Business owners all around the world will be looking to January as a fresh start and hopefully a better year ahead, even with the pandemic currently continuing. There are reasons to be optimistic about 2021, and there are a number of ways in which a business owner can take the company forward and hopefully take the company to a new level. It is, of course, hugely challenging and stressful right now due to the various issues that the pandemic presents, but those that are flexible and adaptable will always thrive in the business world, so here are a few ways in which you could take your company forward this year and find some success.
Invest In Remote Working Tools
Adapting to entire teams working remotely has been a big challenge for many companies, especially those that did not have many staff working remotely before. Having the right tools, technology and equipment available can help organizations and employees to overcome the challenges that remote work can bring and allow you to enjoy the benefits that WFH presents both businesses and employees – many companies plan to continue with remote work at least on a part-time basis even once the pandemic ends and it should certainly be considered. This could even allow you to downsize your office and make big savings in addition to the other benefits.
Add A Live Chat Feature
Customer service is always hugely important in the business world, but in a time where consumer confidence is low, and people are likely to have questions, it is even more important that you are able to provide instant and high-quality customer service. Many of today’s younger consumers are reluctant to pick up the phone and do not want to wait around for a response to an email, so a live chat feature on the website is a smart solution and could provide you with the ability to increase conversions and create stronger connections with your target customer.
Update The Company Website
Speaking of the company website, you may also want to look to update this in 2020, particularly if business is slow. Many business owners “set and forget” their website, but it is amazing how quickly a website can become dated as trends change, and people visit so many websites each day. Therefore, now could be a smart time to update the website if it has been a few years, and it is also a good chance to refresh the content – the world has changed as a result of the pandemic, so you may need to rethink your message and content.
Improve Social Media Usage
Social media can be a great platform in times like this because it provides a two-way communication channel with your target customer and allows you to build strong relationships. Many businesses are hesitant on social media, or they use it in a detrimental manner – there is a fine balance to strike as you will want to be active without spamming your followers. This is why you should try to limit your posts to one a day but be sure to respond to comments and messages swiftly. It is also helpful to create and share high-quality content that your target customer will find useful, keeping in mind the current situation. If you work in the health and fitness industry, for example, then advice on how to stay in shape during lockdown would be useful.
The pandemic has given business owners many issues to deal with, including a sharp rise in cybercrime. This is not an issue that can be ignored as it could be devastating for a business to fall victim to in a precarious time such as this, so it is a smart idea to upgrade your cybersecurity. This will include making sure that you have robust protection in place, educating yourself and your team on the latest threats, and ensuring that you have external backups available of any sensitive data in case there was to be a breach.
Explore New Opportunities
As mentioned in the intro, businesses that are flexible and adaptable will always thrive during times of great change. There is no doubt that the world has been changed by the pandemic, so this could be the chance for a fresh slate for your business. Therefore, you might want to think about new opportunities and ways in which you can succeed now and in the future. This will obviously depend on your industry, so you will need to consider how the world will be different and how you can take advantage of this.
Work With Your Accountant To Improve Financial Health
For the majority of companies, cash flow has been a major issue throughout the pandemic and even led many previously successful companies to shut their doors for good. This is why the start of the new year is a good chance to sit down with your accountant and to analyze the current financial health of the business. You should identify the best ways to improve your financial health moving forward.
Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is always important, but sadly it is likely that the impact of the pandemic will have taken its toll on many, and this is why wellbeing needs to be a priority moving forward. There are lots of effective ways to improve employee wellbeing, such as:
- Providing support
- Flexible and remote work
- Positive feedback
- Job security
- Career development opportunities
- Team building
- Having a comfortable and welcoming office space
- A relaxed atmosphere
Study Human Resource Management
If you want to improve the welfare of your employees, you might find it hugely helpful to study human resource management with online courses available from places like RMIT Online. The RMIT Online Master of Human Resource Management will help you to drive business success through culture and teach you all that you need to know to effectively handle the various HR issues that occur in a modern-day workplace. Being able to plan and implement strategic cultural programs and turn challenges into business opportunities will help to take the business forward while also allowing you to build excellent teams and keep your employees happy and content.
Conduct New Market Research
As previously mentioned, the world has been changed by the pandemic, and it will not be a simple case of “business as usual” once the pandemic has ended. Therefore, conducting new market research is worthwhile and could allow you to identify new business opportunities (as above) that could take your business to new heights. This research could include analyzing the competition to see what they have changed during the pandemic to stay afloat as well as researching and surveying your target customer to gauge any new wants or needs that they might have.
As somewhat of a fresh slate, now is also a good time for business owners to take action to reduce their environmental impact. The switch to remote work has shown that positive changes can have an impact, so it is worth identifying areas where you could be making improvements – this could also help to lower your costs as well as improve your brand reputation. A few of the best ways that a business can reduce its environmental impact include:
- Remote work
- Renewable energy
- Energy-efficient equipment
- Increasing recycling
- Switching to green and local suppliers
- LED lighting
- Switching to green materials
- Starting a carpool
Find New Ways To Promote Your Business
Business owners will be eager to bring in new customers this year as a way to grow the company and improve the bottom line, but you may also be reluctant to sink in large sums into an expensive digital marketing campaign. Therefore, you may want to think about new ways to promote your business and keep in mind that there is likely to be a strong sense of community moving forward, which means that a few good promotion ideas include:
- Forming a strategic alliance
- Hosting (digital) events
- Getting involved with local schools
- Guest posting
- Networking (online)
Invest In New Technologies
It is understandable that you will be looking to avoid spending too much money in 2021 in order to get back on track, but some spending could see a return on investment and prove to be worthwhile. Technology is always an area that is worth the investment because it can help a business to thrive in so many ways, especially when advanced tech like AI can be used in a number of different departments and bring a range of benefits to companies in every industry.
This post will hopefully provide inspiration and help you to feel more positive about the year ahead. The pandemic is ongoing, but there are reasons to be optimistic. Plus, with the world changing so much, it can provide businesses with new opportunities and a chance for a fresh start. These are a few of the best ways that you can take your business forward in 2021 and will hopefully help you to find some success both now and down the line, get back on track and take great pride in what you do.