In Pursuit of Profit
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2020 has been a year of disruptions and reactions. Companies have reacted to supply chain interruptions, new regulations, shifting market demand, and staffing issues, among other challenges with some faring better than others.
Marcus Wagner explains, “Because of COVID-19, businesses and their accounting departments are going through a cycle of shock (and maybe some denial), survival, learning and adaptation. For those of you who haven’t done so yet, it’s critical to begin the shift into the learning and adaptation phases as quickly as possible so we emerge stronger as a result."
Adapting has been critical thus far and will continue to be as we move into 2021. An adaptation mindset allows your business to respond to current challenges and anticipate future disruptions to generate better financial outcomes. Companies with accounting teams that adapt quickly can minimize revenue loss during a downturn and capitalize on revenue opportunities faster during a recovery period.
Cybersecurity is always vital, but in recent months it has become more critical than ever before. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers and fraudsters have capitalized on the disruption and increased their efforts to steal personal and business data. According to Jeff Bathurst, cybercriminals have used this as an opportunity to prey on companies that were not fully prepared to work in a completely remote environment. The pandemic quickly magnified any cybersecurity weaknesses that businesses had, and immediately after the pandemic hit, there was a 40% increase in cyberattacks. In April alone, criminals stole a staggering 220 million company and personal records.
But pandemic or not, cybersecurity should be a top priority for every company. Understanding where your business is vulnerable and what it can do to stay protected will help you avoid cybersecurity issues.
A guest post from our colleagues at CFO Selections:
When adversity hits, the knee jerk reaction is to swiftly cut spending across the entire organization, but that response is a mistake.
Strategic cost cutting can keep a business going through tough times, but it must be approached with long-term value in mind. Reducing costs should abide by three essential principals:
Evaluate your spending and determine where you can cut costs to weather tough times while still protecting critical functions, minimizing long-term expenses, spending where it could end up costing more not to do so, and looking for opportunities to reduce waste.
Outsourcing is not a new concept. In fact, according to survey data, 37% of small businesses outsource at least one business process already. More technical tasks like accounting, IT services, and digital marketing are the most likely to be outsourced, but any business process can be handled by a third-party.
With less than 15% of business owners and managers reporting that they “feel like they are spending their time on the right activities,” outsourcing provides a huge opportunity to reprioritize your activities and drive the business forward. As Matthew Grattan explains, “As costs and competition increase, it’s time to ditch the ‘I can do it all myself’ mentality and offload those onerous back-office tasks.”
While outsourcing can certainly be used to offload tedious activities, it can also be used strategically to obtain professional expertise in critical areas. Outsourcing frees up more time for selling and merchandising, which is especially important during times of significant growth. Many companies rely heavily on outsourced activities to scale up operations as new business opportunities become available.
But what should small businesses outsource exactly?