The pandemic is seemingly almost over and I believe that that one the most prolific economic expansions in history is about to hit. You've already seen the build up in things like record stock market prices and huge gains in real-estate; however, unprecedented Covid 19 stimulus and low interest rates are also going to make sure that business gets its day in the sun. If you're a business owner in any industry, now is the time to get going. In my latest blog, I lay out some timely actions to think about at this critical time. As always, if you have a question or think you might want to work together, please get in touch through my Home Page. Also, never miss a blog by following me on LinkedIn or Facebook.
1) Raise your Prices - Inflation is Coming!
If you operate a well run, in demand business, consider raising your prices. This is especially true if you haven't updated your prices in a while due to the pandemic. You might lose some customers initially, however, if you provide great value, you'll likely just end up with more revenue for a little less work. That extra revenue and time can help you push your business forward.
Furthermore, don't think of it as being greedy; inflation is coming and it's predicted to hit hard. Inflation will be driven primarily by the vast amount of artificial money that was pumped into the economy by Covid 19 stimulus plus persistent low interest rates. Chances are, if you don't closely monitor your prices, your margins are going to shrink because many of your operating costs are going to go up while your prices stay the same.
2) Look to New Markets and Try New Things
The Covid 19 pandemic has permanently changed the operating landscape for many businesses and industries. This is the time to take advantage and capitalize on the opportunities you may have noticed over the last 15 or so months. While this blog is too short for specific examples, the message is simple, now might be perfect time to expand your businesses reach, area, products or services. Your competition might still be worried about the future; however, they won't stay worried for long.
3) Get a Business Coach, Mentor or Secure some Key Advisors
The coaching, mentoring and advisor scene is really starting to take shape and can be a real competitive advantage for your business. Things like business development, new technology, social media, etc, don't come naturally to many business owners and for things like this, the struggle is real. To really ramp up and get ahead as the pandemic winds down, consider getting some help in the areas you need it most. Coaches and mentors can be generalists who act as sounding boards for many topics and advisors can help you in specific areas. In my opinion, even though there's a cost, great advice is usually worth it.
4) Consider Taking on New Debt or Equity - Now is a Great Time!
Interest rates are CHEAP and valuations for companies are sky high. If you have a sound plan for expansion or new equipment, now, in my opinion, is a great time to take the leap of faith to try to build your business. This is especially true because interest rates are so low and financial institutions have plenty of money they need to deploy.
Alternatively, if you operate a start up (or are thinking about starting one), now might be the perfect time to get in front of some deep pocketed friends and family or angel investors. Unless you live under a rock, you should know that most asset classes have increased significantly over the last 12 months. Right now is a great time to pitch your business or idea since there's a lot of capital out there.
5) Get the Best Employees, for a Fair Price - Be Flexible!
As the pandemic winds down, employers are starting to ask employees to crawl back to the office for potential full return to normal conditions starting in the fall. Many employees aren't happy with that arrangement and a big swath of really qualified employees are keeping their options open. If you're a business that can work with remote employees (even though maybe not your preference), I encourage you to be flexible. Hybrid work opportunities and full remote opportunities are going to attract a lot of applicants for you. Making your workplace flexible to attract workers is super critical since, in my opinion, a skilled labour shortage is coming and it's coming fast. For more on why you should adopt a flexible workplace, check my related blog HERE.
6) Efficiently Spend More on Marketing
Things like organic lead generation, word of mouth and referrals are all great forms of marketing; however, this is a critical time to take action and paid advertising will help you get results faster. If you've recently reviewed your marketing strategy and already work with an expert, you're in a great spot to capitalize; more marketing budget should help grow your brand awareness and drive leads.
However, if you haven't reviewed your marketing strategy recently or you don't have a qualified marketing resource you can lean on, I'd suggest you look into that first. Whatever new budget for marketing you can muster, it would be most wisely spent on strategy and/or a key resource versus just plowing it into whatever you have been doing. Consider hiring experts in SEO, social media marketing, and marketing strategists, etc.
7) Hire Business Development Employees or Contractors
Now might be the perfect time to hire in a business development role. Face it, there's only so much ground you and your existing team can cover. As the economy opens back up and really starts to take off, new team members can help generate new ideas but more importantly increase overall leads. Increased presence for you right now is important because businesses and consumers are currently looking to buy; the more outreach you have to these buyers, the more likely you are to get that business versus your competition.
8) Review your Business Planning and Strategy
It's no secret that a vast quantity of business owners operate without a clear business plan or strategy. The pandemic has caused major shifts in consumer behaviour, technology and how industries operate. If you don't spend adequate time strategizing you are undoubtedly going to lose opportunity at this critical time. I recommend that no matter how busy you are, that you pause and strategize. For more on business planning and why it's so critical, check out my related blog HERE.