So, we’ve made it to the end of the first month in 2021! While millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners will be more than happy to shake the dust of last year from our hands, for many, the next 11 months are no more certain than the very bumpy year we’ve just endured.

You may be looking at business plans and wondering if they’re a good fit for 2021, or already struggling with a mountain of e-mails from the start of the New Year. We can help ease the former burden, and we’ve also put together a few tips for finding clarity at times of uncertainty.

Manage your money

Last year’s lockdowns played merry hell with payments for businesses, and it forced many entrepreneurs to think sideways to make sure the cash flow continued in the right direction.

Make sure you’ve investigated all the support options offered by the government, carry out a systematic review of slow-paying people or firms, and watch out for what may be great deals for suppliers – it may make better sense in the long term to hang on to your money.

Refine your operations

Last year saw millions of small businesses make the leap to online sales, with varying degrees of success. Demand for e-commerce is still strong, and if you’re among those entrepreneurs whose bricks and mortar store has been closed, then taking a closer look at your online operations is crucial.

Are your supply chains at risk from further disruption, and can you find alternatives? Are you happy with your stock levels, or do you need a flash sale to remove a glut of one or two products? Are there any goods or services you offer that aren’t paying their way that can be replaced with ones that will? A root-and-branch analysis of your business will help you understand how to move it forward and grow.

Don’t be distracted

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Every entrepreneur or small business owner knows that, even though you’re the boss, you still have to wear several hats to get things done and stay on budget.

But it’s so easy to get bogged down in admin, social media posting and managing e-mails, to the point the most important or – dare we say it – the enjoyable part of running your own business comes a distant third or fourth place. We can shoulder that burden! Investing in the vast range of skills offered by virtual assistants will bring clarity as you can take a wider view of your business and steer it in the direction you want it to go.

List and learn skills

Taking stock of what you’re good at and areas where you could do to brush up a bit are relatively easy ways to bring clarity during times of uncertainty.

Making a list of the skills you have not only gives your confidence a boost, it can also throw up ideas and ways that you can make the most of those abilities. Likewise, if there are areas you’re a little rusty in, check your local business networks for firms that could offer training or other ways to help.

Make time for you

Running a business takes commitment, dedication and inspiration, and it doesn’t always leave much time for entrepreneurs to put their feet up and relax.

Yet self-care, particularly in uncertain times, is crucial to our mental health and the health of a business. If you’re burned out or worn down, it can be harder to identify what works and what doesn’t, come up with new ideas or ensure your customer service is up to scratch. Even if you have to diary it, make sure you take time out to stop and smell the roses. Your business will benefit – and so will you!

If you want to keep 2021 on an even keel rather than floundering, Virtual Assistant Whiz offers vital admin support on an ad-hoc or regular basis. Contact us at info@virtualassistantwhiz.co.uk to get started.

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