- Here are some essential steps that small businesses need to take to respond to new changes in 2021.
If you had started a business right at the start of 2020, you might have spent most of the time wondering what you had let yourself in for. However, with most of the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind you, you can now take stock of where you are and consider what you can do next.
One advantage of having a new business right at the start of the pandemic will be that your team will have spent more time working remotely than in a face-to-face environment. So, as a result, any evolution to permanent remote working or hybrid working will only have a small impact on your business,
This will be important, as your competition will be looking to expand and improve what they do as well, so half measures and delays could well be things you can’t afford.
#1 Get on top of your communication
As the pandemic affected everyone so suddenly and was at first supposed only to be a temporary inconvenience, many businesses adopted various short-term solutions to keep communication channels open within a suddenly disjointed workforce. Now that those effects are well into their second year, it might be time to look at everything you are using and, if possible, streamline various services into one.
This is a good move if you pay for several services that perform many of the same functions and can save you money. This kind of move, along with moving your projects over to the cloud, are going to need managing if they are to go well, and sourcing experts for ms team services can put everything in one place and help your communication at the same time.
#2 Ensure your team is well equipped
When your team has been working remotely, you might have found that they have adopted a more cobbled-together approach on how they do things. This might mean using the same laptop their children do their homework on, sat on a pile of boxes in a spare bedroom. Clearly, this was not a good idea, even in the short term, but for the long term of working from home, this does not seem professional in the slightest.
By making sure your team all have company laptops, which have all of their security up to date, you stand a far better chance of having a more efficient workforce and a safer business from cyber-attacks. You could also make sure that your workforce has any other things they might need like peripherals or even furniture. While this sounds expensive, it may be a whole lot cheaper than renting a large office space, which you don’t need to do if your staff aren’t in the office every day.
#3 Look at your overheads
This is not the only expense that is saved by opting for hybrid working and a smaller office space. While many of the services like HR and payroll might benefit from being in the office, most of your workforce can get everything they need by coming into the office just once or twice a week. This means lower electricity and heating costs, as well as the other utilities, cheaper insurance as well as no ongoing costs for updating servers that you have now sidestepped by migrating to the cloud.
As you are not the only company doing this sort of audit, service providers and property owners are seeing that the demand for what they have to offer is falling, so that as a result, deals can be done – and more savings can be made, all of which of course helps the bottom line.
#4 Expand your team with confidence
With these things in place, it means that you can outsource certain operations (like your website maintenance or your all-important social media marketing) to experts rather than doing them in-house and use the flexibility of being cloud-based and using remote or hybrid working to increase your headcount without worrying about needing bigger premises.
Another alternative is that with your projects accessible globally to anyone with the right login, you can recruit specialists from around the world, although that does put forward issues about how they would access the same support services that your workers that visited the office would benefit from.