Every business owner is sick of talking about COVID-19. However, the reality is that the virus is still a factor to be taken into consideration. Business owners should also be keeping track of changes that come from the presidential changing of the guard as well as other trends and current events that could impact them.
Despite all the ups and downs that are sure to continue through 2021, you can still build and manage a thriving business. All you need are a set of principles to follow that will keep you on the right path no matter how rocky it gets. This list can help you start off on the right foot:
Always Look to Innovate
Innovation is what helped society overcome the biggest problems posed by COVID-19, and it’s what will help businesses thrive afterward. This is even more true with the rapid rise of technology in recent years. Companies that refuse to adapt to growing trends or new markets are their own worst enemy.
Looking to innovate means always being willing to try new things. Experiment with different methodology and recommended systems of operations to see if they really do make a difference. Stay up to date with modern technology and capitalize on tech that can accelerate your company’s progress.
For example, restaurants adapted to COVID-19 by developing no-touch pick-up and delivery options for their customers. Offices transferred their entire operations remotely to continue working in a safe environment. These small innovations made a huge difference for these proactive organizations.
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Strive for Antifragility
In MJV’s 2021 business trend forecast, they introduced a term for businesses to strive for: antifragility. In their words, “Now we need to be more surgical and identify by name the most valuable opportunity in this crisis – welcome to the Age of Antifragility.” This means that no matter what obstacles come your way, your business will stand strong. An organization built around antifragility does whatever it can to safeguard itself from attacks that could crack its foundation.
How does one achieve antifragility? Pay attention to trends that could throw your business off-balance. Keeping track of trends that boost competitors or cut down your own business will prevent you from being blindsided.
Another important step on the road to antifragility is careful planning. Do you have a plan in place for different emergency scenarios? Companies that were prepared for a disaster such as COVID-19 held strong throughout the pandemic compared to their counterparts that failed to plan for such a crisis.
Take Care of Your Employees
Your team struggled through 2020 just as much as you and your business did. Some companies responded to COVID-19 by laying off employees and cutting off all the fat they could to survive. Entering a post-COVID world, those companies are confronting struggles with rescaling their businesses and picking up the slack they dropped.
Businesses that want to thrive in 2021 should follow a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality. Your employees are the backbone of your entire operation, and just like you should take care of your own spinal health, you should prioritize taking care of them. In return, they’ll work hard to push your company forward.
Most managers will gravitate toward benefits packages. While this is an important aspect of employee care, taking care of them mentally and emotionally is just as important, if not more so. Cater to their needs by encouraging them to cultivate a healthy work-life balance and enabling them to do so.
Stick to a Budget
Money was a big concern for entrepreneurs everywhere during COVID-19, second only to health. Something as large as a global pandemic halt supply chains in their tracks and keeps customers at home unable to fuel revenue streams for businesses. Entrepreneurs have to deal with bumps in the road on smaller scales all the time, and a proper budget is one of the best buffers against the twists and turns.
Once your company is thriving, it can be all too easy to spend the increase in an attempt to speed up the growth even further. What happens when things go south? The company can’t keep up with the steep expenses and digs itself into a hole that’s tough to get out of.
Your business should have a budget from day one. Even when profits exceed original expectations, do your best to stay within the parameters you set. Use each quarter to reevaluate your budget and look for reasonable adjustments to make that align with your goals.
Keep the Customer in Mind
At the end of the day, no business can run without paying customers. If you really want your business to thrive, you should be making decisions based on their needs and desires, not your own. When you keep the customer in mind, you’ll come out on top more often.
For example, while it may make sense to cut costs in product development to stay within your budget, will such a decision gain or lose customers in the long run? Asking these types of questions allows you to look at your business through the eyes of the consumer.
Now that your business has survived 2020, it’s time to let it thrive this year. Use these principles along with some of your own to strengthen your company and push it forward. With each principle you add to your company vision, set measurable goals to make notable progress and watch how your organization soars.