It was a tough year for every in 2020. Given the worldwide covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown and quarantines it ensued, a lot of people suffered a lot of repercussions because of it. But not only did individual people suffer, a lot of businesses suffered as well. Enforced lockdown, remote working, a shift in consumer needs and priorities, which in turn forced a shift in demand for different types of products. All these things and more changes forced businesses to shuffle their feet and try to keep up with the sudden drastic changes. For example, businesses couldn’t rely anymore on in-person selling to market products and boost sales. They had to rely on mass texting service to help get their product and promotions across. That is one-way businesses had to adapt on the fly in 2020, and 2021 isn’t shaping up to be any different. So here are 5 ways how small businesses can compete in 2021.
5- Downsize Your Office Space
Maybe the biggest revelation, and jaw-dropping moment, of 2020 was how seamless the transition from office work to remote work, or at homework, was. Many people gasped and awed at the fact that almost overnight, office space and commercial space seemed almost -dare I say- worthless. In fact, several surveys performed across sectors and on employees showed that people prefer to work from home and that they work better from home, with productivity level being similar to office work, if not higher. That’s why if you are a small business owner, and you’re looking at the data, you ought to think “ do I really need all this office space, and the financial cost that comes with it?” If not, then consider downsizing a bit. Or try downsizing a lot by getting rid of the office space altogether, and removing the cost of rent off of your books.
4- Make Use of the New Workforce
Another implication from 2020 and the effect the global pandemic had on the workforce is that it forced a lot of employees to not only leave their job but to resort to other forms of employment. A key characteristic of this has been the rise of freelance workers, contract workers, part-timers, and people offering professionals services. If you are a small business owner looking to compete in a cost-driven economy in 2021 then you would be smart to make use of the new pool of talent available in the workforce market. In 2021, instead of opting to bring on employees full-time, and paying full-time salaries and benefits, look to hire employees on a contract or project basis. By doing that you get the work you are looking for, without having to pay the expenses of full-time employees.
3- Move More of Your Operations Online
The companies and businesses that we’re well-positioned to take on the new wave of remote work were the business that already had a bunch of their business operations online. That’s why, for 2021, if you haven’t done so already, start to move the bulk of your business and day-to-day operations online. Start accepting orders online, contacting customers online, even promoting products and services through online platforms and mediums. Today, there are a lot of online tools available to help you manage your business and organization completely online. Make use of these platforms by setting up your organization on it and begin allocating tasks and work assignments strictly through that platform.
2- Consider the Needs of a Changing Market
The market today is changing. Today customers are looking for different products that offer different benefits and services. For example, more and more consumers are opting for purchasing online courses instead of attending actual university courses and classes. Today, the online movie streaming services are filling in the role of cinemas during continued lockdowns measures. All this means that the market and economy and rapidly changing. If your business has a product or service that is obsolete, don’t be stuck in the past, adapt your product to meet the demands of the market today. Reach out to customers and get their insight on what they require. Learn about their needs and demands and try to cater to them directly.
1- Learn to Become Less Compact and More Fluid
What 2020 taught everyone is that you can never be prepared for everything. That’s why in 2021 try to be less compact with your decision-making and more fluid. Be proactive instead of reactive. Don’t fall in love with an idea if the alternative is better. Learn to do things on the go and don’t be let down if things don’t pave out the way you want them to be.