If you own a small business in the Santa Monica, California area, you know that a lot has changed over the past 12+ months.
Maybe you’ve had to shut your doors for several months at a time. Perhaps you’ve lost good employees who had to seek other employment during the pandemic.
Fortunately, it appears that things are looking up. And for that reason, you can finally turn your attention to 2021.
While no two small businesses are the same, there are some basic questions that each and every one can answer as the year moves forward.
1. What do your finances look like when compared to pre-pandemic numbers?
Answering this question will give you a clear understanding of how the pandemic has affected you to date.
Yes, it can be scary to look at these numbers, but don’t shy away. Dive in, pay attention to the details, and create a strategy for the rest of the year.
It’s your hope that things are looking up in 2021, especially when compared to last year, but you’ll never know until you look at the numbers. As the old saying goes, “the numbers will do all the talking.”
2. What is your marketing plan for the rest of 2021?
Your marketing plan for 2021 isn’t likely to mirror the one that you used last year. Just the same, your strategy for 2021 won’t be identical to 2022.
If you’ve yet to create a new marketing plan for 2021, stop what you’re doing and get started. You can’t afford to wait any longer, as you may be going down the wrong path. And if you do that, it could cost you a lot of time and money.
Tip: if you don’t have the internal resources to create and carry out a marketing plan, consider hiring a consultant to help. This can go a long way in getting you back on track.
3. Is now the time to review and tweak your business plan?
It’s a mistake to assume that you can rely on the same business plan, year in and year out. Even if you keep it relatively the same, there will be minor changes here and there that require your attention.
For example, you may find that some key employees have left your company, so you need to adjust responsibilities.
You may also find that your financial projections have changed, which once again calls for immediate action.
Tip: if you don’t have a business plan, you can still create one. You don’t have to be a new company to do this.
4. What steps can you take to cut costs and save money?
If you can cut costs, now’s the time to do it. This is particularly true if you lost a lot of revenue during the pandemic.
For example, you could run a UPS audit for a better idea of how much you’re spending on shipping and where you can save.
Maybe you like what you find, but perhaps you see a few areas for improvement. Even if you only cut a few minor expenses here and there, it can add up over the course of a month or year.
5. Are you in a position to expand?
There are many reasons to expand your business. Maybe you want to take revenue to the next level. Or maybe you just want to employ more people from the Santa Monica area.
It’s one thing to say you’re going to expand, but another thing entirely to actually do so. It takes a lot of planning and resources to make this happen, so you don’t want to get ahead of yourself.
Once you’re sure that you have what it takes to expand, look into the steps necessary to make it happen.
It doesn’t matter if you only cater to residents of Santa Monica or have customers all over the world, 2021 is sure to be different than any other year.
By answering the questions above, you’re in a better position to leave the pandemic and its effects in the past and take full advantage of everything the future has to offer!