Growing your business in a post-COVID world
Across the world, businesses were forced to either partially or fully shut down business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This put serious financial strain on businesses who were unable to sustain their previous revenue. With few options available during lockdowns and COVID regulations, businesses across several industries including hospitality and food service saw dramatic declines in gross receipts, especially during the 2020 tax year.
Now that the world is moving forward from the pandemic, it may be time to reassess your business strategies that you had in place before COVID. Here are a few tips for growing your business in a Post-COVID World.
1) Assess your financial plan
A financial plan helps businesses weigh costs, revenue, and determine strategies for either growing or maintaining their current state of business. If the pandemic showed businesses anything, it showed them to make sure that they have a strong financial reserve in place in case of the unexpected.
Most businesses during the pandemic saw a serious decline in gross receipts. Going forward, determine where you can cut costs to increase revenue growth and make up for lost revenue during the pandemic. If you are a restaurant, you could change one of your food suppliers if there is a cheaper one available.
If you are in hospitality, determine whether any free amenities or low cost deals you have in place are earning you substantial profit. You can also cut costs through using renewable energy sources to power your business, cutting back on staff where needed, or updating your products based on profitability.
2) Take advantage of government incentives
Because of the pandemic, businesses in retail, tech, hospitality, food service, construction, and more saw dramatic declines in gross receipts. Those dips in revenue prompted the government to put financial relief incentives in place.
Through the CARES Act, qualifying businesses could receive loans (PPP), tax credits (ERTC), and other financial incentives. Although the deadlines for some of those incentives, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, have passed, there are still others available to help businesses recover financial loss.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a refundable tax credit established to incentivize businesses into keeping employees on payroll during the pandemic. The deadline for applying for the ERTC for the 2020 tax year is April 15, 2024, while the deadline for the 2021 tax year is April 15, 2025. If businesses apply and are approved for a bigger tax credit than what they owed for that tax year, they will receive the rest as a refund.
If you qualify for the ERTC, the best way to apply is using an experienced ERC consultant. ERC consulting firms consist of certified tax accountants and tax attorneys who understand how to navigate the IRS. They can help you amend your tax return and get you in line faster with the IRS. This is essential to receiving your credit faster, as the IRS has already experienced delays in the approval process for ERTC.
3) Prepare for the unpredictable
Most people and businesses alike were not prepared for a global pandemic that halted business operations and daily life across the world. Now that the world is beginning to return to normal in a post-pandemic world, businesses can better prepare for the unexpected.
This does not mean that businesses should anticipate every possible apocalyptic outcome that could occur. But, having a financial reserve and a plan for both staff and business operations in the case of the unpredictable can help protect you in the long run. Some ways you can protect your business include:
- Set aside a certain percentage of your profit margin per tax quarter for emergencies.
- Create a business plan, and a backup plan, for predicted events.
- Empower and train your team to be best prepared to adapt to a new situation.
- Continue to adapt with the environment around you.
Businesses should never be set in their ways while the environment around them changes. Learning to adapt with the environment helps you prepare for whatever might come next.
4) Prioritize revenue growth
After the pandemic, the main goal of most businesses was to recoup the losses sustained during 2020 and even 2021. For some businesses, operations were forced to shut down completely. For others, in order to stay open they had to prepare with new cleaning methods and other costly checks and balances required by government regulations and societal expectations.
Post-pandemic, prioritizing revenue growth can help you recover financially at a faster rate. Find out if there are ways to increase your profit margins, reduce current business expenses, and still provide the quality of business your customers or clients expect.
5) Focus on your workforce
A happier staff is a healthier business. Employees are the backbone of why businesses were able to stay alive during and after the pandemic. Empowering your workforce is a great way to set yourself up for a successful future. Providing your staff with expert training and business organization helps them adapt to any future situations that may come. You will also benefit as a company when your staff is dedicated to the business’ success.