2020 was a year of challenges and change for CFOs and their companies. Through it all, you persevered – and learned a lot of important lessons along the way.
From remote work and digital transformation to personnel changes and reallocated budgets, your business worked hard to adapt to new processes and plans. You also improved your soft skills too. Whether it was leading through uncertainty, showing empathy for co-workers, problem solving together or communicating in new ways, you became more thoughtful, well-rounded professionals.
Now, many of these changes are becoming a permanent part of the workplace, shaping a “new normal.” So, as you move forward, it can help to reflect on a few lessons learned and what they mean for your business as we head into a new year.
Lesson 1: Be prepared for anything
Let’s be honest. No one would have expected a worldwide pandemic was around the corner, or how the way they work would shift so drastically.
For many, COVID-19 revealed a sharp truth: Companies weren’t really prepared for anything. Many didn’t have a remote work policy. Some lacked strong internal communication. Others realized their processes were too tied to an office space.
The takeaway: Business owners must stay on their toes and look for gaps in continuity. From payments and paychecks to data storage and fraud controls, be sure every measure in place supports a “prepared for anything” mantra.
Lesson 2: Remote is feasible
Before the pandemic, some companies used remote work as a perk for a select few employees. During the pandemic, though, there wasn’t a choice. And people saw that remote work can actually work. That said, many will eventually return to an office environment. So, how can you bridge the two?
First, look at your team’s responsibilities. See what works well from home and what works better in the office. Next, talk to your staff. Ask for their preferences, pain points, ideas, etc. Your own assessment paired with your staff’s input will help you develop a long-term plan.
Lesson 3: Digitize and optimize
Though finance technology has been around for years, some companies have still clung to manual processes. But no more! COVID-19 showed those behind the technological curve that digitization is necessary. In 2020, some companies quickly invested in new software; others had to work with what they had, optimizing every feature that could speed up processes. Carry that sentiment going forward: Invest and expand technology when you can.
Lesson 4: Do more with less
While 2020 brought some good lessons, that’s not to say it didn’t bring immense difficulties. Many companies struggled or took a big financial hit. Businesses had to find ways to work smarter.
Encourage your team to stay alert for ways you all can work smarter and save money – whether it’s increasing productivity, eliminating redundant process steps, renegotiating with trading partners or reducing internal costs.
Interested in learning about other lessons learned from other business owners that could impact your business? Call 407.679.7600 or click HERE for a free consultation.