Despite its tremendous impact on businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses and flaws in some business strategies and models. Due to inefficient fund management and unexploited opportunities, companies needed resilient innovations to topple their numerous setbacks in the wake of the pandemic.
With fresh-faced managers leading significant projects to bank tellers becoming fiscal advisors, COVID-19 has called for new strategies to align with new goals. These business planning tips should prepare your small business for what’s ahead.
The pandemic’s fallout has left many businesses battling reduced revenues amid increased costs and a volatile economic climate. When developing a plan, the company needs to focus on growth instead of just surviving. An excellent financial plan should help you manage costs while spending on activities to influence customer experience. Look out for those business items that may likely take a hit in the future and plan against them should it happen. For instance, do you have your teams working with old resources like hardware, software, or outmoded equipment affecting customer experience? Then it’s time to roll out a plan to have it replaced. Being proactive means thinking ahead instead of just focusing on the present.
Supply Chain Diversification
You can set up your business for the worst-case scenario, yet you probably depend on others who may suffer severe hits. Several companies suddenly got slowed down this year due to partners failing to deliver vital goods and services required – a supply chain is just as reliable as its weak link. A survey proposed that 73% of businesses suffered adverse supply chain challenges due to the pandemic. As opposed to solely relying on a single supplier for each service, build an extensive supplier base. This system will help you avoid holdups when a solitary business is struggling and make you significantly more versatile for the economic atmosphere.
Additionally, ensure to network more with local suppliers to curb transportation issues as it happened in 2020. Per the current climate, it is risky to over-rely on international suppliers to meet increasing client demands.
Make an Emergency Fund
Companies with a better outlook heading into 2020 were prepared financially for the chaos. Although they didn’t have the foggiest idea of the crisis or when it would hit, they appreciated the need to anticipate anything that may happen rather than being caught off-guard by an emergency. It is smart to compute how much you need to remain operational even without a year’s worth of revenue. The emergency fund would be a large sum of cash, so why not gradually build it? Bank a modest sum of your money regularly and set attainable objectives for yourself.
An entire year is your target, but just one month of funds could differentiate between your business’ survival and bankruptcy during an economic predicament. Fortunately, valuation calculators can help add up everything your business owns and understand its true worth to begin.
Adjust Business Goals
The ever-changing economic atmosphere is an excellent reason to take a pause, plan, and re-strategize. Regardless of your business size, each organization should invest time and effort to plan and adjust set objectives. Business objectives that are thoroughly examined serve as a success guide. However, it makes room to assess how management is getting the job done, the challenges in that period, and what needs to be changed. For instance, with the pandemic taking a hit in the hospitality industry, management and employees may decide SMART objectives for pulling and holding customers.
Reinforce Your Business Culture
The present business climate is the worst period to notice that your workers are feeling overworked and undervalued. Ultimately, you will need to demand more from them, so it is essential to create an environment where they are more open to put in that extra shift. Set aside the effort to engage your team and appreciate their expectation from you as their employer. You should compensate for incredible performance with something deemed valuable by an employee. While it could be money, focus on providing flexible working hours, skill training, or other benefits. More so, if it becomes practical to reduce staff numbers to strengthen your business financial core, follow these tips to get results even from the smallest of teams;
- Plan like a start-up business
- Strategize based on your team strength
- Lead your team by trusting them
- Foster team cooperation to achieve business objectives
- Acknowledge team effort through feedback and compensation.
Review Your Online Presence
According to statistics, 1.79 billion made purchases online in 2019, and the number is expected to hit 2.14 billion by 2021. What is a better time to enhance your business’ digital presence than now? The sudden digital trend has been a concern for many small business owners who have treated their online operations as an afterthought. Business digital development has been stalled due to the lack of support, while small businesses center operations around physical space. However, before you join the digital train, take a look at ways you are already present and figure out what is functioning well for your business in general. In so doing, you can strategize to cut back on unnecessary costs and meet your customers’ specific digital demands.
Strike a Balance Between Generosity and Strategy
When marketing strategies do not yield expected results as quickly as you may want, business owners are bound to change them. As practical as this approach may be, it is crucial to emphasize customer loyalty rather than profit. Studies have shown that an existing customer is 60-70% more likely to make a purchase compared to 5-20% for new customers. Focusing on providing for your customer’s specific needs is essential to winning their loyalty and for business sustainability. When customers feel like you care about their wellbeing, particularly in such a challenging period, they will feel a sense of belonging and remain part of your business even post-pandemic.
Although nobody can predict what happens next, it is best to be proactive with your business planning. With these tips, you can dig out some lessons from the previous year and jet off 2021 on a flyer. Regardless of what the year brings, you are taking a crucial step towards a successful business year.