There’s no arguing that many Tampa area businesses are hurting economically right down. Repeated closures, shutdowns, and a population in quarantine have made it difficult for most businesses to operate — even those that aren’t service-oriented. But the businesses that have survived in 2020 are going to see a better 2021, they just have to hold on. How will businesses need to prepare for 2021?

2020’s Impact on Businesses

Most businesses had a very lean year. Some companies may have had revenue that was half or even a quarter of their prior year, especially toward the end of 2020. Some retailers may not have gone into the black during the Christmas spending months because Christmas spending was down. Other businesses found themselves struggling with being able to operate at all. Companies moving into 2021 likely have expended much of their cash and maybe hurting in terms of capital. They may need to take on loans and operate in a smaller fashion until recovery.

Get Your Books In Order

When times get lean, it becomes even more important for businesses to be conscientious about their books and their spending. Having a thorough set of books can help secure funding, grants, loans, and investments, and it’s important to know exactly where you stand in terms of assets and cash position.

The first step may be to hire a bookkeeper or accountant — or to go through services such as payroll services so that everything is automatically tracked. You’ll be able to pivot and adapt much faster if you have control over your company’s spending.

Streamline Your Business Processes

Many organizations will need to pare down, automate, and streamline their processes. Making processes faster and easier means that you have more time to concentrate on other things, such as marketing and adapting to a new space. By streamlining your processes, you will become more adaptive and more focused — rather than trying to spend your time concentrating on things that may not necessarily be in your forte.

Many companies, for instance, have found themselves investing in Software-as-a-Service solutions; instead of monitoring or managing their own technological solutions, they outsource it. Likewise, services such as accounting, payroll, and bookkeeping can be outsourced to give business owners more time to strategize and figure out new ideas for a new business landscape.

Choose Between Cutting Back, Holding, and Expanding

2021 is not likely a good time for expansion for most businesses, but because many businesses have gone out of business, it can be a good time for expansion for some. Companies should take a look at their competition and their market. Those that already had significant assets and good cash positions may find themselves ripe for opportunity to grow. For most businesses, though, the best choice is going to be to cut back or to hold their patterns. 2021 is going to be a recovery year for most.

Be Aware of Government Initiatives

Moving into 2021, there are many grants for specific types of business and industry. There may be grants for Tampa businesses specifically, businesses that are restaurants, or businesses that are within a retail space. Companies should keep an eye out for these new business opportunities as they arise, as many are going to need some help for recovery. Other options for Tampa businesses include reaching out to communities and reaching out to private investors — though both of these things require that the business have strong fundamentals and be able to prove that they can survive in the post-2020 world.

2021 will hopefully be a better year financially for businesses. Not only is there government aid available, but the light is at the end of the tunnel when it comes to pandemic-related regulations. But businesses are going to need to be cautious, mindful, and proactive if they are going to be able to thrive rather than just survive.