Discover insights to help you grow a business successfully without sacrificing quality.
The prospects for small and mid-sized businesses in 2021 are uncertain — at best. However, as the U.S. manages its vaccine rollout and works to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, people will want to resume “normal” lives quickly. Businesses that stagnated or downsized during the pandemic could see a sudden boom as consumers try to make up for lost time. The issue will then become whether those businesses will be ready to grow when the opportunity hits - or not.
Robert Frick, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, spoke to Marketplace and predicted that by midsummer the number of vaccinated people will lead to an uptick in spending. More people will be making restaurant reservations, going out to shop, and buying airline tickets.
What’s difficult to determine, however, is whether that spending will begin as a trickle or a flood.
“People will have money,” Harvard economist Jason Furman was quoted in the same article. “They actually had higher incomes after taxes and transfers in 2020 than normal, [and] they had lower spending. So, there will be about $2 trillion of dry powder — of excess saving — to spend.”
Growing a business is the goal of every small-business owner. However, with so much of the past year and a half focused on survival, companies may not have a growth plan in place. A sudden drop in customer service or product quality can be as damaging to a business as the preceding pandemic.
A few of the issues currently confronting small and mid-sized businesses include:
“To balance growth while maintaining quality service, small and mid-sized businesses need to create a plan that lays out the expected steps to get back to growth,” said Elizabeth Eiss, Founder and CEO of the talent curation and freelance recruiting platform ResultsResourcing.
“Of course, 2021 brings the wrinkle of rethinking your priorities after a pandemic. In this new normal, after the pandemic hiatus, can you — should you — just resume what you did before? What work is essential to your value delivery?”
The answers to these questions may mean reprioritizing your employees' work by determining which roles deliver the core value your customers seek from you, which ones are non-core support roles, and which ones may no longer be necessary.
Core tasks are the roles that directly drive customer value. These tasks directly impact business performance and give a company an edge over the competition. Non-core roles are the positions that support core work. For many kinds of businesses, non-core examples could include marketing, social media strategy and administration, copywriting, graphic design, and website design and support.
“Once these roles are understood, it may be time to rethink who does the core and non-core work. Core work is likely done by employees, but even current employees may need to have their responsibilities shifted around. Non-core work is ideal to outsource to quality contractors. This frees up core employees to focus on customer value delivery,” said Eiss
“This is how small and mid-sized businesses can grow without sacrificing quality. Using this nimble talent strategy, companies can scale up — and down — on demand. It provides some much-needed agility during this unpredictable return to business norms.”
“The most effective way for a business to ensure the quality of their contractors is to develop a relationship with a trusted recruiting provider. With that in place, validation and recruitment of contractors and freelancers occur seamlessly behind the scenes, so business owners and core employees can focus on customer service and the future of their organizations.”
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