Four tips to help your small business emerge stronger in 2021

Small business owner holding up a welcome sign

Updated March 31, 2021

It’s certainly exciting to see a return to normalcy on the horizon, but as any small business owner knows, it’s not as easy as just waking up one day to find everything back to normal. It’s going to take some adapting, some pivoting and a lot of hard work. To make things a little easier, we’ve assembled some tips that can have a big impact on your small business.

1.) Apply for a Second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan

A PPP loan is one of the most valuable resources available to small businesses. For many it’s been a game changer. Even if you’ve already received one, it’s possible to get a second. You must have fewer than 300 employees and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The good news is, most small businesses will be eligible for loan forgiveness, so you may not have to pay the loan back. The enrollment period for the second draw was just extended to May 31st. However, that new deadline will be here before we know it, so consider making this your top priority.

2.) Take a step back and look at your business with fresh eyes

Reflection is a big component of revitalizing your business. Granted, that’s easier said than done with all that’s on your plate. But taking the time to evaluate what worked in the past, or how to reallocate your spending, or how to meet the evolved expectations of your customers, is crucial. Start by setting new goals. Identify the team and money you need to help realize those goals. Then plan out a schedule that can serve as your playbook moving forward. Here’s a useful template to help you get started.

3.) Reassess your online presence, specifically social media

This past year, consumers interacted with businesses online more than ever before. This was done out of necessity, but it’s expected to continue out of habit. Therefore, you should consider ramping up your social media communications in 2021. Start by developing an editorial calendar, defining your content, and crafting messages that keep audiences engaged. For a little guidance, check out these helpful tips.

4.) Lean on expert advice – for free

Sometimes it’s nice to just talk things out with someone who’s been there and done that. Fortunately, there’s a nonprofit out there called SCORE that checks both those boxes. In partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE offers small businesses access to remote mentoring services, webinars, and a collection of e-guides, templates, blogs and videos – all free.

We know the next steps may not be easy. But the resiliency you showed in starting and running your small business will be the very thing that helps you emerge from these unique times stronger than ever.