With the continuing restrictions caused by the pandemic, 2021 is shaping up to be another difficult year for businesses.
Planning budgets and strategies can be stressful any year. This year has the added complication of an ongoing pandemic. With so many uncertainties ahead and a constantly changing business landscape, it might seem like planning business goals and forecasting revenue for next year is a lost cause.
But it doesn’t have to be. While things are likely to change - again - in the coming months, we have some tips to help you steer your company forward into financial success.
- Keep your customers in the loop.
Customer service and communication are more important than ever. As circumstances change, consumers expect to be informed about how it affects where they spend their money. Create a plan for increased or flexible customer service hours and consider offering new ways to get in touch like online chat or text help.
- Be honest—with customers, employees, partners, investors, and yourself.
It can be tempting to believe that things will simply get back to normal at some point. However, we will likely be dealing with the repercussions of this pandemic for a long time. Have a communication strategy that can help set realistic expectations. If shipping is taking longer than usual, let customers know before they make a purchase. When slower business may mean reduced hours for employees, communicate that in advance to give them time to adjust. The more honest you are with everyone, the less likely you are to take a hit when things change.
- Evaluate everything.
Now’s the time to think about streamlining processes, improving technology, and other projects that have been considered lower priorities. Identifying inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement can help you determine where to spend your money to get the best return.
- Invest in your future.
While it can be tempting to cut costs to the bare minimum to help increase revenue in the short term, the real goal is continually increasing revenue over time. Once you’ve pinpointed the areas that could help your business succeed, fund the projects with the best potential ROI. Better technology and more efficient processes will mean keeping more revenue moving forward.
- Expand options where possible.
Consumers have significantly changed their habits this year. While some habits will likely change back when people feel safe going out, others are thought to be the new normal moving forward. Offering more payment options, omnichannel buying opportunities, and expanded customer support will help your company compete in what is becoming a very crowded market online. Finding areas that can be expanded without too many resources can help you increase customer trust and boost your bottom line.
- Understand current threats.
Business practices are not the only thing that has changed recently; fraud has also adapted to consumer’s new habits. In a new survey, 54% of Americans stated that multiple packages had been stolen after delivery in the last 12 months. Chargeback clients have seen increased dispute filings, and data breaches could be more harmful than ever for many companies. Protecting yourself from the biggest current threats can help you retain more revenue.
- Be ready to change the plan.
While creating a plan can help you recognize where your company is headed, the truth is that you will likely have to adapt it multiple times in the coming months. As individual states and countries continue to change restrictions and suggestions for public safety, companies will need to be prepared to flow with those changes. Having escalation plans for potential issues and options should your company need to change operations can help you be proactive instead of reactive—ultimately saving you money.
This year has hit every industry differently. Some companies are seeing record sales in some areas but still overall decreases in revenue. Creating a plan to help maximize your revenue next year can help get your company back on track.
To learn more about how Chargeback can help you keep more of your revenue, book a demo today.