Lessons of Survival from 2020 Can Help You Thrive in 2021

For many businesses, 2020 became a year of survival. But now that the frenzied pace of constant change has slowed a bit, it might be time to reflect on what we’ve learned and once again attempt to do more than just survive.

Let’s look at some ways we can help your business thrive this year by examining how lessons learned in 2020 can be the key to your success moving forward.

Embrace Change

The desire to keep employees and customers safe during the ongoing pandemic required adjustments on the part of most businesses. Sometimes, those adjustments were significant, such as the total disruption of the restaurant industry.

Those who didn’t adapt, didn’t fare well. The lesson? Last year really drove home the idea that change is not only good, it’s essential to survival. Continue to look for ways you can adapt your business for the better or change the way you provide your product altogether.

Tap into Available Resources

Some small businesses may have been able to get by without the help of trusted partners and advisors prior to the pandemic, but those relationships became more important than ever when it was time to take advantage of resources your business never needed before.

PPP loans were just one example. Another recent example was a conversation I had with a client who wants to expand. First, I referred them to a CPA who could review their books for opportunities, such as the R&D tax credit for figuring out new ways to interact with their customers. This client also explored a partnership with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce to discuss options for automation. Automation can mean anything from upgrading factory equipment to more fully utilizing bank functions to automate payments.

We all learned the value of people and organizations who work to help businesses succeed.

Keep an Eye on Cash Flow

Cash flow was one of the top concerns business owners sought help for last year. From raw materials taking longer to arrive, to inventory becoming harder to move, to payments often taking longer to post or business drying up altogether, cash flow got wonky. Consider implementing some of the following to open the flood gates for 2021:

  • Talk to your bank about ways to speed up accepting payments, such as getting set up to receive ACH or electronic payments. Getting payments deposited even one day faster can have a significant impact on your cash flow.
  • Understand the best ways to use your line of credit, such as buying in bulk to take advantage of discounts or to reduce delivery charges.
  • Learn about the benefits of automating certain tasks, from manufacturing to accounting.
I encourage you to look at your financials from a different point of view than in the past. Growth can be an important indicator of a healthy business, but this year, the bottom line matters more than the top line. That means production may be down from prior years, but if we took advantage of efficiencies, embraced changes for working smarter, tapped into available resources, and maintained a healthy cash flow, then your bottom line may look even better than ever.

Our team can provide connections and solutions to help you adapt to changing circumstances. Please call me today (608) 516-0609 to start the conversation.

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