2020 was a rough year for everyone, and New Year’s Day held special significance this year as people around the world looked to 2021 with a renewed sense of hope. With the holidays over and your team back to work, it’s time to think about shifting out of the survival mode forced upon businesses last year in order to begin planting the seeds of renewed growth for 2021 and beyond.
Like all tough times, the COVID-19 pandemic offered some hard-learned but extremely valuable lessons. Those lessons will help guide your business through the back end of the pandemic and beyond. Among those lessons are the value remote work can offer to your organization, the importance of a strong emergency fund, and the importance of leveraging technology to keep the revenue up and costs down in challenging business environments. Each represents a way you can pull positives from the pain of 2020 and use them as a jumping-off point for a strong 2021.
Lean Into Remote Work
If your company went remote in 2020, you probably saw firsthand just how well a decentralized office can work once the initial kinks are ironed out. Sticking to that work-from-home arrangement for the remainder of 2021 and beyond offers some major benefits. First and foremost, a remote workforce minimizes your space needs and, in turn, your overhead. Finding ways to slash costs is even more valuable during tough times than it is normally, and making remote work a permanent part of your business is a great way to lean up your operations.
Remote work also offers some significant benefits to your employees’ well-being and work quality. Research has shown that remote work improves productivity while also providing employees the flexibility they need to better manage their work-life balance. Unsurprisingly, more than 85% of employees say they’d like to continue working from home at least part of the week after the pandemic is over, and almost 4 in 10 hope to avoid the office for three to four days each week.
Start Building Uncertainty Into Your Budget
If there is one thing 2020 taught business owners around the globe, it’s that disaster can and will strike. Being prepared is the only sure-fire way to minimize the pain. Preparing specifically for a once-in-a-century pandemic is completely impractical, but general emergency planning is now clearly necessary, and that starts with an adequate emergency fund.
Assuming you’re not struggling to make payroll, 2021 is the year to build an emergency fund into your company’s financial planning to ensure that the next time a natural disaster or black swan event arises, you’ll have the cash flow necessary to keep your business afloat. Emergency funds should be built-up over time so as not to put a strain on other areas of your operations.
While there are no hard and fast rules for funding them, some best practices include:
- Ensuring 10% or more of annual revenues are in the bank as cash at all times
- Automating savings based on a percentage of transactions so that faster progress can be made during times of plenty
- Keeping emergency funds in cash or in low-risk, high-liquidity investment vehicles to ensure availability when disaster strikes
Leverage Technology to Work Smarter
With the pandemic set to linger deep into 2021, finding ways to work smarter and do more with less will be crucial to both your immediate success and your ability to position yourself to enjoy explosive growth once COVID-19 is under control. Working smarter enables your company to maximize revenues and squeeze more profit from each dollar brought in by minimizing the time, money, and resources required to operate. There is no better way to do that than to employ technology to augment and enhance your workforce.
Arguably the most impactful technology you can put to work in 2021 is customer resource management software, or CRM, for short. CRM software brings all of your organization’s sales, marketing, and customer management tasks into a single point of control, minimizing the number of platforms you and your team have to juggle, and streamlining your most important workflows. In addition to customer-facing tasks, high-end CRM systems, like CRMDialer, improve productivity across your administrative and managerial teams as well.
CRMs are particularly well suited to remote work environments, as they provide your entire team with cloud-based access to a centralized database of all your most important customer and operational data. That means your team has complete access to all of the tools and information they need, whether they’re working from the office, at home, or even the local coffee shop. CRMDialer’s built-in power dialer also ensures that your staff will have access to an enterprise-quality call center even when working from home, and the platform even includes an internal chat system that offers features rivaling many of the top team collaboration tools.
Employing a system like CRMDialer will enable your team to collect and utilize leads more effectively, speed up and streamline the sales process, improve ongoing customer service, and focus less on time-consuming busy work and more on revenue-generating activities.
For a firsthand look at all the ways a customer resource management platform can help make 2021 a breakout year, start your free 14-day trial of CRMDialer today.
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