Planning for business success in 2021

2021 business predictions

We have to admit that last year we did not predict the Coronavirus pandemic and the devastation we have endured. We did foresee Brexit disruption, and this looks like it will be the case until systems are in place for as “smooth as possible” travel and trade.

The restrictions, in varying tiers, will continue to be in place for at least the first six months of 2021 and will only ease up when mass vaccinations have been done. This will impact hospitality, retail, personal services and travel businesses the most. We expect many of these to “bounce back” later in the year. The lockdown has altered consumer behaviour and we predict further retail evolution as a result.

It may also be that working from home will become the “new normal” for many smaller service-based businesses. This offers reduced office costs and more flexibility. New and enhanced “work from home” security and collaboration software will develop further, and we encourage businesses to review their internet security regularly.

Make a plan

As a consequence of Brexit and the Coronavirus, there will certainly be short term actions for some businesses. However we encourage all businesses to take time in January to prepare a 2021 strategic plan.

It is easier to get to your destination with a plan. If you are driving from A to B it helps to know where A is and the directions you need to take to get to B.

If you have a vision of what you want your business to look like when it is “complete” then you are in a position to drive your business towards the vision, and you can monitor how you are doing as you go along.

If we agree it is hard to accomplish anything without a plan, let’s start thinking about putting one in place. A plan looks at all the things a business could do, then narrows it down to the things it is actually good at doing. A strategic plan also helps you determine where to spend time, resources and money.

How do you form a strategic plan?

  1. Take time to review your own personal objectives – the business is there to provide you with what you want from life, so do not forget this.
  2. Look at where your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Take external advice so you have a clear understanding of your position in the marketplace, the competition, your systems and the way you do things and what you are good at and what you are not.
  3. Focus on where you want to be (say) in 2 years, what you want your business to look like when it is “complete” or running profitably and successfully. Then you can determine your priorities and the big issues that you need to focus on – this is the strategic plan!
  4. Write down your vision and define what you must achieve and the actions you need to take. Monitor how you are doing towards your vision each month and what actions have been completed and what needs to be done to keep you moving towards your plan.
  5. Allocate responsibility for taking the actions.
  6. Monitor, review and adjust your regular activities to keep you on track towards your plan.

Talk to us about how we can help you achieve your goals – we have helped many other businesses grow and succeed!

Utilise technology

2021 will see many businesses adopt new technologies to help them streamline their administration and more moving to cloud accounting software ahead of the April 2022 Making Tax Digital deadline. Cloud accounting software has several advantages for business owners:

  • A clear picture of your current financial position, in real-time.
  • Your accounts 100% online, so there’s no software to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available.
  • Your bank feeds your data directly into your accounts on a daily basis.
  • You take a photo on your phone of a purchase invoice and it is posted automatically.
  • You could see your results, who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance anytime from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

If you are interested in moving your accounting system online, please get in touch with a member of our Digital and Cloud Solutions team.

For further advice or support on growing your business, contact our Business Services team on 01903 234094.