It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is upon us. So much has happened within the last 12 months. Along with the global pandemic, and possibly a consequent financial strain, there is a chance that you were operating a business through it all. The economy truly took a toll. Challenging businesses to stay afloat due to a lack of money and people coming through their doors. These are what help companies operate to their fullest potential.
While you may be ready to count this year as a wash, you can’t discount the importance of preparing your business for the end of the year and setting business goals for the year to come. If you’re unsure where to start, read on for a few simple ways you can organize your business for the end of the year, and prepare for success in 2021.
Holiday Sales & Digitized Shopping Habits
- Online shopping: The end of the year is notorious for increased sales due to holiday shopping. This year, purchasing gifts for the season is more likely to take place online rather than in-stores. Because of this change, it’s important that you have adapted your business to accommodate this new behaviour.
The first thing you should do is to make sure your business website is up-to-date. This would be a great opportunity to revamp your business website if you haven’t already. If you are noticing decreased foot traffic into your store due to COVID-19 and limited storage capacity, you may find that your customers have all transitioned to online shopping.
A great benefit of strengthening your business’ online presence is that it will help aid your business for years to come. Having an e-commerce website for your company will help bring in sales year-round—not just during the holiday season.
- Digital payment methods: With concern growing over the coin shortage in the U.S., many are choosing to, or in some cases, are instructed to, only use their credit or debit cards for making purchases in stores. Not to mention that paper money and coins tend to carry germs, making this form of payment less favourable during a pandemic.
Now shoppers are turning to digital payment methods to complete their year-end shopping, although they may find it difficult to keep track of their budget if they are simply swiping from store to store without keeping track. When shopping with cash, it is very easy to count however much money you have left in your wallet before making a purchase, but with a credit or debit card, it can be less convenient if you don’t have an app or online account to easily check while shopping. Customers may find themselves switching over to online-only banking in order to enjoy the convenience that comes with them, such as being able to easily check account balances from their mobile device and avoiding cash payments.
Increased Time and Effort Needed
- Order fulfilment: Now that you know where and how your customers plan to support your business this year, it’s now time to think about what you need to do to ensure your business is prepared to keep up. Besides redesigning or setting up a website for your business, there are a few other changes you’ll need to make, with the first being spending more time working.
It is likely that if you do have an online presence for your business, you may need to spend more time this year on fulfilling online orders than in years past. You’re likely to see less foot traffic into your business, which means those sales will hopefully be taking place online instead. Be prepared to work a few extra hours in the weeks leading up to the year’s end to get those orders out on time.
- Year-end reflection and financial prep: The end of the business year is also a time to prepare your business’ finances for tax season and gathering general accounting information. This is an opportunity to evaluate your business’ expenses and see where you have room to improve overall business operations in the future.
Additionally, you may notice changes in revenue and profit due to the pandemic. It’s been proven that small businesses revenue decreased for many this year as in past years due to the limitations the pandemic has created, but this can be a great opportunity to plan for the future of your business and how you hope to grow and change in the following year.
To prepare your business for the end of the year, think of the year to come by setting both short and long term goals. It is an accomplishment that your business made it through this year, but to simply keep your business operations the same from year to year isn’t likely to help you achieve growth and success in the future.
When you reflect on your business performance at the end of the year, take time to improve certain aspects of the company. Especially the aspect that didn’t perform as well as you would have liked. After all, a business that sets goals is one that will ensure future success.
Despite the roadblocks this year’s circumstances have created for businesses, recovery is still possible. While recovery will take long-term effort, so does running a business. Test out a few of these tips with your business for a smooth journey to the end of the year and a strong start to the year to come.