While it’s impossible to predict the future, you can definitely prepare for it. The end of a cycle is the perfect opportunity to delineate the path you want your business to follow.
The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on all that we have learned during this ending year, set goals for 2021, and ensure the means to achieve them.
A small business plan for next year is a great opportunity to grow and reinvent yourself. That’s why we have prepared a guide so that you can make those plans a reality.
Evaluate the performance of your business during 2020
Did you keep all your business resolutions for 2020?
The pandemic probably got in the way of your all plans, so the answer should be “no,” or at least “not quite.” Whatever the answer is, you need to:
- Assess the current situation of your business
- Discover what were the most challenging problems
- Identify your progress
- Learn how you can build on what you did achieve
If we learned anything during this year, it is that we can always get up after we’ve fallen.
For many, COVID-19 was the push they needed to transform their businesses. It even helped some discover new growth opportunities they might not have seen otherwise.
All the knowledge you have acquired during 2020 is the driving force you need to create a small business plan that will allow you to restructure your business and strengthen it.
What the Future Holds for Business Owners
Before COVID, small businesses were steadily growing. During May 2019, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was at 105, improving the 101.2 January had. But this growth started stumbling when the pandemic hit.
According to a report about the first 3 months of restrictions, there was not a single demographic group or type of business that wasn’t affected.
The decrease in demand, furloughs, and business closures were the most obvious consequences of the health crisis.
But the picture is already beginning to change. The outlook for 2021 and the following years is quite encouraging.
2021: a forecast
In early December 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA, released a very optimistic report on how America’s economy could look in the coming years.
While the report does predict some difficult months at first, with more infections and restrictions, it also predicts that, as vaccination becomes available, the economic recovery will become more evident.
Afterward, the Gross Domestic Product will have an annual growth of 6% in the second quarter of next year, compared to 1.2% during 4Q2020.
That’s a 4.8% growth for the GDP!
After that, we might see a constant growth of 3% each quarter until 2023, thanks to the recovery of the stagnant demand caused by the crisis.
For example, in California during this period, the fall in unemployment would be apparent, as well as the increase in income in sectors such as construction and logistics.
Take advantage of the coming economic recovery
Things are not always in favor of small business owners. Your profits might sometimes not outweigh operating costs; access to loans may be restricted, and in times of crisis, government aid might not always be timely.
Regardless, it is possible for you to recover.
For your business to grow and regain the momentum it had before the pandemic, you need easy access to federal aid and seek accessible financing alternatives.
Be prepared for 2021: make a business plan
Benjamin Franklin once said:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Don’t fail and get ready by creating a small business plan for 2021. That way, you can prepare for success.
With this business plan, you will overcome obstacles, take advantage of your strengths, and make better decisions. Here are the steps you must follow to create your small business plan:
1. Set goals
Setting goals is the first step in creating your small business plan.
- Identify the areas in which you want to improve, or that will have the greatest impact on the business
- Define what you must do to achieve your goals
- List what resources you need for these goals to be achieved
And don’t forget to be specific. For example: getting many clients is good, but knowing how, when, and how you will get them is much better. The more specific your plan, the easier it will be for you to measure results.
Don’t forget to set goals. Focusing on many objectives at the same time could overwhelm your abilities to make them come true.
Get ready with this short guide:
2. Assign a budget
Your goals are no more than a declaration of good intentions until you actually invest money to achieve them.
And where is that capital going to come from?
Your accountant can advise you on how to finance your small business plan next year. The amount of money you can have will depend on projected sales and expenses, your cash flow, and your savings.
There are also other options, such as applying for a loan or finding investors.
Do you need help preparing your budget? Keep reading:
3. Invest in technology
During the pandemic, technology became the savior of many: it gave us new ways of selling; it allowed employees to work from home and ensured everyone’s safety.
Fortunately, technology can continue to be a great ally, even when the pandemic ends. That is why it is imperative to include it in your small business plan.
- Improve your online store
- Work on your social networks and other digital channels
- Automate certain processes
- Implement contactless and virtual payments
These are just some of the ways in which you can use technology to your advantage.
Discover other technologies that you can incorporate into your company. Keep reading
4. Invest in people
It is not just about hiring employees; you have to invest in people.
With the pandemic, thousands had to learn to work from home. Many juggled as they tried to balance their personal life with work. Others put their health at risk, leaving home to do work that couldn’t be done remotely.
Don’t forget to acknowledge the efforts of your employees.
Offering financial benefits and flexible hours and implementing wellness and training programs will let your employees know that you value them.
It’s great when you have the right people working with the same goal in mind. It’s even better if they are motivated because they’ll feel that their boss is committed to their professional and personal growth.
Learn how to manage your company’s workers during a crisis. Keep reading:
5. Think big
Growing your business should be a priority in your small business plan. And this growth can take on many different faces.
For example, you can open a new store, launch a new product or service, implement new marketing strategies, buy machinery and equipment, give your offices a makeover, invest in improvements, etc.
Expanding your business’s scope depends on the capital you have available and your profitability forecasts.
If you need capital to expand your business, you should read:
An action plan to improve your prospects in 2021
The future is not uncertain when you get prepared. If you want to build an amazing year for your business, you have to plan the steps you will take to make it grow.
While the forecasts for 2021 are encouraging, proceed with caution: set reasonable goals, allocate resources that do not exceed your possibilities, and invest in your employees.
Adopting new technologies and planning your business’ growth should be at the top of your small business plan.
At Camino Financial, we leave no business behind, and we believe that all business owners should have access to financing. Use our loan calculator to discover what the terms of your loan could be.