2020 saw many businesses pivot, including ours to adapt to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses developed new lines of business, shifted operations and sales online, and moved away from products and services that were directly impacted by the change in consumer behaviors. For many of us, this pivot was done out of our desire to survive.
Now, as we “return to normal” – whatever that means – our desire should now be to THRIVE. In order to achieve success now, it requires us as leaders to pivot again to set up our businesses for amazing success and growth now and into the future.
Here are six things you can do today to shift your mindset and business as we go forward:
Looking outward for ideas and inspiration
- Learn from those that have successfully pivoted over the last year
There are countless examples of businesses that made it through 2020 and even some that grew their business. These businesses have some things in common – strong leadership, a culture of innovation and an ability to adapt quickly. Other businesses took unique routes and approaches to make the best of a challenging year. Connecting with others who have achieved success can help you understand the mindset, actions, and approaches that will likely help you going forward.
- Stay connected with trends in customer and business behaviors
We are not returning back to normal. More likely, we are looking ahead to a different normal. Yes, businesses will return to in-person, and people will be out and about. But it is clear that businesses may take a different approach to virtual work and consumers will continue to purchase online and look for convenience in their products and services. It is important to understand these trends and make sure your business is set up appropriately.
- Research technologies and tools to expand online presence
If you haven’t expanded your business online (e-commerce, digital marketing, etc…), it is never too late to do so. As consumers and businesses continue to buy and engage online, businesses that aren’t visible will be left behind.
- Expand your lines of business to diversify risk and opportunities
Most businesses operate with several lines of business. In our case, we offer various lines of branded products, creative services, web design, and online stores. Expanding into related business lines can increase revenue and reduce the risk that another economic downturn results in a swift deterioration in the overall business.
- Invest in the mission-critical areas of your business
Now is the right time to double down on the core strengths of your business. These could be the people that make your business what it is or the equipment and facilities that make it more efficient to operate. Whatever it is, these investments should help keep your business more stable and ready to move forward.
- Build a cash reserve
Most small businesses didn’t have enough cash to handle even one month of lost sales. We’ve all learned our lessons and can’t expect the federal government to provide stimulus when the next downturn occurs. Focusing on profit and keeping at least 2 months of cash reserves available, either through personal finances, active lines of credit, or business savings should help you weather any issues in the future
As we move forward into a somewhat unknown future, leaders that can adapt, stay resilient, and continue to capitalize on opportunities will be the ones that succeed.