Whether your business was impacted positively or negatively in 2020, you likely had to make a few sudden pivots as the year played out. Amidst all the uncertainty about the future, there are a few key things you can do to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to any other curve balls to come.

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Ask yourself “How has 2020 impacted my business plan?”

Generally, business owners are experiencing one of two scenarios, both of which cause stress and require adjustments often with little time to plan.

  1. Has your business revenue been disrupted or displaced?
  2. Has your business experienced a significant increase in demand?

Whichever category you fall into, you’ll find some helpful questions below to guide you through next steps.

For businesses experiencing revenue disruption

The pandemic has put significant pressure on many business owners’ revenue, causing them to re-evaluate how their business will operate in the future. If this is you, here are five questions to help you plan for the future.

  1. How has this economic change impacted your short- and long-term business goals?

    Taking a close look at this will give you a clear understanding of how your short- or long-term plans may have been impacted and how that will inform your priorities in the coming months.

  2. What are some creative ways you could reach your market?

    Brainstorming new approaches to connect with your customers could help uncover an opportunity to pivot or a way to speed up your future plans and create a new goal.

  3. What tools or resources (financial, equipment, employees, partners) will you need?

    If you decide to shift your business model or try out a new approach, ask yourself what it will take to get there so you can start charting your next steps.

  4. Is your investment portfolio diverse, balanced and supporting your personal financial fitness?

    In this low interest rate environment, it may be tempting to invest any available funds entirely into your business, but it’s important to strengthen your business and personal financial fitness over time.

  5. Have you explored the supports that are available for you and your business?

    Government programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) have been evolving over the past year, so it’s worth looking into whether these changes affect your eligibility.

For businesses experiencing increased demand

In some cases, the pandemic has caused sudden and unexpected increases in sales and customer demand. While this can be enticing, this situation can cause strain on business owners as they try to keep up. If this is the impact you’ve been experiencing, answer the following three questions as you prepare for the future.

  1. Is this increase in demand short-term in nature or do you anticipate it will continue beyond the pandemic?

    Having a strong understanding of this will impact your decision-making on whether to invest in the long-term with larger purchases and increased overhead, or to alleviate a temporary increase in demand with short-term solutions.

  2. Will it be profitable to invest into additional equipment, inventory, or people resources?

    Consider how meeting increasing demand will translate into your profits before you make any significant decisions. If they don’t add to your profits, they may not be worth the investment no matter how enticing the opportunity may be.

  3. Have you recently revisited your financial plan with your financial advisor?

    It may be difficult to carve out the time, but this is precisely the time to do it. Your advisor can provide solutions to help you keep up with demand and align your efforts to support your personal financial fitness as well.

We’re in this with you

These can be lonely times, no matter how this pandemic has impacted your business. That’s why having a committed financial advisor on your side is important. Servus stands with Alberta businesses to help them not only survive, but thrive.

Here are some ways Servus can help as you build your business’s future:

  • Establish digital business solutions, such as mobile payment acceptance, E-commerce, online banking or digital cheque deposits, to limit interactions without limiting your business potential
  • Review your financial plan, helping you determine your best options for addressing cash flow challenges through loans or investment opportunities to save for the future
  • Connect you to financial relief options to lessen the impact COVID-19 has on your business

Reach out to a Servus business advisor today and find out how we can help you and your business.