Businesses, both big and small, faced unprecedented challenges in 2021. But even if your experience in the past 12 months was not a good one, there are things you can learn from it.

Here are three important business lessons from 2021 for young entrepreneurs:

1. Have a business savings account.

Starting and growing a savings account isn’t the most exciting part of being a young entrepreneur. But this past year (along with 2020) showed why saving money is important for all companies, especially small businesses. Many companies depended on their savings while dealing with fewer sales during 2021 due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, business experts usually suggested entrepreneurs put aside some money, usually about 20 percent of a business’ income, to deal with emergencies or unexpected events. If your business is currently bringing in sales and/or new clients, try to save at least a small amount of money, even if it’s less than the commonly suggested 20 percent amount.

The future version of yourself (and your business) will be glad you did this.

2. Have an emergency plan.

What would happen to your business if you or a family member became sick? What if your laptop, phone, or another item you use a lot for your business, suddenly stops working or breaks?

Having some savings can help you in these situations, but that’s only a start. It’s also a great idea to have a plan in place if you have to change how you run your business, or temporarily take some time off from your business.

Start by making a simple plan of how to tell your customers if there are any changes in how you provide your usual products or services. For example, consider asking your parent, or someone else you trust, if they could help you contact customers (email, social media, etc.) if an important change or problem happens.

3. Have a flexible business. 

You can’t always predict the future. But you can still make plans for how your business handles changes and problems. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind about trying new ways to run your business.

Also, pay attention to how other businesses like yours deal with changes and challenges. You can learn what to do (and what not to do) if your business also faces these same issues.

For example, ask questions if you hear about something new (a new social media platform, new equipment being used by similar businesses, etc.). Do a Google search or check out YouTube explainer videos to find answers to your questions.

Final Thoughts on Business Lessons from 2021

If the year 2020 was about facing big changes, then this year gave more proof that there’s now a “new normal” for entrepreneurs and their businesses. Remember these three key business lessons from 2021:

  • Save some money.
  • Create an emergency plan for your business.
  • Be open to change.

Use these tips to boost your business’ chances of successfully dealing with any changes that next year might bring.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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