It's a cliche now to say that 2020 was a bad year. Yet, I'm sure its been a great learning experience for many. We might have suffered, individually and collectively, yet this suffering has also taught us a lot- how not to take things for granted, how not to be arrogant about success, how to tackle one day at a time when the going get's tough.
As we start 2021 with a renewed vigour and hope, there's always a reminder that nothing that we took for granted can really be taken for granted! So as vaccines roll out begin in different parts of the world, so does the news of a mutating strain that might cause more trouble than the current ones.
So what should a business do at times like these - when the only thing certain is uncertainty?
For starters, don't wait around to make a business decision unless you really have a very good reason to do so. Waiting to get more clarity was okay in April 2020. But it might not be the best idea in January 2021. You are not going to have sufficient data / insights to really know for sure what's going to happen over next six months or a year. Best to accept it and move forward. So if you feel the need to use a new software, or start a new marketing campaign as you are seeing some growth in your business, now is a good time to do so. Sleeping on it for next one month is unlikely to make you any wiser, and you'll have incurred an opportunity cost of wasting a month!
At the same time, ensure that you and your business are nimble and flexible enough to hunker down quickly if things take a turn for worse. So go for that software subscription by all means, but maybe you want to opt for a SAAS service on a monthly basis instead of a huge commitment for the long term. This will give you the option to cancel the subscription and save costs, if such a need arises in the near future.
Similarly if you are seeing some traction in your business and feel that a marketing campaign can help you improve your business, try to go for an option that doesn't require you to commit for a long term. Engage an agency with a short one or two month notice period instead of an annual commitment.
For a business to sustain what is likely to be a prolonged economic downturn, the best way is to take such baby steps onwards while protecting against any downside. This will ensure that when things do really turnaround, your business will have a head start as compared to those that were waiting for the perfect moment to move ahead. And this might just be the difference between businesses that survive these historic times and those that don't.
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