By | Elizabeth Howard
Running a business is never easy, but the previous year was exceptionally hard for all business owners. According to the latest Economic Impact Report, 60% of businesses that closed due to the pandemic won’t reopen. While the challenges are likely to continue into the new year, you can prepare for them. More than ever, you will have to simplify your business. Continue reading to find out the easiest ways to simplify your business in 2021.
Automate as Much as Possible
The biggest lesson 2020 taught us was automation is essential. While nations are beginning to open their borders, lockdown remains a possibility. Automation ensures that your business can still run even if you cannot make it to the office. Invest in video conferencing software, scheduling, task management, and accounting software. You can improve your customer experience by hiring experts to create great messages onhold and music. This will entertain your customers and elevate your brand. Nobody likes to be on hold, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Find other opportunities to automate based on your business model.
Focus on What Matters
On any given day, there is usually a long list of problems demanding your attention. You need to contact vendors, follow up leads, and still find time for meetings. Multitasking sounds great on paper but is rarely effective. You can make life easier by finding out what works best for your business and do more of it. According to the Pareto Principle, only 20% of business activities produce 80% of the results. To succeed, find this 20% percent and give it most of your attention. Everything else should come second. Where possible, you can eliminate them.
As your business grows, you will need more skilled employees. And a bad hire can cost your business rather than add to it. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, a bad hire costs your business 30% of their first-year earnings. Although there is no magic formula to get the right worker, you can put some thought into it. For one, assess your needs to determine whether you need a long term worker or short term. It is often better to have a succession plan than waiting until a key employee leaves and then start looking for a replacement.
Outsource Where Possible
Outsourcing is a great way to lessen the workload. Both small businesses and multi-million dollar corporations can benefit from delegating some duties to a third party. The top benefits of outsourcing include.
- Reduced operational cost
- Access to better and more resources
- Frees up resources and time for expansion
- Reduces operation risks that are taken up by the hired company
The key is knowing what and when to outsource. For instance, if you notice you are busier during specific periods, it makes sense to outsource the staff rather than hire more employees who will have nothing to do after a few months. Services you should consider outsourcing include accounting, bookkeeping, cleaning services, and IT support.
Fix Outdated Practices
All the new technologies will not do your business any good if you hold on to outdated business practices. As you go into the next year, take stock of what works and what doesn’t. A great place to start is areas where your customers have previously complained. For instance, if your clients complain about delayed feedback, you need a revamped customer care team. You should also take a look internally. For example, replace annual performance reviews with weekly or monthly feedback. The modern business landscape is always changing. One year is just too long to wait to give a performance review.
Every business faces challenges. It is how you respond to these challenges that separate successful enterprises from struggling firms. We hope this information helps you take your business to new heights in 2021.