2020 was one of the most challenging years on record for businesses in virtually every industry, with the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way consumers think about spending and professionals work. The truth is that we still have a long way to go before we get back to the “old normal” – but the virus has permanently changed the way we operate. Below, we’ve put together some changes your business should make to ensure its success this year…
Embrace remote working for the future
Most businesses had to adapt to remote working overnight, allowing staff to work from home as government lockdowns were imposed. But it’s important to see remote working not as a temporary solution, but a permanent change to your business. Think about the ways in which you can support your staff without having them in the office, and you could even think about downsizing your office space as a result. Employees will increasingly favour working from home, and as an employer, you must offer remote working as a permanent perk.
Outsource non-essential tasks to the pros
If your staff are spending their Friday afternoons scrubbing toilets or opening mail, you’re not running your business properly. Now is the time to review your current working arrangements and find tasks that can be outsourced to professionals – at a cheaper rate than doing it in house. Working with an FM provider, for instance, means commercial cleaning and security are managed by trained experts, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Think long-term with your marketing plan
Now is not the time to make rash decisions when it comes to your marketing strategy. As a business owner, it’s important to note that customers are looking for clarity and stability, and don’t want brands to make big changes to their branding or strategies. Identify what is and is not working, and see how you can hone in on those strategies in the year ahead. It’ll be much cheaper and less risky than trying to reinvent the wheel and starting from scratch.
Streamline without cutting corners
Identify cost-cutting opportunities this year so you can perform more efficiently and generate more profit from your services. It could be an opportunity to remove those nice-to-haves and instead focus on your core product offering instead. For example, do you really need to give the staff a free lunch every Friday, or can they make do with their own food? Small changes like this might seem trivial on their own, but quickly add up into huge company savings.
Prepare for the unexpected
Last year taught us that the world can be turned upside down at a moment’s notice, and the unfortunate truth is that not every business will survive. As a small business owner, you need to ensure that you have money set aside for every eventuality. For example, if you suddenly were forced to stop trading for six weeks due to illness, how would you pay the bills? Cutting back and building up an emergency fund will give your business more flexibility in the future.
Do you have any other strategies or ideas? Let us know and check back soon.