Be a 2021 Business Warrior!
2020 has not been a good year. We have had to deal with unprecedented levels of uncertainty, adapting our way of life at short notice, in response to a threat that no-one could have ever have anticipated how far reaching the implications would be at the beginning of the year.
Reviewing the year purely from a business perspective, business owners have found themselves in unchartered territory, navigating lockdowns, last minute Government announcements, and new finance support schemes, to try and ensure their businesses survive.
As the year comes to an end and the COVID-19 pandemic showing no sign of letting up just yet, it would be easy to look at 2021 with dread, wondering what else could possibly be thrown at us to threaten our personal and business wellbeing. However, I’d like to suggest another way to approach the new year, by looking back on 2020, on the basis of what businesses, big and small, have achieved, in the hope that it gives hope that we can endure whatever 2021 has in store.
- Resilience – Many businesses have shown a remarkable level of resilience, looking for creative ways to endure a crippling national lockdown, followed by an ever-changing tier system. While some workplaces have had to adapt to a work from home model, other businesses, such as the hospitality and events industries, have had to completely review their business set-ups, and get creative to ensure the money still comes in. Unfortunately, not all businesses have survived, which is incredibly sad, but for those that have, their unwavering adaptability and their ability to “think outside the box” has meant that, at the very least, they can maintain their business presence while they find their new place in the business world.
- Effective decision making – Without making this post political, businesses have been regularly blindsided by last minute decisions and u-turns by the Government, that have left businesses having to make quick decisions for the future of their business and wellbeing of their staff. Whether it has been introducing, often costly, safety measures to a work place, or choosing to furlough their staff while they have been unable to function, business owners have demonstrated their leadership abilities to make fast, effective decisions in order to keep their employees in jobs, and to make sure their business has the best chance of surviving.
- Navigating financial support – Not everyone has been supported by the array of financial support packages offered by the Government, but for those that have, it has been a minefield to negotiate how furlough works, how to defer VAT payments due in the original national lockdown, the pro’s and con’s of deferring Self Assessment payments on account, how to obtain grants/loans offered by the Government. For me, it has been about keeping on top of the different offerings and making sure I can support my clients through it, but for those who have navigated this themselves, this has been an incredible achievement.
In a year when the pressure has been most definitely on, we have adapted, achieved things we never thought possible, made decisions we never thought we’d have to make, and hopefully, have managed to make it to the other side. What I’ve found most heart-warming, is the level of support that businesses have given each other, whether it be a shout out to businesses who are changing their strategy to survive, or offering a word of advice to help each other through, the business community has been a massive support for each other, and has probably given struggling businesses a massive boost to keep going, even when it has seemed impossible.
The battles are still ongoing, there is no denying that, but what I have learned this year, and have witnessed from my amazing clients and fellow business owners, is that we are more prepared than we realise for whatever 2021 brings, by virtue of the fact we got through 2020, with all it’s relentless challenges. With each other’s support, we are giving ourselves the best chance of getting through to the other side. We are no longer business owners, we are warriors, united in approaching 2021 with a desire to conquer and achieve success. Who’s with me?