The past year has been so hard for most businesses to live on. With the fight against the pandemic hasn’t been over yet, there is finally a tiny hint of light of the vaccine, along with the hope that nothing more extraordinary would come to strike us.
The year 2020 was full of challenges, and so will 2021 be, apparently. Businesses, individuals, markets, and even society have dealt with not merely shifts but also dramatic changes. With more and more people losing their jobs due to the pandemic, some have discovered that starting their businesses may as well be the answer. Even without the pandemic, running or starting a business has never been easy, especially with the current situation. You need to learn the trends and stay on the right track to maintain your business well.
Starting a business is one thing, but maintaining one is an entirely different chapter. One needs not a couple of factors to consider, but may well be a lot more. Nevertheless, what’s left for the rest of us is to hang on a thread by doing the best we can to bring the business back on fire. Though cliche as it sounds, one cannot neglect the fact that being able to lift the business, however small the scale might be, means putting one more stepping stone to help the economy of this country return to its positive sentiment.
As if the pressure has not been so demanding, entrepreneurs are expected to always think about a beneficial, long-term strategy to quickly decide their company’s flow according to the economic conditions. To help entrepreneurs drive their business success, we’ve prepared top business challenges in 2021 and how to overcome them.
1. Dealing with the aftershocks of COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed the world, and no matter how much we hate it, the consequences this virus successfully made us deal with won’t be away quickly. Some of them may even last forever. Out of the many things brought by the pandemic, the predominant episode lies with the economic instability suffered by almost every country worldwide. Indonesia itself is still struggling against the impacts of COVID-19 on many business sectors in the country.
To ensure your company could survive the pandemic crisis, you will need smart strategies to sustain your business growth. Controlling your cash flow, we believe, is one of the most crucial aspects in ensuring your business sustainment. As entrepreneurs, you’ve got to pay attention to your business’s financial practices, make sure your company causes no futile expenses.
You could begin by writing your business plans for the next few weeks or months. That way, you can monitor and control your business expenses better. Another alternative is to hire a financial advisor to help you uncover methods to make your business more profitable and efficient. There is nothing better than consulting an expert, right? There is a reason they are called ‘experts’ in the first place.
2. Highly competitive market
Competition in the business sector is increasingly tight, along with the severe economic crisis of the country. In order to win the race, you need to prove that your company or product is superior to your business competitors. The best way to do that is to discover your business’s unique selling point. Try to highlight your company or product’s benefits that are useful and interesting for the customers.
Apart from making your company or product stand out over your competitors, you also have to figure out a clear target customer for your business. Start doing your research to determine the kind of people in which age group and social exposure will be interested in your product. That way, you can market your product to the right consumers and make your sales more profitable.
3. Scouting the best talents
Did you know that 2020 was the year with the highest level of unemployment in Indonesia since 2011? (Source: TheJakartaPost). With the unemployment figure being sky-high, one cannot deny that the government is, sort of hoping (and rather desperately at that), entrepreneurs can provide as many job opportunities as possible while at the same time helping to revive the country’s economy that has not yet improved significantly. As if you do not have too much on your plate already!
Even so, there are pretty limited job opportunities right now since most companies are reducing their business costs to adapt to the new reality. This situation then causes relatively intense competition among job seekers. Despite the fierce battle, yet as entrepreneurs, the essential thing to do is choose the right candidate that fits well to your company culture and needs.
For example, suppose you want to hire employees to support your company’s technological and marketing development. In that case, candidates who expertise in IT, digital marketing, and design fields will be well suited for your company’s needs. However, you can also look for employees with soft skills that stand out, such as analytical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills. After all, it’d be best to identify what your business needs and analyze them thoroughly beforehand.
4. Maintaining the business
Finally, the most important thing is to survive and thrive in the current condition by effectively maintaining your business. The year 2020 has taught us a lot about being resilient, adaptable, and flexible. Many people, especially entrepreneurs, are expected to improve their flexibility to deal with business fluctuations and uncertainty for the rest of this year, too, apparently.
Surely attaining flexibility is no easy task to be done, but your business needs to adapt to the change to keep going for many more years. Being flexible means, you’re not afraid of unexpected changes and decision-making, as well as listening to customers and understanding your co-workers.
You can start by building better communication with your team members since they are the people you always work side by side with. Try to always be open to critics and testimonials, both from your employees and customers, since it will benefit your business evaluation and future growth. But remember not to take criticism personally because it is alright to make mistakes sometimes. Everybody learns every day.
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Written by Nindya Ardyani (Copywriter at Apiary Coworking Space)