Let us be honest, we did not see a deadly pandemic taking over our lives and our businesses last year.
So how can you stay prepared for this year? We have a 2021 checklist for small businesses to be ready for anything.
In 2021, small businesses are gearing up to take on big responsibilities. In 2020, over 80% of small businesses have realised the potential of going digital and how e-commerce can actually boost sales – even during a pandemic. MSMEs are on the path to become more self-reliant, financially independent and expand the business.
Therefore, it is best to kick things off with ‘ the ultimate 2021 checklist for small businesses’ to make sure you are all set to take on the new year.
#1 – Set up a social media account ☑️
Forget 2021 for a second and think of how many Indians will be using social media by 2023? 300-400 million? Statista has estimated over 500 million Indians will be using social media not only to browse through but to shop on and check out businesses to buy from.
Which social media platform should you start with?
According to StatCounter, the most popular social media platform in India is Facebook – with over 77% online users from the country. Facebook and Instagram are ideal social media platforms for you to start your online presence. If you need a little help getting started on selling on social media, take some time to read our online ebook, proofread by professional social media expert Shreya Sharan Pawar.
Looking for a social media checklist? Download one here
#2 – Create an online store ☑️
Shutters down, domains up. Do not spend money on setting up a brick and mortar store if your business had to bear the burden of the pandemic. Instead, choose to go online. Set up an online store, buy a domain, or create a website. It’s your choice.
No budget for a website? Try these 3 free tools instead
Vrinda Mangla, Founder of Floursha, set up her premium online store on Instamojo in the middle of the pandemic. If you are looking to set up an online store right here, we have you covered.
#3 – Register your MSME ☑️
True, it is not necessary to register your business as an MSME. But it is best to do so if you wish to expand your business and get investors to raise funds. The new definition of MSMEs proposed by the Government is dependant on both turnovers as well as investment.
A tip – You can easily register your business on the Udyam registration portal for ZERO rupees. All you need to do is upload a form and get officially registered as an MSME.
#4 – File all the right documents ☑️
Recently, thousands of companies took to social media, requesting the Government to extend the Companies Fresh Start Scheme. Several businesses have faced issues with compliance and documentation this past year. This year, make sure you consult with a legal compliance expert to begin filing before the expiry date.
What small business documents do you need in 2021? This guide might help you with timely filing.
#5 – Upskill ☑️
It is never too late to learn. Entrepreneurs are juggling different roles in 2021 and to make better decisions for your company, it is best to also stay informed. Upskill and learn something new this year to grow your business.
For example – did you know that it takes only 4 seconds to grab a reader’s attention with an email? How do you manage inventory for your business? Did you know that your business might have to file GST from next year? KEEP INFORMED! you can find all these answers by signing up for courses on mojoVersity – our free e-learning platform for small businesses.
#6 – Take care of your employees ☑️
If last year taught us anything, it was the innate need to take care of our own. We need to pay attention to our own mental health, as well as our employees and team. Keep open lines of communication
” Supporting your team on your own is great. But sometimes we all need help. Make mental health services accessible to everyone in your team.” – Rashi Vidyasagar, Counsellor – The Alternative Story
In a recent poll conducted by our team, over 47% of respondents agreed that workforce was the most important focus area for their businesses to grow in 2021!
— instamojo (@instamojo) January 5, 2021
#7 – Keep cash flow positive ☑️
Stay on top of your financial planning. Maintain invoices with vendors from day one and assess how much money needs to be used in daily operations. Calculate working capital on a daily basis and ensure you have enough to pay your workers, your suppliers, and keep business going.
#8 – Keep customers happy ☑️
Customer service took a backseat in 2020 because a) orders took a pause b) A lot of customers understood why businesses could not deliver their products on time. However, if e-commerce trends showed us anything it is this – customers are shopping online. When you prepare your 2021 checklist, ensure you prepare marketing strategies centred around your current customers, not just new customers.
#9 – Know your assets ☑️
What is your business model? Are you making the right business decision in 2021? Our business partner Amit Kumar, Founder of msmeX is not sure if you are. Therefore, his checklist involved educating small business owners about planning better business models and making your business a ‘wealth’ business, not a ‘cash-based’ business.
MSMEx – a small business advisory platform that has helped 5000+ Indian businesses with business challenges has also curated an online course to help small businesses prep the ideal business model. The platform curates advice from experts with 1000+ years of cumulative business experience to bring unique solutions for every business. Here’s another important addition to every 2021 checklist for small businesses.
#10 – Build a community ☑️
Network online, from the safety of your home office. Stay updated on businesses in your area. So, add ‘ build a network with other businesses’ to your 2021 checklist. Business owners who spent 6.3 hours a week networking agree that it played a crucial role in their success.
Looking to join a community? We made one for you! The Indian Online Business Network is a unique business community for entrepreneurs and business owners like you – hosted by Instamojo.
The aim of building this business community is to help you propel your business to growth by networking with contemporary entrepreneurs and business owners and finding ways to overcome the challenges together.
Got your 2021 small business checklist ready?