The events of last year generated levels of uncertainty, and even volatility, in the day-to-day lives of many businesses. Early 2021 looks much the same.
Temporary closures, working from home, cash flow, accessibility to and communication with clients and customers are just a few of things many businesses have had to contend with in recent months.
Disruption and turmoil to one side, keeping focused is key to productivity and business success in 2021.
Here are a couple of things to keep focused on this year that will help your business remain in good shape.
Keep an eye on your costs. This year will likely be a bit up and down again. What your business can afford to spend depends on what you’re bringing in, revenue-wise. If sales drop by 10% then you’ll need to look at making some savings. If this happens look at your fixed and variable costs. It’s the variable costs where you will most easily be able to trim a bit if you need to. Do you need the cleaners in every day? Do you need your reception area manned from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.? Do invoices and statements really have to go out in the post? Do you really need a 20-user licence for that particular software? The bowl of fruit in reception – that no one eats and gets changed twice a week…
The list is potentially a long one.
Keep a close eye on your costs. What’s essential? What adds value? What doesn’t?
Management information and reporting. Is it doing the job required? Are you getting what you want? Is it relevant to now?
Each year you will set objectives and targets – many of them financial or with a productivity focus. Many of those targets will be in numbers. Measuring progress against those targets will be in numbers.
Are you getting the right reports? Do the reports tell you what you need to know? Do those reports and that information help you project what’s going to happen next month and possibly the month after? Some business owners and managers are using, and relying on, reports designed for another time in their business’s lifecycle. Some reports and information generated is no longer as relevant and isn’t even being used. And how many people are asking, “I wish we had a reported that showed…”
Review your management information and reporting. Are you getting what you need?
Read part 2 here!