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5 Ways to Futureproof Your Online Business in the Age of AI


Photo by Mitchell Luo on unsplash.com


“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

The above quote, also known as Amara’s law, is one of my favorite tech-related quotes. Amara’s law reminds us to consider the broader context and timeline when predicting technological advancements, something that especially applies in the age of AI. 


Sure, there are probably some areas where AI is massively overhyped - but underneath the surface, there are real fundamental changes to come in all areas of society in the long run, that we cannot fully grasp yet. A great example of Amara’s law in action is the evolution of the Internet. In the early days, many people didn't grasp the full potential of the internet (except for maybe Bill Gates). Today, the internet has revolutionized communication, business, and almost every aspect of our lives. 


Future-proofing your online business in an uncertain marketplace 

In an era where AI reshapes industries, future-proofing your online business is essential. But when it comes to AI, the fact is, that no one knows the magnitude of its impact just yet, we can only make educated guesses. The key to future-proofing your online business in an uncertain marketplace is to regularly assess the changing digital landscape, and anticipate potential future changes in order to minimize their impact on your business. You want to make sure you are focused on where the puck is going, instead of where the puck has been (to use a famous hockey analogy). 


This involves considering future trends, and potential risks, and developing strategies and solutions to mitigate them. And since things are changing fast, this is an exercise that needs to be done often. Here are five ways to futureproof your online business – that I recommend doing on a regular basis:


1 Perform a SWOT analysis of your online business

A SWOT analysis is a technique used to identify your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are usually considered internal, while opportunities and threats are usually considered external, as illustrated in the matrix below. By performing a SWOT analysis with the changing digital landscape in mind, you can develop a clearer understanding of the future of your business, make informed decisions, and strategically steer your business toward long-term success and adaptability in a dynamic market. Learn more about how to do a SWOT analysis for your business. 


Image source: Xhienne -SWOT pt.svg, CC BY-SA 2.5


2 Assess AI's Impact on Your Niche

Understanding how AI can specifically affect your field is crucial. Whether you're a copywriter, graphic designer, or email marketing strategist, AI might offer new tools for efficiency and creativity or pose threats like market saturation with AI-generated solutions. Stay informed about AI developments within your niche by following industry leaders and being active in online communities such as Facebook Groups and Slack Channels.


3 Invest in Upskilling

Thanks to AI tools we can now automate many routine tasks, but the flipside of this is that AI tools will also create demand for more advanced skills. Focus on cultivating areas that AI cannot easily replicate, such as creative ideation, strategic thinking, and personal client relationships. Also consider investing in courses or resources that enhance your proficiency with AI tools (for example best practice prompting), that help you understand the fundamentals of AI as well as ethics and compliance within AI (a field that is evolving in real-time).


4 Leverage AI Tools Strategically

By leveraging the right AI tools in your business, you can automate many administrative tasks, enhance creative processes, optimize content strategies, and more. Evaluate tools that align with your business goals and can provide a measurable ROI. So how do you decide what tasks to outsource to AI? Read my 9 tips for outsourcing tasks to AI tools from a previous newsletter. If you need inspiration for which AI tools to look into, check out my curated list of top 25 AI marketing tools - that can actually save you time and energy. 


5 Cultivate an Innovative Mindset

As a freelancer or small business owner, you have a huge advantage compared to agencies and bigger companies when it comes to flexibility and adaptability. Make sure to leverage these assets by embracing an innovative mindset in your business. Set aside time for experimentation with new tools and technologies. Network with other professionals in your field to exchange ideas and explore collaborative opportunities that can expose you to new approaches and technologies.


By proactively adapting to AI on a regular basis, you can not only futureproof your business but also position yourself to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities of AI. 


💬 How are you adapting to the changing digital landscape in your business? Leave a comment and let me know! 


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