The past two years challenged businesses in many ways, from the mandatory shutdowns to remote work and the Great Resignation. The massive growth of digital marketing, gig economy, and a side hustle is also along with it.
It looks like there’s no turning back. A 2021 Gallup survey, for example, revealed that around 90 percent of US workers already doing remote work hoped the setup would remain. At least 50 percent of remote workers prefer a hybrid arrangement.
What do all these mean for small businesses? It’s time to embrace the shift.
1. Take Care of Your Accounting
The pandemic didn’t stop the IRS from collecting taxes and demanding accounting statements from businesses. New standards such as lease accounting are available. There’s no better time to account more effectively than today to see how much recovery the company needs and where the gaps are.
Here’s how you can take care of your accounting:
- Try new tools like AI assistant to help monitor and update ledgers, financial reports, transaction registers, and even inventory balances.
- Hire accounting outsourcing companies to manage compliance reports and filings.
- Explore a subscription-based accounting software to sync bank feeds, update inventory levels, and monitor activity.
- Research options for better asset management (e.g., software that monitors unused or underutilized assets).
- Implement new accounting standards for improved financial reporting.
- Use a bookkeeping system that simplifies and streamlines financial management tasks.
- Explore how to keep your accounting up-to-date through software integration and automated solutions using APIs.
2. Prepare for the Labor Challenges
The pandemic devastated organized labor. In October 2021, over 4 million Americans left their jobs. A poll also said that at least 20 percent of workers plan to quit within the year.
This means a higher attrition rate and a different kind of workforce for employers. It will be an uphill battle for small businesses to attract and retain quality workers.
Here are three ways you can prepare for the labor challenges:
- Offer better benefits like flexible work arrangements, travel allowance, learning opportunities, discounted health care, and wellness programs.
- Learn how to prepare for inevitable workforce changes by hiring gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors through online platforms, contract firms, etc.
- Develop a talent management system that can help track project assignments and monitor performance. Ensure consistency in the quality of all output produced by the team.
3. Take Care of the Supply Chain
The pandemic crippled businesses in more ways than one. Aside from the impact on labor, there’s also been a massive decline in consumer spending and the physical output of manufacturers.
This meant a hard time securing supplies and maintaining inventory levels for resale for small businesses. Most companies couldn’t efficiently deliver products with the high demands placed by customers.
Here are three ways you can take care of your supply chain:
- Explore warehouse management software that provides real-time monitoring of inventory levels and drives business decisions.
- Ensure that quality control is part of the process to ensure top-notch products or services. For instance, use a feedback mechanism or star ratings to solicit customer feedback.
- Gather consumer insights through marketing campaigns (e.g., surveys, focus groups) to know the main concerns of your target audience and optimize their experience with your product or service. This can help improve overall sales during good times and bad.
4. Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan
Imagine yourself in the middle of a business crisis, and you don’t have an emergency plan to guide you and your team through it. It’s not going to be easy.
Luckily, businesses today can use several tools at their disposal that offer reliable information on emergencies that could lead to business disruption:
- Use geomapping software to help your employees navigate through an emergency. This is especially important if they’re still at home or stranded en route to work during bad weather conditions.
- Install online systems to make sure your customers are aware of the incident, its effects on your business operations, and your response to it. Plus, provide them with alternative solutions for transacting with you in the meantime.
- Build partnerships with reputable logistics providers who can deliver goods in case of an emergency so you can resume transactions quickly once the crisis is over.
The 2022 pandemic has changed the face of business forever. It’s no longer the same old grind, where companies can lean on their established processes and highly skilled workforce to produce goods or deliver services.
This is why businesses must take advantage of technology today to develop flexible systems to handle unpredictable changes in the future. Don’t wait until things get worse. Grow your business now by learning from the best industry professionals.