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Five Tips for Small Businesses Emerging From the Pandemic in 2021

Small businesses have taken a particular battering this year. Not only have they had to put their ambitious plans on hold, delaying their roadmap for at least a year as a recession looks imminent - but they’ve had to adjust their firms for survival rather than optimised profits. As we head closer towards 2021 - the year we hope businesses can rely on increasing trade and sustainability - it’s time to look positively towards the future. Here are five tips for small businesses looking to spread their wings once more with the worst of the pandemic behind them.

You’ve been rightly conservative with your cashflow in the past few months. That’s to be expected - you keep your cards closer to your chest when tough, playing the long game with the cash reserves you have. Now that economic growth is forecast for 2021, though, it’s time to make smart investments in the parts of your firm that you believe will thrive in the coming weeks and months.

Your firm has likely been operating on a slimmed-down and overhead-cutting ethos over the past handful of months. Now it’s time to reverse this attitude - slowly and delicately. But before you do, you need to make some reliable forecasts, based on how much cash you’re expecting to bring in from the end of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. Enter your finance department, your CFO, and your modelling professionals - all of whom will have a part to play in your financial planning for the coming months.

From Edinburgh down to Plymouth, firms have all been experiencing the same realisation, at slightly different times, during the lockdown period. Namely, they’ve found that remote working is a decent solution to lockdown restrictions - but it’s still sub-optimal, both for mental health and for productivity. Working together under the same roof remains the preferable option for staff and managers alike. With this in mind and rents for office space Liverpool and other northern cities so affordable, now is the time to become non-remote and build a team that loves working together rather than at home.

Customer Service
Consumers haven’t had a good pandemic, either. Several million people have seen their income drop throughout 2020, which has meant that purse strings have tightened, and spending has decreased dramatically across the entire economy in 2020. In light of this economic decline, you should treat consumers with special reverence and respect in 2021 - helping them feel comfortable and happy spending with your firm once more.

Long-Term Planning
Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that the pandemic has revealed to all of us just how fragile our world can be. Disruption can come from any corner, at any time, and wreak havoc on the best-laid plans. As such, part of your energy in 2021 should be directed towards worst-case scenario planning, helping your firm avoid disaster when the next economic storm hits.
It’s time for firms to reclaim their confidence and to boldly set their sights on ambitious goals they abandoned in light of the pandemic in 2020. Use the tips outlined here to propel your firm to succeed in the coming year.

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