Matt Cowley: Challenges for business owners in 2021 - Tauranga Chamber of Commerce

Matt Cowley: Challenges for business owners in 2021

 I get the feeling that Christmas cannot come soon enough. 

New Zealand has a reputation of shutting down for two weeks over the festive season. Many offices are stretching that out even longer 

Some companies are holding large leave liabilities because they are super busy and their staff have not taken their planned overseas holidays.  

People are tired. A year’s worth of work has been squeezed into several months since lockdown. People have had to develop multiple ‘what if’ strategies due to the infinite number of scenarios that may unfold 

A silver lining of the pandemic has been that it is now socially acceptable for business owners to ask for business advice. I also like how people are honestly answering to, “How are you going, mate?” 

I feel for the owneroperators who do not have a board, mentor, or senior executive team to talk through critical decisions.  

Small businesses are realising that spending a few hundred dollars on expert advice from employment lawyers, accountants or marketing agencies can save wasted money, time and lost sleep in the coming weeks.  

2021 will likely be another stressful year and bring new challenges. 

The cost of running a business will increase in 2021. The minimum wage increases in April, council fees in July, along with rising insurance premiums, and the general cost of compliance from a number of government policy changes (depending on your industry) 

If you have not done so already, you need to build a team of people who you can share information with and bounce key decisions off. They can be both paid and non-paid advisors, and it should include people who know you well enough to intervene when you most need it.  

Business owners and managers need to replenish their energy reserves so they can make good decisions in 2021, which will be another intense year for many 

Staff will be dealing with new stressors from friends and familycustomers are stressed and may act erratically, suppliers may be less reliable due to supply chain break downs, and competitors may be looking to undercut your prices.  

You are in business to make the world an easier and better place for your customers, staff and family. They will need your leadership and decisive decision-making next year.  

Enjoy the festive season and be prepared to embrace the opportunities and challenges that 2021 may throw at you.  

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