2020 was quite a year for the business world. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there were challenges for many small businesses that were unimaginable for many people in 2019. As businesses prepare for 2021, they need to be ready for the new challenges and the high uncertainty that will continue even as the public health crisis improves. The following are six ways that you can help your business to succeed.
1) Focus on What You Can Control
There are lots of factors that are out of your control in 2021. For example, if the pandemic worsens or doesn’t improve quickly enough with vaccines, there may be additional lockdowns or other regulations. These may happen somewhat suddenly. You cannot control whether those regulations are put in place.
Additionally, you cannot know how quickly consumer confidence is going to get back to normal. It may take a while. Focus on the factors that you can control. For example, you can prepare your business to be ready for interruptions.
2) Build Your Plans To Account for Uncertainty and Delays
As you are planning out your strategy for 2021, think about the possible delays that may happen. For example, your supplier may be out of stock for a while. Additionally, you may have difficulty with shipping products due to increased demand.
Try to make your plans as tolerant of uncertainty as possible. The more you are ready for things to be delayed or not happen as expected, the stronger your business will be. Don’t plan on things working out perfectly in 2021.
3) Build Resilient Operations
In a similar vein, it is a smart idea to have a strong business continuity plan. Your operations should be resilient, so you can keep moving forward even if there are further business disruptions.
For more organizations, this means having the right IT infrastructure. With solid managed IT services, you can set up tools like a VPN, video conferencing and digital project management. Look for ways to set your people up so they can work from anywhere. The more flexible your operations, the better off you will be if something unexpected happens.
4) Connect With Your Customers
Your customers may be struggling with the challenges of 2020 and the uncertainty of 2021 also. So, take some time to connect with them and understand where they are. You may learn ways that you can add value for your customers while increasing your business’s success.
For example, working with a lender to offer financing options may be a good choice. Alternatively, you may realize that your customers want to make smaller “just-in-time” orders. Supporting this could help increase their loyalty and your revenue.
5) Give Yourself Financial Flexibility
It is very helpful to have some extra financial resources for 2021. Consider building up a strong war chest than you would normally maintain. Ideally, you should have cash on hand to operate for at least a few months with minimal revenue.
Better yet, get a line of credit. This can give you the working capital buffer you need to be ready for anything. If you build up your cash and get a line of credit, you will be prepared for 2021 even if it turns out to be a repeat of 2020.
6) Learn To Live With the Uncertainty
To a certain extent, building your business during 2021 is going to require mental resilience. You need to be prepared for the fact that it has been a bumpy year and that 20201 may be bumpy too. When you are unprepared for the uncertainty, it is more likely to catch you off guard.
Additionally, be ready for the fact that your team members and customers may remain uncomfortable for a while. People are scared about both the disease and the uncertainty. So, be ready for them to be a little off-kilter.
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