Finish Strong: Small Business Tips to End the Year Strong, Despite the Pandemic

Are you looking forward to the end of 2020?

Due to the pandemic, the last year was filled with challenges. Yes, there were some bright spots in the year, but for the most part, we don’t think anyone is going to be missing 2020!

That said, the year isn’t over yet. There are still a few months to go until we ring in 2021, and as a small business owner, you need to make the most of them. Sure this year has been tough so far, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t finish it strong!

Start Getting Your Books in Order

The government delayed tax assessments this year due to COVID-19, but chances are they won’t be doing that in 2021. Unless you want to get hit with a wave of stress at the beginning of the new year, it can pay to start your tax preparation right now.

We aren’t suggesting entirely finishing off your taxes, of course. There’s still lots of financial information that’s yet to come. But organizing receipts, invoices, write-offs, and other vital documents by date will ensure that everything is precisely where you need it when tax time comes.

If you want to avoid that stress altogether, you could send those well-organized financial documents to us, and we’ll handle your taxes for you! Things will likely be very tricky this year due to CERB and other federal and provincial financial assistance programs. There will be write-offs and credits that you might not know about yet, and the only way you can be sure you’ll get them is by hiring the pros to handle your taxes for you!

Reach Out to Your Clients

There has been a real lack of human connection this year, for obvious reasons. While social bubbling during the summer helped, we’re all still feeling the need for genuine connection with other people.

The holiday season could be the perfect time for you to reach out to your clients. We aren’t just talking about holiday cards here, but actual calls on the phone or personalized emails. Reaching out to see how everyone is doing could pay real dividends, especially around the holidays. The calls and emails don’t need to be super lengthy, but you should personalize them and aim to express genuine sentiments. A little authenticity can go a long way!

Get Your Holiday Sales Ready

No one knows what’s going to happen with holiday sales this year. Obviously, in-store purchases are going to be down, while online sales will be way up. This could mean that you need to take some extra steps to ensure that your clients’ holiday shopping experience with you goes as smoothly as possible.

The increase in online sales will likely lead to an overload in package deliveries, leading to possible backups and delivery delays. You should encourage your customers to order your products or services as soon as possible to avoid the holiday shipping rush. For those customers who might end up ordering a bit too late, you could consider including a “Pick Up at Store” option on your online store.

You also need to make sure that you’re fully stocked for the holidays. It could be difficult to predict how much stock you’ll need, as demand is likely to be very different than it was in previous years. We’ve written more about this here if you’d like to learn more.

Prep for 2021

While we all hope the pandemic will be over early in 2021, there is no guarantee that will happen. With that in mind, we recommend that you hope for the best, plan for the worst. Who knows what could happen? Another lockdown? An economic recession? You must prepare for all eventualities.

To prep for 2021, the first thing we would suggest is to boost your online presence. An ever-increasing amount of business is online-based, so you need to put your best foot forward online. Revamp all of your social media accounts, redesign your website, and do some reputation management by monitoring your online reviews. Start to think of your online presence as your main “storefront” and treat it with the same level of care as you would your brick-and-mortar location.

You should also be putting together as big an emergency fund as possible right now. This is an area where we can help. We can go through your books to find areas where you can cut back and streamline your business’ expenses. This could free up some funds that might become critical if things get bad again next year.

2020 is on the way out, and 2021 is looming on the horizon. By hitting the gas now, you could get a big boost of business heading into January. If there’s anywhere in your business you think The Number Works could help, please feel free to contact us today. As a small business ourselves, we personally know how stressful 2020 has been and will do whatever we can to help you come out on the other side as financially strong as possible!