Operating a business in any year is tricky (last year being an exceptional example). So, as we kick off a new year with renewed focus, we’ve gathered 8 insightful tips to help your business thrive in 2021.
1: Nurture your brand advocates
Loyal customers spread the news to their friends. They will post about you on social media, which is free advertising. People trust their friends’ opinions over a company’s marketing efforts. Keep them happy and show appreciation to your loyal customers as their referral is like gold to your business.
2: Adopt agility as part of your business
If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s to prepare for anything. For small and medium sized business owners, this means having to roll with the punches. Prepare for worst-case scenarios, revisit your business plan, and discuss positive and negative scenarios with your team so they are all accounted for in your cash flow. Agility also means adopting practices that make your business more efficient. Evaluate processes where automation can save you time and invest in these as they will continue to serve you long after the pandemic ends.
3: Prepare an emergency plan
We’ve been relatively lucky in Australia, but the chance of further lockdowns and the impact to small and medium businesses is an ongoing threat. It’s essential to be prepared for the worst. Consider how you coped in 2020 and how you can improve in the year ahead, such as increasing internet security, access to software, communications with clients, staff and other support services, in order to keep the doors open.
4: Automate business processes
If you’ve been holding out on the move to digital solutions let this be the year you make a change. If you’re struggling to keep up with paper receipts each month, it might be time to get a receipt app. This will lighten your load when it comes to reconciling expenses, because the app can automate the process for you and reduce human error. When you can simply scan receipts the moment you receive them, you no longer have to worry about losing them or making mistakes when you input them into your accounting system. Going digital with filing, time-tracking, invoicing and other business processes can make a big difference to the time spent on administration, which frees you and your team up to focus on the high-quality client service work.
5: Ask for feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask your staff, friends and family, or even customers questions on what they think the business could do better. Often employees are instinctively aware of issues (and solutions) in the business, while those with an outside perspective can share ideas that you may not have thought of previously.
6: Be better than the competition
It’s much easier to be competitive if you solve a customer’s problem better than the competition. Focus on the benefits you provide, not the features. How can your business help them better in 2021? If you can offer your clients more value than the competition, you’ll thrive in the new year.
7: Don’t charge less, offer more
Lowering your price in order to compete is a losing proposition – especially against larger competitors with deeper pockets. Instead, beat them using superior service, product mix, product knowledge, or post-sale support.
8: Listen to good business advice
There are smart people out there ready to support you, like your accountant. So, be open to listening to others and accepting their advice. It’s times like these you need to lean on your accountant for financial confidentiality and support.
MWM Advisory have been on the financial frontlines of getting small businesses through the trials and tribulations of 2020.
With more legislation to navigate on the way in the new year, small businesses need the support of their accountants to make sense of the changes in compliance, taxation, superannuation and across numerous industries.
We have the knowledge and expertise and are here to help!