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NOTE:  ‘Anonymous’ provides today’s helpful business blog, ‘Do You Want 3 Tips to Help Small Businesses Succeed in 2021?’

With the trials and tribulations of last year, many smaller businesses are focused on ways they can make 2021 more successful. Many different ways exist, each depending on your business or product.  By focusing on some of the more overarching themes and opportunities can better help you realize what will make the most significant impact for you. 

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3 Tips to Help Small Businesses Succeed

 

1.  Embrace Remote Work

One of the biggest challenges many businesses faced in 2020 was the inability to work in person for the better part of the year. For some, this was a challenging obstacle to overcome.  Many smaller organizations may not have the resources or technology to adapt to remote work quickly. Remote work may have caused headaches in the short term. But, it seems to be how many businesses are trending, and will help small business succeed. 

One of the most daunting aspects of remote work is your employees’ ability to stay focused and engaged with the company and their work. According to a survey by SHRM, 94% of respondents said the following:  “Productivity is the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with employees working remotely.”  It did not happen by itself. 

Employers need to continue making efforts toward keeping employees happy and involved with their work:

  1. Create environments for the typical office chit-chat with coffee meetings not focused on work.
  2. Regularly check in on employees’ personal lives, within reason, to support their wellbeing.
  3. Offer your employees a voice through anonymous feedback surveys.

Regarding the employees’ perception of remote work, many people prefer it compared to working in an office. In study conducted by FlexJobs, 96% of people responded: “I prefer some form of remote work,” ranging from fully remote to a hybrid work environment. Surprisingly, those who worked remotely were more satisfied with their jobs than in-office employees.

Note: happy employees are the ones to help small business succeed.

 

2.  Monitor and Adapt Your Finances

Many people realize an unfortunate business situation sooner rather than later.  The underlying issue is things always cost more than you plan. Although this is especially true for small businesses that are actively scaling, it also applies in some capacity for all organizations. Especially with the variance that last year brought, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your finances.

A general rule of thumb is to ensure that you are keeping your business and personal finances separate.  One good way is to set up a bank account strictly for business transactions. The Small Business Administration has useful information on the benefits and stages of opening a business bank account.

In terms of day-to-day actions, ensure you track your expenditures and gains.  Even a Google spreadsheet or Excel will be of help. Ensuring you have the right numbers and dates is key to filing your information correctly. Especially after a rocky 2020, many businesses may have been struggling to keep their doors open. They had to look into some alternative methods of funding their company. Although there are many different options, it’s essential to research them and make sure you pick the one that fits your model and helps small business succeed.

  • Depending on eligibility, some businesses can qualify for PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans to help cover certain expenses such as employee salaries.
  • Some owners have considered a no-closing-cost refinance for a quick cash injection. They can also lower mortgage payments over time. For smaller or potentially single-owned businesses, just a few thousand dollars can make a big difference.
  • Many businesses have turned to various crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter.  They draw upon the power of people and make sure they have their base expenses covered.

3.  Explore New Technologies That Help Small Business Succeed

Although some smaller businesses may be more ingrained in their ways, embracing new developments, especially in technology, can help you improve your offerings. One of the growing opportunities is in cloud technology.  It can be incredibly beneficial to businesses of all sizes. It is particularly so given the growth of remote and hybrid workforces. 

Some people who are slightly less familiar with the concept might ask, “What is the cloud?”  It allows users to access data and information over the internet as opposed to having it directly on your computer’s hard drive. In business, this can offer some significant benefits:

  • With more people working remotely, the cloud allows for the easy sharing of files without emailing them back and forth each time changes are made.
  • For smaller businesses, there are many free options available, like Google Cloud.  It can save businesses time and money instead of buying more storage space.
  • Storing your data online means that you are less likely to misplace information or lose it due to accidental damage or theft.

Not every technological innovation may wholly shift the competitive landscape. It’s important to be aware of some of the more popular ones that can help small business or the industry as a whole. In a similar vein, something that has been affecting almost every online business is digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a great way to build your online presence and ensure that people looking for the service you provide, can easily find you. While some people may attempt to do this on their own, Google has many written and unwritten rules that can trip-up or confuse people. Hiring someone with first-hand experience and knowledge of the industry can significantly improve your chances of finding qualified traffic and getting them on your site.

With 2020 in the past and everyone looking forward to 2021 being a better year, it’s important to actively work on changes and adjustments today.  Create a strong start and end to your year. Adjusting your in-office work policies to allow for remote or hybrid work can positively influence both your employees and your budget. Tracking your finances and knowing some popular ways to increase your cash flow will enable you to plan. And then you can create a timeline for your business’s growth.

New technologies can help you and your employees become more productive. You can make impressive inroads to new customer bases you may not have had access to before. Taking the time to research various options for your business will help you gain a better perspective. Research where improvements are to be made to help set you up for an extremely successful year.

 

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