For anyone who hasn’t already guessed it, 2021 is going to be a very different and difficult year for many businesses, especially for small businesses and those of you who are self-employed.
With the coronavirus pandemic still in full swing and a new presidential term due to start at the end of January, things aren’t really looking up from the chaos of this last year.
Looking Ahead to 2021
As the saying goes, “things can only get better,” and for some, that might be the one thing you need to keep hold of as we go into a new year and a new financial quarter. As we head towards Easter, the COVID-19 vaccine is the glimmering ray of sunshine we’ve all been looking for, and hopefully, it will mean a return to something of normality for as many people as possible.
That’s not to downplay the suffering that this past year has brought, but with a way out visible, your business needs to be ready to weather the major storms and the dust bowls that are sure to follow hot on 2020’s heels.
What Can You Do?
We’ve seen a huge change in the way consumers interact with businesses this year, from both necessity and ease of use. More and more customers have come to terms with shopping online, and the rise of ‘virtual’ services and virtual classes has been enormous.
As a business owner, you need to be looking towards the future to see what the next move is going to be and making sure your business is as ready for it as possible.
Here are a few ways you can ensure that your business can survive as we head into 2021.
Speak To A Financial Advisor
Speaking with a financial advisor is possibly one of the most important things you can do right now to improve your business’s prospects for the coming few months.
It’s the job of a financial advisor to be on top of the current trends, news, and industry changes when it comes to finances. Your financial advisor will be able to take you through your business accounts, help you identify areas you can save money, and ensure that you are on the right track as we head into the new year.
An important note about financial advisors, it’s best to go with someone local to you, or at least an advisor with whom you can have a face to face chat (even virtually). If you’re looking for a financial advisor in Los Angeles, for example, go with a local, like Mike Ladge, that knows the current climate, your state’s laws, and who will be able to understand your business’s circumstances.
You’ve probably already flirted with the idea of going online with your business, but have you made the leap yet?
Until 2020 many businesses couldn’t see how they could move their business services online, but now we’re at the end of the year, there is now almost an assumption that you will have some online presence.
How you go online will depend entirely on your products and services. Some services must be done face to face. Take body piercing, for example, it’s very hard to pierce someone from behind a screen!
In that particular niche, though, jewelry sales can be done online, one-to-one advice on caring for your new piercing, and a client liaison can be a great way to keep the pennies coming in, even when the main arm of the business is out of action due to lockdowns.
Invest In Digital
Speaking of moving online, what does your digital strategy for 2021 look like? If you can’t answer this, then it is definitely time you spoke to a professional about how you can improve your online presence.
Building your online portfolio is a whole series of articles on its own, but in simple terms, make sure your social media accounts are being kept up to date, your website is fresh and mobile responsive, and now might be a great time to consider how you can expand your income from advertising, affiliates, sponsorships, and info products.
The online world really is your oyster.
Build Up An Emergency Pot
Has 2020 got you nervous about your business’s financial situation? You’re definitely not alone there. Some of the biggest companies in the world faced financial ruin this year, and many didn’t survive.
There are many reasons why a business can’t weather a storm, be it too stuck in their ways, poor planning, or the inability to be able to pivot to a new way of working.
With a little pot of emergency funds set aside, you can help to create a little buffer zone for your business to keep you going. It doesn’t need to be much, just enough to cover the essentials for a few weeks should business be interrupted, and you can build your pot up over time too.
Having a little set aside will definitely help with the uncertainty as we go forward.
Be Prepared To Flip
How can you flip your business so that it works in 2021? What glaring holes have you seen in your approach to business that you can address and improve on in the coming years?
Businesses that stand still and don’t move with the times will find it very hard to survive; even some of the top companies in the world have only got a five-year lifespan.
The idea of flipping or pivoting a business is to see how you can expand on your idea to cushion yourself against the risk of major changes.
We’ve already mentioned investing in your digital strategy and moving online, but how else can you ensure your business is future proof? Can you add different services? Are you able to run a course or host workshops (in person or online) to showcase your business, services, or products?
Thinking of the bigger picture, does something in your industry need to change? Can you be the next disrupter? There’s only one way to find out.