Can Futureproofing Help Your Business to Survive?

Aug. 2, 2021

For those reading our magazine, congratulations. It means your locksmith business survived the past 16 months. The COVID-19 crisis altered business operations for many companies across the security spectrum, forcing them to adapt to new challenges.

Although security remains job one for your business, pushing safety and health options to clients is an excellent opportunity to upsell services, such as touchless or frictionless access control and secured entrances.

This begs the question: Can you futureproof your business and increase the chances of business survival when the next crisis hits? The definition of futureproofing is the process of anticipating the future and developing methods to minimize potential shocks and stresses. The strategy is simply to establish a feasible process that’s long on tangibles and avoids quick fixes, and then trust in that process and innovate as you go.

Henry Ford often is cited as a prime example of a businessman who embraced the concept of futureproofing. Ford ignored many of his partners and even potential clients in laying the foundation for the first mass-market automobile, the Model T. The following quote nicely sums up his assessment of his company’s future: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

For Ford, taking the concepts of the manufacturing assembly line and interchangeable parts revolutionized automaking and made his product affordable. He was able to minimize the effect of the fading age of horse-drawn carriages and forge his own future.

The same can be done for your locksmith or security business. Building a structured process as your business framework is your futureproofing guarantee.

The process has to begin with a reality check. If you don’t understand your business, where it stands and where it has to go, you can’t move into the future.

When we make our yearly business plan for Locksmith Ledger, we always look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of our business (a SWOT analysis). We also build strategies on, for example, how we can use our strengths to capitalize on opportunities. This is a good place to start with your locksmith shop.

Next, we have to understand “where” we want to go before we get into “solution mode.” Having set processes to assist in developing the vision can be helpful.

When Henry Ford made inexpensive, reliable cars, people said, “Nah. What’s wrong with a horse?” He gambled on his concept, and it worked.

Futureproofing is about staying a step or two ahead not only of your competitors, but also your customers. Your customers can’t always tell you what they want; you have to anticipate it. Seize upon the imagination of your staff and the experience you have gained in the security industry to make the future work for you.