As we return to our own respective definitions of normal, business owners across the country and globe are recovering from almost two years of uncertainty and fluctuations in operations. The reopening is very exciting but can be daunting at the same time depending on the level of difficulties your business faces financially. In recent weeks, we’ve been helping our clients create new tax plans and structure their finances for success in the new economy.
One of the first steps in positioning your business for success in the coming years is to assess the damage inflicted on your business by the Covid crisis. This entails breaking out the books and breaking down your income statements, cash flows, and expenses. Comparing this year to years prior will allow you to build a holistic picture of your current state.
Below are some factors to consider when reviewing your situation:
- Office Space
- Employee Attrition
- Loans Received
- Digital Workflows
Is that office space still necessary? Have you experienced a dropoff in retention? Are you tracking your loans received? Has the digital tsunami caught you off guard? These are all critical questions to consider.
Assessing the above-mentioned aspects of the crisis will allow you to define where you are at, and start to develop a plan to move forward. While in many ways, costs increased during the pandemic, by the same token, costs have decreased as well. For example, many of our clients have adopted remote working environments, enabling them to expand their hiring breadth and bring on new talent for a fraction of the cost.
Digital transformation to consider:
- Are there opportunities for your business to expand remote work?
- How many people have you onboarded during the pandemic?
- Are there services where you can cut costs by moving the workflow online?
Build Your Gameplan
On top of your staffing and other operational costs, one often overlooked piece is marketing. The pandemic has transitioned us into a primarily digital ecosystem were solidifying your online presence has become more important than ever. Many businesses have invested in revamping their website, creating new social media accounts, and increased advertising spending on social media channels.
According to a 2019 survey, “ 85% of online consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online”. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that you are present online. Below are the most popular platforms to consider and solidify your presence on:
- Google My Business
In addition to the above-mentioned platforms, it’s important to engage your existing customers and interact with them through various channels. One of the most important ways, according to research and anecdotal evidence, is email. Businesses are shocked at the power of an old-fashioned newsletter and the benefit of building an email list.
Setting up an email marketing system allows you to keep your customers informed, create offers, giveaways, and seasonal promotions. It’s a great way to keep your business top of mind, but it is critical to make sure you are not spamming your customers. When it comes to email, it is definitely quality over quantity.
In addition to revamping your marketing, this new era makes the digitization of workflows as necessary as it ever has been. Not all of us are tech-savvy, and that’s okay. There are small steps you can take to start and hire help down the line when necessary!
Here are the most common/important steps you can take:
- Email marketing vs direct mail and handouts
- Having customers e-sign contracts vs contracts that are printed out
- Finances and cash being tracked and accounted for online vs a ledger
- Online ads vs ads in the local newspaper
- Virtual appointments and estimates vs in-person meetings
These few changes can make massive differences in the way that you stay in touch with your customer base and change the way your business is perceived. In today’s day and age, it is important to keep up with the ever-changing demands of our customers. As we’ve seen many times in the past, it can be a lack of willingness to change that makes the difference between opening new locations and closing doors.
Take This Opportunity to Level-Up
After you’ve assessed your current state, reviewed your marketing, and assessed potential workflow digitization opportunities, you’ve put yourself in a good position to really create and deploy efficient systems and processes.