- There are a number of important priorities that small business owners must have while expanding during the summer.
Optimism seems to have been in pretty short supply over the last eighteen months or so but with restrictions lifting and the world opening up again, it feels like we can finally think about the future in a more positive light. Those of us who run our own businesses know that the time since March 2020 has been passed in a state of carefully managed panic, trying to keep the boat as steady as possible during a storm that didn’t seem to have an end in sight.
There have been closures and reopening’s and more closures. We’ve furloughed staff, made others redundant, and done our best to rehire when things got a little easier. Jobs are back and it’s showing in the market performance. We have been veering between survival mode and damage control for so long, but now we can finally start thinking about that most exciting part of any small business’ existence: growth. We all know that any business needs to keep moving forward if it’s going to survive, but in such uncertain times it is perfectly normal to feel a little anxiety about taking any big steps.
This is why it is so important to do your preparation and make sure that you have the support systems in place to help you grow. Here are a few essentials that will make your path through the exciting coming months a little steadier.
Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Working
If you are thinking about growing your business in the coming months, one of the best places to start is with a thorough audit of your company’s performance during the last year and more. As we mentioned, the chances are that your business will have never been through as difficult a period as the pandemic presented and the fact that you are still in business is a remarkable achievement in itself.
Going back through the records of how you have coped with each successive crisis and looking at how you continued to drive business even in the hardest of times will not only show you areas of weakness, but the tools that you already have to drive growth.
Make Sure You Stay on Top of Your Accounting
Now, a lot of businesses will already be working with a professional accountant but if you aren’t, you should seriously consider bringing in someone who can keep an eye on your books while you focus on pushing ahead.
Business accounting is a time-consuming process at the best of times and taking this off your plate will give you more room to breathe as you grow. It is also important to note that an accountant is an invaluable asset for a business in the process of expansion. They will be able to identify any opportunities for incentives and savings, they will be able to warn you of any potential financial issues in the directions you are considering taking, and they will be a great sounding board for any tricky decisions.
Look For Ways That You Can Streamline Your Day-To-Day
There cannot be many business owners out there who feel like they have a lot of free time on their hands. With many companies still working remotely and managers doing their best to look after their teams from home, we all need to be taking a good long look at how we can make the day-to-day things run a little more smoothly. We’re talking about check-ins, performance reviews, project management updates…all those tasks that take a chunk out of your day, but which are vital to keeping your business moving.
If you are thinking about growing your business in the coming months, you should think about claiming back some of that time by using a software platform. For instance, StaffCircle has platform options that can be tailored to your business, and which can reduce admin time by 87%. You can optimize communication between members of your team, have access to both up-to-the minute performance data as well as employee development, and you can make simple HR tasks like requesting vacation days so much easier.
Remember To Stay Flexible
Flexibility has been one of the most important skills for survival over the course of the pandemic. Now, even though things are looking brighter out there, it’s still just as important as ever. Flexibility is, however, one of the more difficult things to incorporate into a growth strategy.
In an ideal world we would all be working towards clear, specific targets on fixed dates. We’d know exactly when we were going to be moving to the next stage and what success looked like. However, with new COVID strains emerging it is important to remember that any kind of wiggle room that you can build into your plan will be invaluable. Create contingency plans, remember that any step relying on an external figure or business has the potential to fall through, and leave yourself a cushion big enough to absorb any financial fall-out.