2021 finances got you staying up late at night? Well, come and take a walk back in time with us!
This won’t take long; we’re only going back a year to 2019. I’m sure it feels like a world away, but just imagine where you were then. Your small business was in the groove—running effectively, efficiently, and you had goals. Big ones! This was finally going to be the year you’d hire an assistant and invest in a scanner/printer duo that actually works. Those were the days, weren’t they?
Let’s step back into 2020 now. Listen, COVID-19 has made an impact on your business management, one way or another. Whether it’s having to work remotely, accommodating your business offerings, or investing in a smaller coffee maker, we’ve all had to make adjustments. However, this is not the time to freak out. It’s time to focus on ways to adapt to the new normal. Don’t worry, we’ll lead the way.
HERE’S THE PLAN-DEMIC
First of all, you’ll need to plan ahead for business recovery in 2021. Last January, no one expected to stay home for long periods, but here we are. Many companies have gone remote, or as restrictions have eased up, they have adapted to a hybrid mishmash of work from home and office days. The changes are going to keep coming, so you need to understand the COVID-19 impact on your business management.
Throughout 2020, businesses have had to continually adapt to keep afloat, and it’s brought a few things to the surface, especially as we turn to our 2021 finances. In addition to budgeting, you need to create an effective contingency plan. We all wish we could spend money like the ladies from Sex in the City, but we can’t be so impulsive, unlike them. The goal is to find some stable ground for the upcoming year and create some backup strategies.
Let’s start with identifying three areas pesky COVID may have endangered your business’s finance and management. By doing so, we can minimize potential risky scenarios to give your business a sense of security, as well as a head start on 2021 business recovery.
Better Budgets for Financial Recovery
We’d probably be right to bet that COVID had an effect on your money gains (or losses). If you’re feeling a little off about creating a financial recovery plan for 2021, you’re not alone. Either you’ve had a great year during the pandemic and feel tempted to keep things rolling along, or you’re budgeting with fear looming over you. The truth of the matter is you need to start with predicting your sales for 2021. Making realistic plans will ultimately impact your business management, which includes staffing, overhead, marketing plans, and happy hour expenditures. Pro tip: running your small business in 2021 without a budget puts you at a major disadvantage. Start here and start off strong.
Remote Access to Better Business
Similarly, COVID-19 has more than likely required your small business to go remote. The office is closed, and maybe, you’re not totally mad about it. You like staying at home in your cozy house slippers. Your company isn’t unique in this circumstance since it’s joined the new wave of business models created by the pandemic.
As difficult as it may have been, going remote can be a win-win for everyone. The company cuts costs on rent, utilities, and little espresso cups. Take comfort in the idea that business recovery means transitioning to remote methods in as many areas as possible. Take inventory of how your business can make the shift.
The Dream Team that Cares
Owning your own small business is already stressful. Add a pandemic, and anxieties are through the roof. Like many people, you and your team might be feeling the burnout. Pandemic fatigue is real, people. Now that we recognize the stress levels we’re under, think about how you can support your team to ensure confidence and stability.
This can be done by implementing initiatives so they can receive the resources they need. This might mean being flexible with days off, working remotely, providing free online gym memberships, or team socials. We all need a pick-me-up during these mentally and emotionally turbulent times. Be kind to one another.
SERVICE WITH AN E-SMILE
The landscape has changed, so let’s give your small business an easy update. People have been more cautious than ever about how they spend their money. This is no bueno for businesses, so we’ve got to think of ways to be more kind towards our clients. This means we need to handle our interactions with care.
Small Business Trends found that 35% of personal businesses have begun to offer online services since COVID. We’ve seen industry giants and small businesses alike pushing towards online consumerism. Even healthcare visits are conducted through video calls. Being mindful of different ways you can grow your small business can help you transition more successfully. It’s a fantastic way to boost those 2021 finances. Let’s take a deeper dive, shall we?
Novel (Not Coronavirus) Products
Explore different ways to expand your portfolio, whether products, services, or ways you offer them. Small businesses everywhere are getting smart in this new space we’re in. For example, if you’re a clothing boutique, how about coming out with a line of cute cotton masks or irresistible pajamas for those stay at home days (which is almost every day). Or, get on the sanitation bandwagon, providing your clients with contactless deliveries or services. Small adjustments can mean big business (and revenue).
Promos and Offers
Everyone’s competing for attention these days, so try running promotions or special offers. Here’s an example: Peloton is a workout-from-home company that offered a 90-day trial of its subscription-based app. This campaign met a COVID need, provided a monetary incentive to try (who doesn’t love free?) while connecting with customers through brand ethos. Not to mention, they are bound to hook some fitness junkies to the app. Utilizing an offer can meet the needs of your potential customers.
Loyalty Means Royalty
On the other side of the coin, returning customers are valuable assets. They believe in your business, so keeping an attentive line of communication is essential. We love loyalty, so we treat them like royalty. In order to maintain a loyal fan base, throw in some discounts, free shipping, and freebies they can’t resist. These investments will go a long way, and they will stay for a long time.
Data Is Your Friend
Having an online presence allows businesses to collect data and analyze buying trends, which can help your business recovery in 2021. Data might seem out of reach or intimidating at first, but there are simple ways you can gain more information about your customers—send out an email with a survey, explore trends from significant competitors, get to know your potential customers, swipe right on Google analytics.
Successful companies use consumer reactions to help businesses recover. Did you know that 87 percent of customers now begin their product searches online? With the right data and implementation, you can really grow your online presence.
Expand Regions and Markets
Oh no, COVID! Oh yes, opportunity! If you’ve been thinking about it but haven’t done it yet, why not expand into new regions or markets? Business and financial recovery in 2021 will take some creative tactics. If you were young enough to remember, Nike took a head-on approach to break into the Chinese market during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Okay, so most of us don’t have Nike-level resources, but you should still just do it! Perhaps you’re not ready to reach across seas, but maybe there aren’t any other businesses in neighboring cities with the level of vegan cookies you’re making. Offer delivery, and you can really bake it big (see what we did there?). The world is your oyster!
A Customer Happiness Human Experience
Create smooth as silk customer interaction. We are all lacking a little bit of human interaction these days, so making your customers over-the-moon happy can make or break your business recovery in 2021. Try implementing a live chat on your website to enhance the ordering experience.
Imagine this: Grandma messages the live tech support wonder woman Marie. Grandma has no idea what to purchase her teenaged granddaughter, but Marie is a fashion maven. Together, they go through several different jackets while Gran sprinkles in anecdotes, and they share a few LOLs. This is the “mall-experience” Grandma would usually have but in a digitally safe and distanced service. Imagine how much joy you could bring to Grandma’s day.
ONLINE TOOLS WE LOVE FOR YOU
Finance and business recovery in 2021 means having to utilize online resources to your advantage. Granted, many of us will be able to go back to an office setting, but staying remote can benefit your business. Let’s explore some of our fave online tools to get you going.
Thinking about making financial management easier in 2021? Well, we can make that happen, captain (give us a ring). However, there are online tools you can use right now to help along the way. We are huge fans of automated accounting. It’s super convenient. It saves time and cuts costs by outsourcing work via automated software. Not only is it accurate, but it’s also accessible to anyone, anywhere. Check out some of our top picks.
Quickbooks is one of the most popular platforms on the market and is used by smaller companies and designed for our non-finance friends. Quickbooks uses invoice and receipt tracking tools and works with major payment providers such as PayPal, Square, and Stripe, giving instant access to customer, vendor, and employee information.
Wave is ideal for all the freelancers, sole traders, and small new companies that need a place to keep accounting, invoicing, and receipts in one place.
With TSheets, you’ll know how and where your money gets spent and can verify expenses. Employees can punch in from anywhere with any device, and you can manage shift-based schedules as needed.
Blackline is a software used for reconciling and credit card management. Rather than looking for fraud and error during close, Blackline will continuously work around the clock to ensure lower fraud and error rates, and it automatically reconciles credit card payments, so you don’t have to.
We Live, and We Learn
COVID’s impact on business management has been a real shocker, all around. Before 2021 creeps upon us, get all of the ducks from your business recovery plans in a row.
The point is, we won’t be living in COVID quarantine forever, so we all need a pandemic exit strategy. The time to plan-demic is now because there are so many methods and plans to try out to keep your business growing.
As we all know, perseverance is the name of the game. At the same time, we know that handling your 2021 finances can be intimidating. That’s why we’re here to help! All of us at Alchemy Accounting are here for your every need (the financial and business ones, of course.) Although you’ve digitized much of the way you work, it’s nice to receive help from knowledgeable and qualified partners (that’s us).