How to Future-Proof Your Business

May 19, 2020
Team discussing how to future-proof their business
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“The only thing we know to be constant is change.”

Todd Sorrel, co-founder of online payments company ePayPolicy, said this mantra guides him as copes with the present and plans for the future.

For many tech companies navigating these difficult times, the future could hold wins like developing an industry-leading solution or landing a massive client. But the unknown could also be laden with challenges beyond our current global health crisis and economic downturn. Think: natural disasters, data breaches, or even a PR fiasco. 

That’s why companies need to have contingency plans and tools in place to brace for the unknown. For many Austin companies, future-proofing their businesses prior to COVID-19 meant building remote-friendly infrastructure so that teams could remain efficient from any location.

By implementing cloud storage, pivoting business strategies and changing communication styles, the following companies adjusted to the current pandemic. But it wouldn’t have been possible without ample preparation. 

 

How did your team at ePayPolicy future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?

Our philosophy has always been to work smarter not harder. By implementing this concept into our growth strategy, our managers and teams have built out processes that naturally future-proof our business. Implementing cloud storage, digital project management tools and on-the-go communication software are all things we’ve relied on and have allowed us to make a smooth transition to working remotely. 

We also believe in establishing clear, cross-team goals that the whole company can get behind. This idea allowed us to keep everyone aligned and informed on company goals while we aren’t physically together. We have regular all-hands meetings via video conference to make sure that every employee feels heard and part of the process. 

We’ve been able to bring on new employees and train them successfully.”

 

How is that strategy paying off for you now?

We’ve been remote for almost two months and our teams continue to hit their goals. Morale is still strong. We continued to grow our team and went from 14 team members at the beginning of the year to 25. We’ve had to adjust our training model since going remote, but with video conferencing and instant messaging, we’ve been able to bring on new employees and train them successfully. 

 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from this experience?

Be adaptable and trust employees to be self-sufficient. We have always had a culture of giving our team members big tasks and trusting them to execute. Now we get to watch each other grow and succeed through these unusual times. Moving forward, we’ll continue to adjust our strategy as needed, as the only thing we know to be constant is change. 

 

Uri Barasch
Head of Adia U.S.

How did your team at Adia future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?

We created a fully digital on-demand staffing marketplace that works remotely and provides accessibility to jobs and talent. Our overall strategy is based on this core principle, and we believe that a zero-touch experience is not only providing a positive experience to our workers and clients right now, but that it’s going to set us up for success in the future.

We managed to quickly transition and actually expand our footprint across the U.S.”

 

How is that strategy paying off for you now? 

While we initially suffered from the lockdowns and the economic downturn, we managed to quickly transition and actually expand our footprint across the U.S. While this is a great short-term result, I think the long-term implications to our business are even greater. 

Our goal is to aid an industry that traditionally relies heavily on face-to-face interactions and slow processes. I believe that COVID-19 will speed up the process of educating businesses and professionals that the future of the contingent workforce industry is an on-demand staffing model that leverages technology to provide an efficient experience and delivery.

 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from this experience?

We initially underestimated the speed and the magnitude of the crisis. However, we were not only able to pivot but transition into new markets and industries. We changed our approach to expand our business from a few cities to being active throughout the U.S., which helped thousands of people find jobs during this crisis. This feat was only possible thanks to the team we put together over the past two years, and the culture we fostered. I am impressed by team members being proactive and taking on additional responsibilities to make this giant effort work successfully. 

 

How did your team at U.S. Money Reserve future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?

We planned for the possibility of having a remote workforce. This shift relies on having a robust information technology and services division already in place in order to ease a massive shift in business operations.

There are two parts to our organization: sales and administration. Our admin team was readily able to work from home. They routinely engage in online meetings and digital conferencing. However, transitioning sales to remote work has been a larger challenge. Instead of having a large team under one roof, sales is now dispersed into micro-teams spread across multiple locations. The key to keeping them running as smoothly as possible has been ensuring that all the technology remains the same regardless of the physical environment.

Above all, there has to be constant communication across departments and amongst individuals. It’s important to me to make sure that dialogue continues on a daily basis, whether we are in one big setting or working in remote locations.

We planned for the possibility of having a remote workforce.” 

 

How is that strategy paying off for you now?

We have been able to keep our employees safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. Through our micro-teams, our employees feel confident about working because they aren’t going into a large office space or public building. Everyone feels safe and that their mental well-being is being taken care of in their respective environments.

I’m seeing more communication than ever before between departments and staff members. And we’ve been able to not only maintain, but grow our business. We’re still accomplishing the initiatives we set forth at the beginning of the year and haven’t had to take a step back. We’re fortunate to be able to continue our business operations when so many of us know people who are losing their jobs or have loved ones getting sick. Our remote shift created an environment where we can still prosper and maintain our quality of life the best we can.

 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from this experience?

As close as I think we are as an organization and as strong as we are at communicating, we can always do better. The overall performance of our departments and employees has benefited from the increased individual attention employees receive on smaller teams. So when we come back together, we’re going to be stronger. 

On the sales side, I learned that our micro-teams have been significantly beneficial. Agents receive even more individualized attention, especially since the intimidation of being in a large room has subsided. In these smaller environments, agents are able to grow and become even more secure and confident in their roles. Building this confidence is going to help prepare us for the future. When we do return to working as a larger group within a single environment, our agents will be even better than before and able to share what they’ve learned.

 

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