How to reinvent your small business in 2021

Without a doubt 2021 will be the most important year in business in our lives.

That may sound dramatic; however, it is now almost six months since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Australia so there is no better time to reinvent your business. 

Accounting Professionals Partner, Nick Fitzgerald spoke to hundreds of business owners over the last six-months discovering for every business that has struggled enormously, there seems to be one that has never been better.  

“With most of the country inching back toward normality, it is time for business owners to take stock and realise the importance of the next 12 months ahead.”

“JobKeeper coupled with restrictions on what we can do outside of work has meant more money being kept in local economies, household projects taking priority, savings, and even recreational activities coming to the forefront of our lives again.”

“The gravy train is running dry, however. Even those businesses thriving need to start considering what comes next.”

Every business is facing a different set of challenges now and as the ‘free money’ starts to run dry, planning has never been so important. Here’s Nick’s top success tips to help you reinvent your business in a post-COVID world.

1. Measure, monitor, manage – make sure you have an up-to-date understanding of how your business is performing so you can make quick and agile decisions.

  • How can you use automation and the data at your disposal to make quick and informed decisions instead of just guessing? 
  • The best performing businesses are connecting their sales and other operating software to reporting tools like Microsoft PowerBI to have real-time access to easily understandable dashboards, enabling them to make ‘data-driven decisions’ 

2. Re-assess, re-calculate, re-plan – Do you know what your profit margins look like after JobKeeper? Do you need to re-set your targets or restructure your workforce?  

  • Every day that goes past without revisiting your plans could be another day of a leaky bucket in your business and cash flow you can never get back.

3. Understand your upcoming tax liabilities – They come around the same time each year and quarter, yet still manage to catch many business owners unaware and short of cash.

  • With the ATO moratorium on payments coming to an end and existing debts soon to be repaid, it is critical to build this into your cash flow forecast

4. Look at your finance facilities – Do you need more funding to ride out the next year or so, or is there an opportunity to lock in existing facilities on better terms for the next few years? Engage with your finance broker now to understand if you can restructure to a better rate, better conditions, or both 

5. Automate your business – Are you using technology to your advantage to operate as effectively as possible?  

  • As we move into a new era in business, there is no doubt customers are more conscious than ever. You often only get one chance to win or lose a customer based on how they are ‘onboarded’ – are you sending the right message that you can solve their problem? 
  • It is time to consider all the manual processes in your business and engage someone to automate them and free you up to focus on giving value to your customers! 

6. Beef up your Marketing – Whilst it might be time to hold back in a lot of cost areas, now is not the time to slow down your marketing. Competition for each sale will become more hotly contested. Making sure your brand presence is maintained or strengthened will be necessary just to keep the status quo in many cases.  

  • Consider engaging a digital marketing specialist; Are there specific niche areas you could look to move into without too much disruption?

7. Asset Protection & Insolvency – While this may sound a little defeatist, a regular review of your business structure and asset protection never goes astray. We’ve all heard talk of ‘Zombie’ businesses staying open due to the current Government incentives and many will, unfortunately, fold in 2021 

  • Reviewing your structure, asset protection and exposure to these businesses now can help ensure your business is not also dragged down in the event your customers can’t pay when push comes to shove! 

What next?

Whilst 2021 will bring more challenges, especially for the small business community, setting yourself up now by planning will provide just as many opportunities for you to take advantage of.  

Like all industries and economies, some businesses always outperform the rest. It doesn’t happen by luck; it happens with a strategic planning approach to the areas that can set you up for success before it becomes mission-critical! 

Contact us here if you would like a free consultation