This sounds simple, but if your business is still using a lot of paper to do things, you might need an update. For example, paperless AP lets you streamline your accounts payable, automate simple tasks, reduce human error and operate more efficiently. 

Even with the advantages of going paperless in your workflows and processes, you may not have made the investment to actually make it happen yet. 

When you’re relying on paper and hard copies, along with coming off as being stuck in the past, there are a lot of other issues that can arise. The more times a document changes hands, the more likely it is to get lost. 

If you face a disaster like a fire or a flood and everything is stored in traditional files, you’re going to face a difficult recovery. 

You’re also more likely to be the victim of fraud from within if you have a lot of paper-based processes. 

The closer you can move to being entirely paperless, the more modern, agile, and efficient your business is likely to be.

2) Cybersecurity Issues

For years, even while the threats against them were rising, it was difficult for small businesses to grasp that they were actually a prime target for cyber threats. Small businesses don’t have the security measures in place of large organizations, and they’re easy to infiltrate. 

If that sounds like you, and you’re regularly dealing with cybersecurity challenges, you may need to future-proof your business and start investing in better protection. 

You need to regularly upgrade your security and fix any holes. 

Also, the more outdated technology you use and the longer you go without replacing it, the greater the risk. 

Think about how often you’re dealing with viruses or paying an IT services provider to fix an issue, and consider whether that could be indicative of a larger issue. 

Similarly, are your employees dealing with a lot of downtime because of technology issues?

Are your systems crashing or freezing often?

This can also point to old technology that needs to be updated. 

3) You’re Not Using the Cloud

In many ways, the use of the cloud can relate back to what’s already been touched on as far as signs your business is outdated. 

Cloud technology is the way of the future, and it allows you to keep backups on remote servers. You don’t have to worry about your files being destroyed if there’s a disaster, and your employees can work from anywhere but still have access to what they need. 

You’re saving on hardware and other dedicated resources, and you just have a more flexible business when you rely on the cloud. 

There are so many ways to integrate cloud-based technology into your business, so start with your biggest needs first and go from there. 

4) You’re Not Investing in Training and Development

Training and development aren’t buzzwords. They should be very real priorities for a successful, competitive business. 

Your employees are your greatest and also most expensive resource, so if you aren’t behaving as such, it’s time to modernize. This is especially relevant as many businesses are having a tough time hiring employees in the wake of COVID-19, even with unemployment levels remaining high. 

When you take the time to train and develop your employees, they’re learning modern skills. They’re then able to bring more to the table, plus you can reduce turnover because your employees will feel like you’re investing in them. 

5) You’re Not Using Analytics

If you want it, you, as someone running a business, have access to more data than ever before

You do have to not only know how to collect this data but also how to turn it into something actionable. 

When you find a way to collect data and then analyze it, you’re going to be able to fuel a much stronger business overall. It’s worthwhile to make this a priority right now. You can take your data and build marketing campaigns, introduce new products, make better hiring decisions, and more. If that’s not something you’re doing, you will end up falling behind your competitors sooner rather than later.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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