As we close the book on 2020, there are a lot of takeaways and lessons to be learned from this challenging year. But, there are also a lot of inspiring stories, especially within the small business community, to be proud of. All over the country, small businesses adapted to the pandemic and made appropriate shifts in business models, products, accessibility, and more to best meet their customers’ needs.
As we head into 2021 and look at the road to recovery, it is important to take these hardships with us, but also not forget about the millions of ways small business owners stepped up and adapted to new, constantly changing circumstances.
Intuit Quickbooks conducted a recent study on what’s next for small businesses, surveying current and future small business owners. The most promising statistic? Almost 1 in 3 (29%) small business owners surveyed said the current state of the economy has had a “positive” or “very positive” impact on their company’s innovation, demonstrating that small business owners are embracing the challenges of the year and are confident in their products and services moving into 2021.
So, as we look ahead to the new year, it’s important to embrace new technologies and trends we predict to see in the next 12 months. Including:
- Increase in online accommodations, with 28% of small businesses selling more products and services online this year.
- Small businesses continue to adapt with changing environments, in fact 86% of small businesses that have developed new products and services this year have done so as a result of COVID-19.
- Growing industries, as the fastest growing industries for small businesses over the next 12 months are predicted to be: accommodation and food services, arts and recreation, and retail.
It’s also essential to take advice and learnings from people who have been there. 69% of people who own a small business recommend writing a business plan. They also agree that the top priorities for small businesses they wished they invested in sooner include expense tracking, inventory, and invoicing. According to small business owners, the first thing new businesses should get help with is setting up financial systems correctly. This is a great opportunity to ask your tax and accounting professional about their advisory services offerings so you can work in tandem to set business goals and create a path to achieve them, on top of advice about the financials.
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that small businesses are resilient and can adapt to their environment to help benefit their customers and communities.
Jasen Stine has worked in the tax and accounting profession for more than 20 years, and is currently Intuit’s Tax & Accounting Education Leader, implementing strategy and education on the tax and accounting industries. He is a thought leader on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and recently worked on a team to implement natural language processing technology, currently patent pending, in educational programs.
2021 stock photo by Fit Ztudio/Shutterstock