As we navigate the first few weeks of 2021, there are many reasons to be hopeful. But even as vaccines against COVID-19 are being rolled out across the UK, their effects are still not likely to be felt until at least late Spring. Before that happens, we've got the repercussions of Brexit to deal with!
It's little surprise to learn that UK small business owners have had a few things keeping them up at night. But here at PagoFX, we like to think we can help you sleep better. Here are some of our top tips on how to stay afloat during this ongoing uncertainty - and more importantly - stay optimistic for what's to come:
Have a back up plan
If last year taught us anything, it's that life and business can be totally unpredictable. Make sure you're planning for the future, both financially and logistically, but be prepared to be nimble and pivot as needed. As helpful as the pandemic related financial support has been, (including the bounce back loan for businesses), it's important to remember that some of this financial support may eventually need to be paid back. Make sure you factor this into your 2021 financial plans.
Clients, vendors, employees, and bosses - there isn't one job role or person who didn't struggled during 2020. It's important to remember we're all human and we are enduring a really significant time in history. We all have different ways of dealing with it. By practicing understanding, you'll have a better chance of retaining staff, winning back clients who may have paused operations last year and help make your place of work (whether virtual or in person!) a little more pleasant.
Get ahead with tax returns
We will soon reach 31 January - the deadline for self-assessed tax returns - and for many, tax payments which were originally due on 31 July 2020 will be payable. Making sure you are on top of this in good time and not leaving it until the last minute will set you and your business up in good stead for 2021.
Remember your "Why"
When you first started your business, you probably anticipated a few bumps in the road, but this didn't stop you from pursuing your dream. A global pandemic is far from what any of us expected to come up against but remembering why you started in the first place and the goals and ambitions you had in mind pre-COVID can be crucial for keeping you in the right mental headspace for the coming months.
Look after number one
A healthy, positive mindset is integral to a successful business operation. If you're not looking after yourself, how can you expect your business to thrive? Self-care and taking time out is paramount, especially given the mental toll 2020 took on everyone, especially entrepreneurs and business owners. Give yourself a break, keep talking to those both within and outside of your industry and lean on others when needed.
'Tis the season to go digital
It's fair to say 2020 would have been a very different year if we hadn't had access to the wonderful technology we did. From Zoom meetings helping us keep in touch with teammates, to networking events and training sessions going online, it's never been easier to broaden your horizons from the comfort of your home office. Make sure you utilise all that technology has to offer to help strengthen your business as we move through 2021, whether that's through online training courses, paying international vendors or employees with a service like PagoFX while travel is still restricted, or investing in your social channels to help spread awareness of your brand and business.
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Take time to reflect
In order to move forward, it's important to recognise how far you've come and take time to give yourself credit. It's easy to get so caught up in running the company's day-to-day operations that you can forget to set up a time to consider the bigger picture. Make sure you set aside 30 minutes a week to review your company's goals, problems, and how you plan to address them, as well as to reflect on the lessons you have learned!
Copyright 2021. Article made possible by site supporter Rocio Almoguera of PagoFX