So whether you’re a business owner, manager or employee, you’ll find the pace of change is increasing rapidly and at times can be challenging. Change is driven by competition, due to changing consumer purchasing habits, new technology and also the demands of the political landscape nationally and globally.

Changing face of retirement. We are all living longer and therefore likely having to work well past the age our parents retired. UK state pension’s ages are between 65 and 67 but proposed to be 68 by 2037!

Business life cycles are continually reducing, in the late 60’s and 70’s corporations lasted 85 years, today the average US corporation last 13 years before takeover failure. Re-employment rates, a recent report stated that between the age of 50 - 64 the chances of re-employment diminish, (in the last year 45.4% lost a job as opposed to 30.5% finding work within this age group) so it important to develop new skills to ensure you have the capabilities to either stay employed or find new opportunities.

We are also seeing a large proportion now looking to move out of retirement into employment to cover basic living costs.

The increasing challenge is that 30% of the jobs in 10 years’ time haven’t even been invented yet!

So unless you are prepared to make changes to your own circumstances and persona, through increasing your knowledge, adding new skills, along with being acutely aware of your own personal and business brand, you may just end up being left behind on the scrap heap!.

Change starts with you!

Below are some areas I believe we can all work on and implement to ensure we survive and prosper in later life. It’s about Future proofing yourself.

1. Consider your current role If you’re a business owner, ask yourself, how long can you continue working the long hours with the demands and stress with having all that responsibility? Have you planned to work till your 40, 50 or even past 60? Unless you have secured a sizeable pension pot or passive income streams its likely to be well past the latter.


  • Do you have you got an exit strategy, not necessary to sell the business, but hand the company over to the children, family or through management buyout? It’s never too early to plan.
  • Do you have a succession plan, and have you chosen your replacement and is there a transition and hand over, programme in place?

I meet many business owners in their 60’s and older who are still working every hour possible. It’s normally when there is a health scare that realisation hits, “we have no alternative plan”.

And in most cases there is no one with the experience and knowledge in the business to step into the owners shoes. So make sure you don’t get caught in the business owner’s trap!

2. Set a goal Have a plan with clear objectives, share these plans with your family and staff and then spend your time passing on your knowledge and expertise to the future leader/s of your business. The best leaders are the ones whose business continues to prosper once they have left the business. Example being Steve Jobs, Apple, who had to leave the business due to illness.

What do you want your legacy to be?

3. Ensure job fit and person fit!

Whether you own or manage a business, make sure you and your team of people are capable of doing their job well but live and breathe your values and fully understand the purpose of “why we do what we do!” Leading and having a high performing team will enable your business to continue to prosper whether you are there or not!

4. Get yourself out there

Free up your time so you can go out and meet not just existing customers, but new customers, suppliers and even competitors to learn about the future demands within your industry sector. Ideally within a changing market you want to be either ahead of the curve or at least riding the wave rather than playing catch up. Most major business failures, (Woolworths, Kodak, BHS, and recently Staples) are due to the organisations being complacent and losing touch with the market and their changing customer buying habits lagging the market trends and then never catching up!

5. Don’t be scared to try out new things

From your new found desire to improve, consider learnings a new skill yourself, such as how to get the best out of social media or improving your LinkedIn profile. Pushing yourself further why not consider a leadership development programme or redesign your own job description. However ensure you invest in your businesses future too, particularly in your employee’s development, along with embracing and improving IT systems and increasing spend on research and development or branding for new products and services.

6. Finally – keep a track on things

Continually review and find out what works and what doesn’t. Share the results with your team and focus on continual improvements, no matter how small.

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves”. - Maltbie D. Babcock

If you are looking to grow your business, Business Doctors Cumbria offer a free business health check where we can help you to set a clear vision to understand the steps you need to take to fulfil your aspirations.

Contact Peter Fleming 0845 163 1490 or 07966 686112 or email .