To say this past year has been tough would be an understatement. Not only was our local economy directly affected by the drastic changes in the world oil prices but Covid-19 hit and closed many businesses and operations. Looking back, we remember the price of oil being negative and there was no traffic on highway 17 in Lloydminster. The future was unknown.
With the assistance of government subsidies and grants, a lot of small businesses were able to keep their employees and stay open. But what happens when the money runs out?
Some businesses suffered significantly due to a high reliance on one economy or having just a few large customers. Other businesses flourished in 2020 because they were able to pivot quickly. Examples include adjusting products and services to the current needs of customers, creating an online sales platform, or offering new delivery services.
Besides cash flow management and analyzing your costs or efficiencies, the true success of a business in 2021 will depend on the ability to mitigate risks. A strategic plan should include both diversity and technology. More variety in your client base can decrease your risk in a low economy. Increase in sales can come from offering new products & services or expanding your business into different regions. Maximize your potential by tapping into technology like social media advertising, online inventory & sales, or even virtual consulting meetings.
One thing is certain, you cannot operate like it is 2019 in 2021. You must be innovative and keep up with the ‘new normal’ by adapting change quickly. What do your customers want now and how can you give it to them?