Because of the economic disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, big and small businesses alike had to learn to adjust to changes in 2020 to stay afloat. According to the 2020 Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll, 32 percent of US small businesses are purchasing additional supplies and products to prevent a future shortage. 29 percent are updating websites and social media profiles, and 25 percent are increasing e-commerce or digital payment options. Home businesses, which have adapted to remote work and online marketing, have shown their resilience as firms. For better or worse however, these changes don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. Business trends are unlikely to go back to how they were before the pandemic, and instead businesses will need to find a way to move forward through incorporating growing business management trends.
So, below we will be looking at some of the things home businesses should prioritize in 2021 to succeed in a changing world.
Strategic Remote Hiring
To stay in the race, home businesses will need skilled and able workforces. However, hiring these days is becoming problematic because everyone is staying home, including recruiters. Forbes lists some tips for hiring remote workers during COVID-19, the first being to avoid knee-jerk layoffs. It costs 33% of a lost employee’s salary to hire a replacement. Although it might seem profitable in the short run to lay off staff, the cost of replacing them in the medium to long term might outweigh the benefits. Alternatives can be considered such as furloughing staff or reducing their hours.
When it comes to recruiting remote workers, a home business should commit to having great remote interviews. Make sure that everyone in the hiring team who’s attending the interview is prepared and presentable. A sloppy interview gives a bad first impression, which could jeopardize your ability to hire the best talent.
The COVID-19 Tax Response for 2020 has been helpful for home businesses. Because of the pandemic, individual and business-related tax returns and payments were extended during the Spring to the Summer of 2020. While no new filing deadlines have been posted by the Comptroller of Maryland for 2021, it is best to prepare for it as if the usual deadlines will remain the same.
For new home businesses about to file their business entity, choosing the right business structure is important to ensure that you don’t have any issues with taxation. A sole proprietorship is taxed through personal income tax. This may be difficult for anyone wanting to separate personal and private assets and liabilities. Pass through entities, on the other hand, file a separate tax. An LLC in Maryland is taxed on the profits of the business. This is easier than corporate taxes wherein both businesses and individuals are taxed, leading to double taxation. A home business will need to decide which structure works with the type of taxation scheme that suits them in 2021.
Adhering to COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures
With the news of Ridge Hardware’s closure due to complaints of employees not wearing face masks, it has become apparent that businesses need to strongly adhere to COVID-19 health and security measures. Brick-and-mortar businesses should be doing this through investing in personal protective equipment and reconfiguring their stores to allow for social distancing. Home businesses have a little more advantage in this aspect as they do not have a physical store to deal with. However, owners need to remain vigilant in following guidelines and being responsible members of the community. Avoid in-person meetings with partner suppliers or employees unless absolutely necessary. Consider moving events in 2021 online to accommodate measures. Whenever you do hold in-person meetings or events, remember to follow the necessary guidelines in mask wearing and social distancing. Beyond taking part in stopping the spread of the disease, customers and clients appreciate the effort businesses put into prioritizing the community’s safety.