Every year brings challenges when it comes to running a business. That is why it is important for an entrepreneur, regardless of their industry, to always be ready to handle them. One business advice that entrepreneurs should not forget is that situations such as those, no matter how hard, can come with lessons and serve as a learning opportunity.
The unexpected challenges that most if not all businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made the year 2020 especially difficult. The impact of this crisis is huge. Some companies have had to downsize their workforce or operations. Others had no other choice but to close down.
Here are 7 important business lessons we have learned in 2020:
- Never take things for granted. This year has taught a lot of entrepreneurs to not take anything for granted. A business may be in good shape now, but unexpected events can quickly change that. Companies have to operate as if their existence depends on every decision. As a business owner, make sure to think about all of the options well before making a final decision. In times like this, making mistakes can cost more than you can afford to lose.
- Prepare for hard times. Preparedness is one business advice that you may have heard before, but this year has made it more crucial. Nowadays, companies have to do business while considering the possibility of another shutdown. Although the world may be able to get through the pandemic eventually, another major event could occur anytime. So companies need to prepare their business and staff to ensure that they are financially capable to withstand a crisis. A good way to do that is to set up a bank account for the emergency funds of the business.
- Find ways to boost the company’s cash flow. It is important for businesses to keep their cash flow optimized. This way, even if another disaster strikes, the company will have enough cash on hand. It will help to have regular forecasts. Look for ways to cut expenses and save money. Stay on top of all accounts receivable to make sure that there is cash available to the company at all times.
- Flexibility is necessary. The ability to adapt to what the situation calls for is a must when it comes to managing all the aspects of a business. The company has to be flexible to ensure the effectiveness of its actions. For example, evaluate the situation of your enterprise. Is remote work possible and more efficient? Will the company be able to continue generating revenue even if it loses its physical workspace?
- Ensure the accessibility of resources. The company needs to make sure that the members of the team have access to necessary resources. What some companies did was to digitize important files and make them available online. Having a backup copy of documents can also help. To make sure that employees have all the necessary resources, it is ideal to have spare laptops to provide in case you have to opt for a remote work setup.
- The Internet and social media are useful. A lot of small businesses have to figure out a way to continue its operations and expand its audience reach. That is where the Internet and social networking sites come in. Having a good online marketing strategy can help a company survive. Social media can be a platform to sell products and get important business messages out to the company’s customer base.
- Consider looking for other revenue streams. A lot of businesses have had no choice but to create new revenue streams. All companies should prepare for situations similar to lockdowns and quarantines. You have to find multiple ways on how to bring in money so that the company survives even if its principal source of revenue is in jeopardy.
Aside from all those, another good business advice is to celebrate successes no matter how small or big they are. Not only will it help in creating opportunities for social interactions, but it will also make employees feel appreciated and special.
The year 2020 is filled with uncertainty. The challenges that businesses are still facing have tested their ability to thrive in unprecedented circumstances. While certain events have brought many disadvantages, it is important to learn from each of them. Use the changes that come your way as opportunities to enhance the ability of the business to cope and survive.