Planning for 2021 – A lesson learned from 2020.

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If 2020 reminded us of anything it’s that plans can get derailed! So what are you to do?

Here are a few lessons we learnt from 2020 and how they can guide your 2021 plans.

Leave wiggle room in your budget

Did COVID push your budget off the rails? For many small business owners the answer is yes. Here are a few ways the pandemic may have impacted your budget:

  • – Temporary Business shutdown
  • – Lowered sales
  • – Employee absence due to illness
  • – Business operation changes

You may have had to lay off employees to stay afloat and you know how hard it is to keep your income and expenses on track with what you had mapped out. So this year leave a little wiggle room in your budget and leave a good amount to be wrong.

Try and put a little money into an emergency fund for your business. That way you have something to cushion the blow it your expenses are over budget and you income falls below projections.

Keep up with the news and keep in contact with your accountant

Ever since March the news has all been about coronavirus and health and safety. The other item was Covid-19 financial relief measures. You needed to be aware of the National & Federal relief measures and how to go about them for your business.

Here are some of the things we learned by keeping up with the news and your accountant:

  • – JobKeeper & JobSeeker relief
  • – Tax deferments and Extensions
  • – Tax Credits for Employers

Be willing to adapt

2020 reminded us of one of the important business skills: adaptability. If you aren’t willing to try new things, you’ll have no way to keep up when times change … or when Covid-19 forces the times to change. 2020 forced businesses nationwide to get creative.

Here are just some of the great ideas we saw businesses implementing to adapt to the pandemic:

  • – Contact-free delivery
  • – New product lines (e.g., masks)
  • – Staff working from home
  • – Electronic Signatures & software programs

Look at your suppliers and spending habits

It’s a good idea to look into how much you’re spending on supplies and inventory from time to time. But, assessing them is important going into 2021.

Was your supply chain disrupted during the pandemic? If so, you’re not alone. In March, nearly 75% of businesses had supply chain disruptions, forcing many companies to make substitutions in the eleventh hour. To avoid issues like this, you might consider diversifying your supply chain.

Also take a look at everything you’re spending money on, office supplies, insurance, utilies etc.—and see who can give you the best deal.

Use the time to make improvements

Look at the blank canvas 2021 offers as an opportunity to improve. Some businesses may have been putting off a complete digital transformation. If that’s the case for your business, now is the ideal time for transforming more manual and paper-based processes to a digital format.

Doing so will better prepare you for when business picks up again. You may then find you can better connect with customers and offer them the digital experiences they have come to expect in other parts of their lives.