5 Ideas to Make Your Small Business More Suited for 2021

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5 Ideas to Make Your Small Business More Suited for 2021

Jun 17, 2021

The world has changed a lot since 2020, and it has not been easy for self-employed businesses and small businesses. However, those that have adapted to the new world faster and better than their competitors have managed to not just survive, but also thrive. Being able to handle the changes is crucial if a business is to go the distance.

Stay with us as we take a look through some proven ideas that can help any business adapt to the changes and become more productive in 2021.

Leverage the Company’s Size to Its Advantage
Small businesses have a lot of disadvantages when compared to their larger counterparts, but maneuverability in times of crisis is certainly not one of them. The bigger a company is, the harder it is for the management to maintain it right now. It is also a lot harder for them to implement adaptive changes because every change they decide to make will take a long time to be implemented thoroughly, due to the complexity and size of the large business enterprise.

On the other hand, self-employed businesses and SMEs have a lot less to manage, which is a boon under the present circumstances.  If the management knows how to leverage their smaller profile, they can implement all the necessary adaptive changes much faster. In fact, small businesses can even change their sector or target audience, without taking a particularly heavy financial hit. Such companies are also a lot less likely to get bottlenecked by departmental, sectional, or area heads, as is often the situation with big names in any business.

Let’s quickly shortlist the main points of leverage that any small business management can use to their advantage:

- Faster, two-way communication between employers and employees that isn’t slowed down due to unnecessary, bureaucratic restrictions.
- Faster decisions due to a lack of several decision makers within the same company.
Financial aid from the government is much more useful to smaller establishments, as well as being available in greater numbers.
- Faster implementation of changes, as there is a smaller number of employees to train and reorient.

Adopt a Central Staff Management System
Why do small businesses with a handful of employees need a central staff management system? There are several reasons to do so, of course, but the main issue it solves is that of managing employees in a remote work environment. To understand exactly how central staff management systems can help, we will take a look at the popular centralized employee management system Staff Circle.

Their software is designed to lean down and centralize the entire process for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. It offers every feature the management needs to seamlessly adopt the work-from-home culture, without letting physical distance affect employee productivity in any way. Features and tools such as multi-channel, two-way communication, time-tracking, real-time employee performance analytics, and workflow visualization are designed to help small business owners stay in control, even inside a remote work environment.

Slowly Shift to an Online Model Wherever Possible
We have already discussed one of the most important facets of adapting to an online business model fit for 2021. It is the difficult but necessary act of creating that seamless, remote work environment where employees can work productively, while employers can track their progress methodically.

However, staff management software is not the only system a business needs to shift to make that shift to a mostly online model in 2021. Let us take a quick look through some of the other most important resources, as should be relevant to most small businesses.

 - Project management systems help managers and project team members stay in sync with each other through every stage in real-time.
 - A Comprehensive CMS helps in improving lead generation, lead scoring, lead qualification, customer satisfaction, sales numbers, profit margins and so much more.
 - An enterprise-grade cybersecurity software with reel time cybersecurity monitoring must be adopted to mitigate the risks of getting hacked.

Focus Entirely on Digital Marketing Strategies and Avenues
There is no point in spending a small business’s marketing budget on offline campaigning anymore. It cannot match the size and scope of the big names; nor can it possibly have any significant ROI in this new world of social distancing and minimal outing. Besides, at a time when every potential customer group is spending more time online than they ever had before, it would be an absolute waste to not leverage that to your advantage. Focus the entire marketing budget on building marketing strategies around the following areas:

 - Blog content, SEO, and main site content.
 - Social media sites and micro-influencers.
 - The relatively new aspect of SEO called Featured Snippets.
 - An SEO optimised website

Digital marketing can be handled in-house by a savvy marketing team, but there are many areas where it is worth outsourcing to a trusted provider, such as optimising a website for SEO and writing sales content.

Keep Costs Down
Many businesses allow their operating budgets to become extremely bloated as the business expands. Whereas startups are often operated on a shoe-string, it’s very easy for larger businesses to lose control of their costs. The more departments you have, the higher your overheads will be.

It is vital that costs are kept under control. One way to do this is to encourage employees to work from home, which isn’t difficult in the current climate. When employees work from home, either full-time or part-time, you can reduce the size of the office space you need, or even eliminate it altogether.

Not only does this reduce the amount you pay on office rental costs, but it also reduces other expensive overheads such as light, heat, and telecoms.

A lean business is a healthier one, as it is in a better place when unexpected expenses arise, or an important client is lost.

It is always wise to run regular checks on business expenses, so you can see where savings can be made. Even relatively unimportant costs such as computer consumables all add up over time. Engage at least one person to monitor office expenses and assess your costs quarterly. If you spot any areas where changes can be made, address them immediately.

Encourage your employees to get on board with the idea of keeping the business lean. Small changes like switching lights off and turning computer equipment off at night all make a big difference.

The idea is to not introduce too many changes, faster than necessary. Create a list, shorten it, prioritize the changes in accordance with their importance, and then start implementing them slowly. Small companies have already drowned in their panic to adapt faster than they needed to, spending more than they could afford to. Treat your business adaptation strategies in the same sustainable manner, as you would treat an expansion plan.

Monitor your efforts and make changes as events unfold. None of us know what’s around the corner and it’s important for businesses to remain agile, so they can handle unexpected events. Many businesses folded in the first few months of the pandemic because they were unprepared. By running regular risk assessments and making changes when needed, you can avoid being one of them.

Meet The Author:

Ella Woodward

Ella Woodward

As a woman making her way to the top of the corporate ladder, Ella Woodward has the expertise and business knowledge to guide readers through the latest developments in the fast-paced business, financial and investment spaces. She has the contacts, instincts and insight to discover the latest deals, trades and organisations that are worth your time. Being in constant demand, she’s made this blog as a resource for you to see a small selection of the work she’s done over the years.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org