If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that staying flexible is one of the best business strategies around. Just when we thought we had something figured out, the world would change again and require a pivot. While we’re hopeful that as the Counting Crows sang, “maybe this year will be better than the last,” we’ve also learned to stay on our toes. Here are 3 strategies businesses in any industry can use to stay flexible—and successful—in the year ahead.
1. Keep contingency plans close at hand
While the introduction of vaccines has been promising, it’s still yet to be seen how quickly states will be able to roll out doses, who will have access to the vaccine and when, and what effect this will have on community spread. Since we know not everyone will have access to the vaccine anytime soon, you’ll still need to make sure you’re keeping everyone safe, following suggested protocols from health officials, and finding ways to keep your business up and running.
Because of this, it pays to stay nimble and have those back-up or COVID contingency plans ready for whatever restrictions come your way. These include:
- Fine-tuning your e-commerce and contactless payment strategies
Online sales will likely continue to grow, regardless of how quickly we achieve herd immunity. Make sure you have solid options for people to spend money with your company online. You should also make sure people can pay for things in-person using contactless methods, as more and more people move away from cash for both safety and convenience.
- Continuing with curbside
Similarly, if you offer to-go or curbside services, make sure you have a solid plan in place to keep those running, including hiring enough staff trained to work those services, regardless of whether or not you have resumed in-person shopping or indoor dining.
- Getting creative with new revenue streams
2021 is not the year to be complacent or narrow-focused. Having multiple ideas on the back burner is a smart idea for businesses in any industry. Thinking of creative ways to host virtual events, revisiting your social media strategy, or looking for ways to bring in extra money to your business should be a number one priority as we start a new year.
2. Review and update company policies
New employees joining your business will have to get up to speed on your company’s specific protocols quickly, and because things can change at a moment’s notice, it’s crucial to always have the latest version of your company policies ready to go. Include pertinent information for the latest health regulations and in-store protocols, sick leave policies, and other guidelines and be sure to update them frequently. And be prepared for additional changes for these policies and regulations not just as the pandemic response evolves, but as a new administration takes office, as there are typically additional changes that take place during those transitions.
3. Eliminate cash flow headaches with digital tips + EWA
In a world that’s moved away from using cash, tips and other payments are probably coming into your business in a predominantly digital form. But what happens when you need to then tip out your employees in cash? If you’ve been struggling to manage your cash flow, don’t feel like you need to carry this burden with you into 2021. Allow for better payroll flexibility and cash flow management by switching to digital tip payouts. You can have your employees tipped out digitally after each shift, in addition to other reimbursements for things like gas mileage.
Digital payments will give your business greater flexibility—and fewer cash flow issues—than trying to operate in cash. It eliminates the cash flow burden on your part (or unnecessary trips to the bank for change), plus it gives your employees faster access to the money they’ve earned.
You can also help boost your employees’ flexibility by offering them earned wage access, or Instant Pay, which is when you grant employees access to a portion of their earned wages ahead of time. EWA has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past several years, becoming table stakes to offer your employees. It not only provides them the flexibility to pay for unexpected expenses that arise between paychecks, but it helps your business stay ahead of the pack by offering a competitive benefit.
Staying flexible and innovative in 2021
If there’s one thing to take into 2021, it’s the knowledge that even the best laid plans are subject to change. That’s why staying prepared for multiple scenarios, ensuring your business is flexible, and switching to digital payments are all strategies that can help you navigate whatever comes your way with success.
For more information on how upgrading your payment technology can help both your company and your employees thrive this year, schedule a demo below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.