To state that 2020 was unique is quite a statement. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the business environment on so many levels. The “new normal” will be just that. Just like many market corrections, redirections, bubbles bursting, government regulations, and many other situations – businesses have endured. Those that have a solid business foundation built to experience a blip. Those businesses that are surviving day to day are gone, with many lives damaged in the process. Now, what did you learn for your business to keep surviving in 2021 and beyond?
Here are some thoughts that should have been learned in 2020. If you haven’t adjusted, pivoted, changed direction, and so on. It’s not too late. Change to survive.
What Businesses Learnd in 2020...
Those businesses that recovered the fastest were the most flexible and creative ones. They just needed to continue to find ways to stay true to core competencies and deliver their products and services in a new way.
Hire the best:
No more hiring to just end the hiring process. The best businesses have known this for years. Hire based on a worker's skills and experience, not just academic credentials. Great employees will help make great companies.
Don’t give up:
2020 has given business owners many reasons to give up and tested business owners' resilience and many businesses have closed up. All businesses go through highs and lows. 2020 gave the economy a below-the-belt shot. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
Develop you and your staff:
You along with your staff needed to continue learning and thinking about how you could invest in new knowledge and technology. All to be more productive, improve revenue and profits, become more efficient, and develop a system within theHeading 3 business for any new unknown external forces.
Redefine your marketing:
The pandemic shifted selling products from brick and mortar outlets to online and through social media more now than ever before. This will continue. How are you getting through all the noise online?
Since many areas of your business have changed, really look at your costs, they have changed as well. Are you still paying for services that you are no longer using?
Assess your products/services:
Smart businesses are looking at what products and services make them money. If you have any products/services that you offer but are not making any money with them, now is the time to eliminate them from your business.
Reducing costs is one thing, but you also need to look at what your business needs to invest in to grow. What items, services, products, education do you need to invest in to increase sales?
Wishing is for birthdays:
The pandemic has altered the business environment quite a bit. Wishing it will go back to the way it was in January of 2020 will not help you or your business. Many business owners wanted to wait out the pandemic in March. Sad to say, they are not in business anymore.
Entrepreneurs cannot prepare for every event that significantly affects their business. The best companies, though, put the right people and processes in place to deal with all manners of unforeseen situations. They can pivot fast. This is the difference between struggling to survive and discovering a new business opportunity.
Show me the money:
Many businesses survived after a well-needed, cash infusion to keep the doors open. Venture capital, angel investors are acting like sharks eating those wounded businesses up. Are you willing to give up ownership or even control to keep the doors open?
Many businesses have seen the pandemic as a gift. How are you viewing it? Those that scaled back, pivoted, found new opportunities, and eliminated waste are doing well. New markets were created. Businesses can emerge from the crisis stronger than ever before.
Build it up:
Innovation depends heavily on research and development, creating strategic partnerships, and interfacing with customers. Get the right talent in your organization.
Business owners need a coach, mentor, advisor now more than ever. Do you think your staff could use help as well? Mentorship is one of the hallmarks of an effective company. Besides you getting professional assistance, get some for your staff as well.
Don’t forget about YOU:
The pandemic has caused many business owners to stress out, grind harder, work more without results. You need to find an outlet that will help you keep pushing forward. Find a new exercise regimen, a cooking class, get a massage, get a mentor or become a mentor. Take care of yourself.
Many businesses closed without any exit plan. What is your end goal in your business? Just shutter the doors? Have someone acquire you? Do you merge with another company? Have your kids or relatives overseen the business? Develop an exit plan so you can have an end goal in your business.
No matter what you learned in 2020, 2021 will have a new business landscape. Those businesses that have a solid internal foundation, strong agile marketing, great employees and relationships, and have a coach or mentor will forge ahead.