IS YOUR FRANCHISE FUTURE READY?
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The latest MYOB Future of Business report provides food for thought for businesses looking for long-term success
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MYOB can help you measure and manage everything from sales to payment times, stock control to forecasting
According to MYOB a host of technologies will transform commonly franchised business models
In a world where a robot can service an engine or change a tyre and a drone can deliver a coffee made by an automatic barista, what place is there today for a business that delivers any of these services?
According to the latest MYOB Future of Business Report, The Age of Change, 44 percent of local business operators believe the nature of their industry will be significantly changed by technology in the next 10 years. Just 14 percent of local business operators anticipate that technology-driven change won’t affect them at all over that period.
But although businesses are expecting technology-driven change to come quickly, it’s less clear how well-prepared they’ll be for it, says Simon Raik-Allen, MYOB’s Chief Technical Advisor and Futurist.
‘We’ve been living with the concept of constant change in business for more than two decades,’ Simon points out. ‘Businesses have – in the main – accepted that and can plan for it. What they may not be ready for is the next stage. Technology isn’t just about to disrupt certain industries. It is poised to change the way we perceive and interact with the world.’
According to MYOB’s research, 50 percent of operators in the business, professional and property sector and 47 percent in retail and hospitality expect to see major change in their industry over the next decade. What that change might look like, however, may surprise them.
‘Take, for example, the potential impact of just one rapidly advancing technology – holographic display,’ Simon says. ‘In just a few years, every light source in homes and offices could be a holographic projector, allowing us to work, shop or be entertained right from where we live.
‘Want to buy a new jacket? Any shop in the world could be projected into your living room, allowing you to browse the racks and even virtually ‘try on’ the clothes. Need to feel the fabric before making a decision? A drone will deliver a swatch through the drone-hatch in your roof (every home will have one) within minutes. Once you make your selection, another drone will deliver your new jacket to you in time for you to wear to your next meeting.
‘And when it comes time to sell your home – perhaps to upgrade to the new high-rise apartment that has just finished 3D printing in town – your virtual real estate agent can project into your house, along with clients from anywhere in the world.’
According to Simon, a host of technologies – from virtual currencies underwritten by block-chain agreements to automation, robotics and artificial intelligence – will transform the business models and types commonly franchised today.
‘In the next two decades, every business sector in existence today will be affected by disruption,’ he says. ‘But in every one of the industrial revolutions to date, the global economy has been driven forward to even greater prosperity and fuller employment.
‘Businesses that respond to change and adapt quickly will survive and thrive in a new environment with new opportunity. Those that lag behind will get absorbed and are eventually transformed by the wave of change around them.
‘Even though the details of the disruption each business will face is – as yet – unknown, the best predictor for long term success is the ability of a business operator to recognise the potential for change and move quickly to respond.’
MYOB suggests five key ways franchisors and franchisees can work together to start preparing their business now:
Change your mindset Look at the opportunities, rather than the barriers and costs, when it comes to innovation.
Imagine a different future Think about some of the things that might change in your industry, and imagine how you might respond to them.
Listen to new ideas Talk to a scientist, hire a grad, ask a teenager: looking at things from the outside and getting alternative perspectives can be extremely useful in not only identifying potential changes but also new concepts and opportunities that might let you lead disruption.
Be alert to the signs of change Technological disruption can seem to sweep into a business from nowhere. But there are always warning signs if you are prepared to look for them.
Create a dynamic business Once you have accepted that change is inevitable, it can have an enormously positive effect on your business. If things are always done in a certain way, it might be time to challenge the perceived wisdom and try a different approach. Bringing in fresh talent and new ideas can stimulate change. And investing in innovation can prepare you to move quickly when change arrives.
Lauren Taylor, MYOB’s Franchise Business Development Manager, says that franchises need to start now to make the most of future opportunities and threats. ‘Getting on top of the numbers throughout the franchise is a good starting point,’ she suggests. ‘MYOB can help you measure and manage everything from sales to payment times, stock control to forecasting. Call me now to find out how we can help prepare your franchise for the future.’
See this advertorial on page 55 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 2
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