Whether you already own your own business, or you are thinking of starting a business this year, there are lots of things you need to keep in mind to avoid pitfalls. Starting or running a small business is not easy at the best of times, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more difficult these days. But do not let this put you off. While there may be a few challenges to overcome, there will also be several opportunities too. In fact, evidence suggests that 2021 will be a great year to start a business.
So, how do you make your business a success in 2021? If we look at research and evidence over the past year, several trends separate successful businesses from less successful ones. Central to any success story is the choices we make at important points of transitioning. With so much uncertainty ahead, the lessons learned from these rivalries are more relevant than ever. Here are some of the changes businesses can make to move from surviving in 2021 to thriving instead:
1) Embrace Change
Lots of us find change unsettling, but it is constant for small-business owners. And, thanks to the pandemic, change is happening at a frightening speed. This means that it is important that businesses learn to embrace and stay ahead of the changes. They must not simply treat the symptoms of the change – they must treat the cause of them too. This will help you to remain successful in 2021.
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2) Work Smarter, Not Harder
Running a business can be difficult at times. However, did you realise that you do not have to work hard to run a successful business? Research suggests that working smarter is much more beneficial to a business than working hard. Working smarter is all about using the talents of your employees and collaborating with them. Businesses that work smart can increase their income using the resources they already have.
3) Look Out for New Trends
2021 is likely to be a year of change. Businesses need to keep a look out for new trends that are appropriate to their business. Take contactless delivery and collection as an example. While hiring additional drivers may increase the labor costs in your business, the alternative is to lose customers who want a contact-free retail experience.
Another example is remote work. If your competitors decided to get rid of their offices but your company did not, then your company will be at a competitive disadvantage. And it is not just big-picture trends that you need to be aware of either. Microtrends are also extremely important.
4) Maintain a Safe Environment
During the first few months of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to close their doors completely or limit the services they offered. Since then, restrictions have varied hugely, making it hard for business owners to keep up.
In 2021, business owners should plan for the worst-case scenario. They will need to consider all the guidelines for operating a business during a pandemic. By creating a safe environment for customers and employees, your business is more likely to remain open.
5) Be Optimistic About the Future
Even though we do not know what the future holds for us, it is important not to lose faith. Throughout the pandemic, lots of small businesses have demonstrated determination and resilience to create jobs, serve their customers, and engage with their communities.
Business owners need to start looking at how they can improve their business to prepare for a rebound in 2021. Look to see if there are any opportunities available to you that you can take advantage of. For example, you may choose to offer a new service to your customers, or you may want to expand your business to a new location. Establishing a plan now can help to set your business up for success when we get back to some sort of normality.
6) Be Resilient
While the economy may be starting to recover, uncertainty remains. Spending large amounts of money in 2021 will continue to be a risk until the Covid-19 pandemic is over or under control.
Businesses should look at their expected revenue. They can use this data to forecast sales over the next few months. They should also make sure they keep enough money aside for necessary expenses, such as rental of business premises, payroll, and payments on loans.
7) Get to Know Your Employees
The pandemic has not just hit business owners hard; it hit their employees hard too. Business owners should spend some time talking to their employees and getting to know them. Find out what makes your employees feel valued at work. Evidence suggests that nearly 8 in 10 people leave a job because they feel underappreciated. After a tough year, your employees need to know that you value their hard work.
2020 was a year of survival for many businesses. Not only were normal business operations disrupted, but economic growth was impacted all over the world. While it is true that some companies thrived during this period, others were left struggling to survive. Businesses that wanted to remain successful have had to adapt to new ways of working and overcome a range of issues. Thanks to this, many of them have come out of 2020 with increased resilience, new strategies, and a new outlook for their business.
2021 is likely to be a year of growth, potential, and renewal for business owners. As customer needs continue to change, business owners are uniquely placed to offer more value than ever before at a time when customers need it most. If you want to make your business a success in 2021, then follow our advice above.