An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide for 2021
Being an entrepreneur is never easy. This is one of the most challenging times that there has ever been for business leaders. It is no surprise that so many companies are struggling and even closing for good.
The coronavirus pandemic, global recession, Brexit, political issues, global warming, and the rise of cybercrime are huge issues impacting the business world in 2021. This has created a challenging time for entrepreneurs.
While it is a difficult time, it is also the perfect opportunity to flex your entrepreneurial skills. There have been many great examples of business leaders finding ways to thrive during turbulent times. With this in mind, read on for advice on how an entrepreneur can find success even in difficult times like these.
1. Stay Positive
It has been easy to look at the news over the last year and feel despondent, especially when you see previously successful businesses closing, unemployment on the rise, more significant divisions within society and other negativity in the news.
While it is undoubtedly important to be aware of what is happening worldwide, you also need to remain positive and stay motivated. While there are many issues and problems that could impact your business, a lot of this is outside of your control – there is no reason you can’t find success right now. There is a lot to be optimistic about in the short and long term.
Limiting your news intake could be an intelligent step, especially if you often find it overwhelming.
2. Take an Online MBA Michigan Course
It is always a good time to take an online MBA Michigan, but now especially, great business leaders are required, and there are many challenges in the business world.
An online MBA Michigan program will arm you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence that are needed to lead a business through a difficult period and out the other side, including the ability to create strategies to take the business forward as all as manage a team during stressful and worrying times.
An online MBA Michigan program can be completed entirely online. You can study in your spare time, so the online MBA Michigan program can be juggled with managing your business, and you can start applying what you are learning straight away.
3. Learn From History
Leading on from this, there is also a lot that you can learn by looking back through history. This is not the first financial crisis that has been encountered, nor will it be the last. There is a considerable amount that you can learn by looking back through other recessions and challenging economic times, including the 2008 financial crisis.
The economy will recover, and the market will trend upwards, so you need to keep this in mind and remember that things will improve moving forward. You might find it helpful to look into how other businesses in your industry managed during the last financial crisis to see if there are steps that you could take to protect the company and find some success during this challenging period.
4. Engage With Other Business Leaders
Many business leaders like to keep their cards close to their chest. Still, in challenging times like this, it is a chance for business leaders with an online MBA Michigan qualification to come together and support one another.
Engaging with other business leaders could help you find ideas for ways to manage during a challenging period – you could explore new business ideas together or simply use each other as a source of support.
5. Be Flexible
An online MBA Michigan program will teach you how to develop a corporate strategy that will come in useful in 2021, but you must also have some flexibility and plan for different outcomes.
The pandemic has proven that the unexpected can happen. There have been many bumps in the road over the last year, and there are likely to be more moving forward. The businesses that have managed to not only survive but actually thrive during the pandemic have been the flexible ones, light on their feet, and willing to adapt, and this is something that every entrepreneur needs to consider moving forward.
6. Explore New Ideas
Following this, you might also find that now is an excellent time to explore new ideas and markets. It will not be a business case as usual once the pandemic ends as the consumer wants, needs and expectations have entirely changed.
As an entrepreneur, you will want to use this as a fresh slate and find new ways to attract customers. You need to think about what life will be like in a post-pandemic marketplace and then develop business ideas that can succeed within this marketplace.
Online shopping, contactless technologies, health and fitness, gaming, and e-learning are just a few sectors that are likely to flourish after COVID-19 and areas that any entrepreneur should be keeping an eye on.
7. Reduce Your Costs
One of the most obvious steps to take in the current situation is to reduce your business costs to optimize your bottom line. While this is good advice, you must also be careful as you do not want to start making cuts that could ultimately cost you more money in the long run and negatively impact your business.
This is why you need to think about the implications of each cut and only make a cut if you are confident that it will not have a negative impact. A few examples of ways to make cuts that won’t come back to haunt you include:
- Remote work
- Alternative energy
- Negotiating with suppliers
- Using energy-efficient equipment
8. Stay Current
With so much happening all around the world, it is essential to stay current as an entrepreneur. As mentioned before, it can be depressing and worrying watching the news, and you should not obsess over it. Still, you do need to stay current, particularly when it comes to issues like COVID-19 so that you can protect public health while also finding ways to succeed with your business.
Keep up to date with global events, and this will allow you to take action and avoid getting left behind.
9. Communicate Closely With Staff
Now it is also necessary to stay in touch with staff, check in on them, and work together to find the best ways to work. The switch to remote work has worked very well for many, and some companies plan to continue with this once the pandemic has ended, but it has not worked out for all, and many employees have struggled, so a hybrid approach might be the best solution.
Additionally, there will be many that will struggle moving forward and, as a leader, you need to be able to support your team, help in any way that you can, and be someone that they can come to with their difficulties.
10. Ask for Feedback From Customers
In addition to maintaining close communication with your employees, you also need to maintain communication with customers, particularly when moving out of the pandemic. This will be a tricky time as businesses will be desperate to get customers back, but confidence could below.
This is why you need to ask for feedback and ideas to make customers feel safe, find ways to keep them happy and maintain solid relationships moving forward.
Consumers will always favor businesses that they trust and have their interests in mind, so communication is vital moving forward.
11. Make Cybersecurity a Priority
Cybercrime has been a significant problem for businesses for many years now. Still, the pandemic has made the situation much worse, with so many people working remotely and the rise of many new scams looking to capitalize on the confusion.
As a business leader, you do not want to take any risks whatsoever, and you need to make cybersecurity a priority as a successful attack could be devastating. You need to invest in high-quality cybersecurity and use staff training so that everyone knows how to stay safe, protect company data, and identify the most common cybersecurity scams.
12. Find Ways to Protect Your Business
Leading on from this, you also need to find other ways to protect your business, and the pandemic has proven that external factors can destroy a successful business. There are many good ways to protect your business, such as:
- Physical security
- Trademarks and copyrights
- Terms and conditions
13. Be Philanthropic
With so many issues around the globe, it is no surprise that modern-day consumers are becoming increasingly selective of the brands they use and spending time researching the practices of different companies.
Being philanthropic as a business leader is something that can bring many benefits. This can also be helpful in terms of improving your brand reputation and attracting new customers.
14. Be Green
Similarly, businesses need to find ways to reduce their environmental impact, and again there are obvious ethical reasons for doing this. Still, it could also improve your reputation and even lower your costs in many cases.
Now is the time for taking action to protect the environment, and you will be looked on favorably by today’s consumers if you take action and raise awareness. A few of the best ways for a business to be greener include:
- Alternative energy
- Energy efficiency equipment and appliances
- Remote work
- Using green materials
- Being a paperless company
- Using green suppliers
- Eliminating single-use plastics
- Increasing recycling
15. Learn From the Competition
It is always a bright idea to keep an eye on the competition, particularly when every company is going through a challenging period. You could learn a lot from analyzing the competition, including identifying strategies to survive and potentially finding a gap in the market to fill.
It is also worth looking at industry-leading brands and even those outside of your industry, as you might be able to find new ideas here that will help you to succeed.
16. Embrace New Technology
Business owners that stay current with technology will always be at an advantage, so you need to learn about the latest tech trends in business and finds ways to incorporate these into your daily operation.
Technology can be used in all kinds of ways in today’s day and age, including automating tasks, reducing costs, making work easier for your team, providing greater insight, improving product quality, and increasing brand awareness.
17. Be Smart With Personal Finances
An entrepreneur certainly needs to be intelligent with company finances during difficult times like these. Still, you must also be smart with your finances, not under extreme pressure for the business to maintain the same level of success.
In addition to keeping your own outgoings down, you might want to look into starting a side hustle, passive income streams, and moving money around to make the most out of it and to reduce personal finance stress.
Now is also an excellent time for entrepreneurs to learn and develop new skills to help them and their businesses thrive. If things are quieter than usual, it is effortless to sit around and panic, but if you are up-skilling, this will be a good use of time and help you take the company forward.
All kinds of valuable skills can be developed, and often you can take an online course, much like the online MBA Michigan program. An online MBA Michigan program might just be what you need to give you a competitive edge.
Hopefully, the information in this post will come in useful to an entrepreneur in these strange, unique, and challenging times.
There are many major global issues impacting business right now. These will not magically disappear once the pandemic has ended, but there are reasons to be optimistic. When you know how to manage through this time during an online MBA Michigan degree, it will hopefully help you find some success with your business and take your company to new heights.
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