2020 has seen huge changes across the UK and the rest of the world. Many businesses have had to re-evaluate their offering, make some necessary cuts or even close up shop. The scope of the year has found many businesses struggling to stay afloat, nevermind growing their enterprise.
As we approach the festive season, however, there is some renewed hope. News of a widespread Covid-19 vaccine across the country has offered something of a light at the end of the tunnel. While much is still unknown about the immediate impact, it does mean that businesses can start thinking of how they can hit the ground running once we return to some semblance of normality.
With the new year fast approaching, it is as good a time as any to look to 2021 and help businesses get back on track.
The Right Solutions
While the news of a vaccine is exciting, we understand that a rollout is not a quick fix. It will take months, possibly longer, to see the full effects and society returning to how it was prior to the pandemic. It is also difficult to fully comprehend how society will look after the vaccine. While trends throughout this year have shown that hospitality will likely return to normal, high street shopping and large-scale events are more difficult to judge.
There are some practices which are likely to stick around. Online retail figures had been growing exponentially each year prior to the pandemic. While this year has seen a sharp spike, this trend has been building regardless. Another major effect of the pandemic has been the increase in working from home. Emerging technologies, such as Zoom, have flourished in this time and have meant that businesses have been able to continue with minimal disruption. While some industries are simply unable to allow remote working, the ones which seem more receptive to it continuing after the pandemic.
Finding the right solution can mean investing in unexpected areas. While at the beginning of the pandemic there may have been a ‘wait and see’ approach, it is becoming more clear which areas are important to customers and employees. Because we don’t know the long term impact for different industries, a cautious approach can seem like the best option. But waiting too long to make decisions and move forward can give competitors the upper hand.
The Right Team
This year has been a mixed bag for business growth. There are countless businesses that were well-positioned for the events of this year and have seen growth in profits and headcount. On the other hand, some businesses have had to make difficult decisions this year. Whether employing the furlough scheme, or making redundancies, team dynamics have changed for so many companies. This further stresses the importance of having the right people pushing your business forward.
The difficult decision may have to be addressed as to which team members are essential and which are not. Reducing headcount does not necessarily mean scaling back; rather, it can be an opportunity to evaluate the business requirements and streamline operations.
Then there is the topic of outsourcing, which we have discussed in a recent article. The increase in available and affordable technology does not only mean that your workforce can work from home, but also that outsourcing has become much more efficient. The rate at which businesses are outsourcing middle-office functions to alleviate operational pressures has increased throughout the pandemic.
Employee engagement is equally important to skill. While there are staff who are business-critical for their attributes and experience, you must have a team around you that remains energised and effective.
Thriving, Not Just Surviving
The new year poses new possibilities – so how do you maximise these? Adopting new ways of working, both with regards to technology and staffing, will help.
Picture where you see your business in the next 12 months. Think of the best ways you can achieve these goals, regardless of external circumstances. Look at your current processes and find the areas for improvement.
If this means growing your business digitally, for example, you need to ensure your current technology slate is up to scratch. Do you have an eCommerce platform capable of handling large scale transactions? Do you have the right ePOS systems in place? How would you report on these new sales? Taking some time to research the market and the different applications out there can help you in the long run, without necessarily requiring a computer programming degree.
Do you see your business growing internal headcount? Or are you looking to push forward with a more lean model? Answering these questions can help the next steps of your research. Whether it is recruitment, or downsizing and outsourcing.
How We Can Help
On both technology and personnel fronts, Virgate Accounts may hold the solution. We offer an affordable accounts outsourcing solution for businesses, complete with a dedicated team and suite of applications. From our own purpose-built Vantage app, to partnerships with Xero and other leading software providers, we can cover businesses looking to focus on eCommerce or break new ground in other areas.
Our team is made up of experienced accounts professionals, driven to help their clients and energised by working across multiple industries. Our knowledge is varied and adaptable to companies at different stages in their growth, meaning we have seen it all and can help you define your next steps.
2021 is about thriving, not just surviving.
Are you a B2C business that is considering outsourcing your accounting department? Book a free consultation call with Virgate Accounts and we can answer any questions you may have.
DISCLAIMER: This article has been produced for guidance only and does not constitute advice. Any information given was correct at the time of writing. Copyright © 2020 Virgate Accounts. All rights reserved.