For close to two years now, business owners around the world have come to intimately know a single word—a word that many never thought would need to be a necessary part of their business plan.
Restaurants that never dreamed of offering take-out and delivery have pivoted to do so; stores that never wanted to dive into e-commerce have pivoted to take the plunge; manufacturers operating in an on-demand capacity have pivoted to bow to supply chain pressures. Every pivot has been about survival. And so far, you have succeeded. But the end game has changed because the world has changed. It will not go back to the way it used to be.
So, where does your business need to go from here to succeed?
For starters, you need to take a hard look at every aspect of your business. Here is what you need to do to help your business thrive as we edge toward a post-pandemic world.
Review your finances and upgrade your financial reporting. Every step in this list comes back to this point because without a solid financial plan, it is impossible to grow your business. Lenders rarely move quickly and don’t take kindly to credit asks that come out of the blue, so build a strong financial case for your future plans and negotiate additional credit or new lending terms as early as you can.
Reconsider your offerings. While the current supply chain issues will one day end, if your business sells products, this is a good time to measure the success of each one. Perhaps a lack of inventory in certain areas hasn’t been as damaging as you first thought.
Understand your new costs. Inflation is currently at a 30-year high; shipping container costs are currently through the roof. Both will quickly affect your bottom line if you don’t figure out how to accommodate them. Do you need to raise prices? Do you need to have fewer staff on site? Do you need an all-round different solution?
Assess your staffing. Taking your business to the next level is not done in a silo; you need to have the right people in place to help take you there. Assess not just your current staffing levels, but also the skills and expertise your employees bring to the table. What new positions might you need to create and what talent or knowledge do new hires need to have to propel your company forward?
Evaluate your marketing efforts. Don’t forget that how you market your business goes a long way toward its success. Take a look at what has worked and what hasn’t throughout the pandemic, as well as how much money you put toward it, and decide what you may need to do differently. Taking your business to the next level could mean anything from minor tweaks to your marketing efforts to a major change in direction or even a complete rebranding.
Remember, being able to take your business to the next level all comes back to having your finances and financial systems in order. We go beyond the basics of financial services to pinpoint the numbers that are critical to your business’s performance now and in the future.