The year 2020 has been an unpredictable one. The lockdowns, the political upheavals, the changes in work and family lifestyles, the economic uncertainties etc have made it a tumultuous year.
With Covid 19 still around, there are bound to be further lockdowns and market volatility in the coming year.
This makes planning for 2021 challenging.
The reality is that the business environment will be fluid. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have business expansion and make it your winning year.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be flexible when planning and also nimble enough to change plans when circumstances require.
Take advantage of the disruptions to re-evaluate your original business strategy and make adjustments to the new normal.
Complete Strategic Review
There is no use panicking in the face of uncertainty. Delve into deep into your business and have a keen understanding.
Don’t just look at your weaknesses and the threats in the economy. Also, identify your strengths and potential opportunities.
Be aware of the comparative advantages you have over your competition and exploit your potential.
As a leader, involve everyone in your team. They are the ones who have experience on the ground. Have them brainstorm.
Perhaps things can be done in a more efficient manner or new tasks and methods can be employed. Listen to their opinions and hear them out.
Your analysis should pinpoint areas where your business is struggling. It will also allow you to explore areas that could be extremely lucrative.
Remember, major disruption creates vast opportunities too!
Seeking the opinions of employees who are on ground could give you great returns.
The Only Certainty is Uncertainty
2021 will guarantee one thing – life from now on will not be like before the pandemic.
If you can’t embrace this fact, your competition definitely will.
Lifestyles and work have changed. Work from home has become widespread but people are still adjusting to it.
The way people work and play will never be the same again. Can your business take advantage of this?
For example, ecommerce businesses that have been focused on selling furniture for home workstations have been doing well. Similarly, communication software like Zoom have been making a killing during these Covid times.
Stay Tuned to Warnings & Trends
Trends can be positive or negative for your business.
Keep tract of local news and consumer trends. With the world trying to find its new equilibrium, there will be early warning signs of both.
Rising community infections could signal when the next lock down will be.
Have your Plan B ready and execute it when the time arises.
Keep your inventory low. Hording large amount of stock is highly risky when you do not know what the situation will be in a few weeks time. This is especially true if your product has a close use by date.
Brand Loyalty – Create Connections
Your customer is King.
Remind your customers that they are special to you – that yours is not a purely profit driven company.
Let them know you care.
Send them a thank you note for their support during these difficult times. Send them thoughtful gifts that will make this time easier for them.
Your customers will love the personal touch and be remember to your brand.
Do not forget your suppliers and other external partners. They support your business but they too are suffering as the economy resets itself.
As conditions have changed, many contracts would be outdated. Renegotiate the terms for mutual betterment.
Show kindness and work to help them sustain their businesses. They will reciprocate and do the same for you.
Building good relationships with your customers and partners will sustain your business and build brand recognition and loyalty.
Appreciate & Engage Your Team
Your staff is the backbone of your business. They support your entire setup.
Understand that they too are undergoing huge mental and emotional stress during these times of major adjustments. Be supportive.
Show appreciation and they will invest more in their tasks and your business.
Share your plans. Some might prefer routine over disruption but being able to anticipate what is coming will prevent the stress and shock of sudden change.
Preparation is crucial. Otherwise, you will run the risk of disorienting your team.
If business is war, you want to keep the focus, drive, morale and unity in your soldiers.
When you do so, they will fight for your business expansion and market dominance.
Mind Your Cash Flow
During uncertainty, cash is king.
Ensuring that you have a big buffer is important. So manage your cash flow well.
Have your accountant compare your actual net income and expenses with your planned estimates. Your analysis will help identify where you are over or underperforming.
Make the necessary changes and rebalance where necessary.
With the government’s various schemes to support businesses, see what you need to do to qualify for a grant, subsidy or low interest loan.
By taking advantage of them, you can create a cash buffer which you can use to not just ride out the storm but to take advantage of opportunities you have identified.
Prepare For Your Business Expansion 2021
Nobody knows for sure what will happen in the New Year but one thing is for certain; entrepreneurs, who plan ahead, anticipate change and react quickly to unexpected shocks will come out winners of this pandemic.
Startups which do so will ride out the storm and come out with a secure foothold in the market.
Older businesses that do that same will have greater market share and enjoy market dominance. They will have more market recognition and brand loyalty.
Covid 19 will pass eventually but prepare for an unpredictable and bumpy year ahead.
Keep a look out for what we’ve discussed, do the necessary and come out a winner! Should you like to discuss how you too can prepare your business for 2021, contact Blazing Conversions for a chat.