It’s not too late to make your 2021 business resolutions

The gyms are closed and Dry January looks particularly unappealing this year, so you might have forgone the usual personal resolutions for 2021. The new year is still a great time to take stock and set goals so why not make some positive changes to your business instead?

Mark Thwaite, Tony Backhouse and Diane Johnson of RfM Transform suggest three resolutions that could really make a difference to your business in 2021.

Mark Thwaite, Lead Digital Consultant

One of the best pieces of business advice I have ever been given – and one that I now readily share with my clients – is to do an annual digital and technology health check. As a business-related new year's resolution, it's hard to beat.

12 months is a long time in the world of digital technology and the pace of change can be dizzying. But a regular review will ensure you avoid any security risks posed by out-of-date software and tech, and are using digital technology to your best advantage.

Done right, a digital technology review will help you optimise the kit and systems you already have and reveal any gaps. For example, one question I would always ask is: Does the latest version of X software you already use, perform the same function as Y product that you're also paying for? Digital should help you optimise your operations but many businesses waste money because they don't realise the full potential of services they are already using.

Why not take some time today to do a quick tech audit by answering these questions:

  • Is all your software up to date?
  • Are you on top of your data security?
  • Are you using all the technology you have to the fullest?
  • Are you confident that the technology you're using is helping your business achieve its potential?
  • Do you think your technology/digital set up could be optimised?
  • Are your current IT systems fit for purpose?
  • Do you know what digital 'best' looks like for your business?

Tony Backhouse, Lead Business Transformation Consultant

An area where many smaller businesses could make gains this year is by reviewing their R&D activity.

If your business has tried to improve its products, processes or services in the last year (or two) then you will almost certainly qualify for a tax refund – no matter how small the company is.

R&D tax credits allow you to offset the cost of R&D activity against your tax bill and also receive a cash lump sum on top. If your business is eligible, you could receive a payment from HMRC within 28 days of making a claim. Which could be a welcome boost to the bottom line in 2021.

We have helped all types of businesses – from cheese-makers to engineering companies, internet retailers and chemical distributors – claim large tax refunds. So do resolve to check if your improvement projects could be eligible.

Diane Johnson, Lead HR Consultant

We’ve got used to comparing prices and seeking out the best value each year when it comes to our household bills and insurance. So it makes great sense to do the same with business costs. If you don’t regularly review your business service contracts to make sure they still meet your needs, 2021 is a great time to adopt this new habit.

If you currently outsource your HR function, here are some questions to help you assess whether you are getting what your business needs for a competitive price:

  • Am I paying for services and advice that my business doesn’t need from my HR provider?
  • Am I getting all the services and advice that my business does need from my HR provider?
  • Where should I be focusing my HR resources?
  •  Does my HR provider give me practical, hands-on advice and support when I need it? If not, you are not getting good value.

We would be happy to help you assess your business’ HR needs and compare what you currently pay against what you should expect from RfM Transform HR.

3 ways we can help you achieve your 2021 business goals

Digital Technology Health Check - A free 1-hour workshop to help identify areas where digital technology can bring the most gains to your business. Email Mark Thwaite or call 07969 900864.

R&D Tax Credits review
- A free consultation to discuss your improvement projects and assess whether you can claim back the costs of R&D activity (and receive a bonus cash sum on top). Email Tony Backhouse or call 07969 900864.

HR Health Check
- A free review of your existing HR provision to determine whether you are getting best value and the right level of support for your business needs. Email Diane Johnson or call 07720 353450.

A digital audit will show you where digital technology can bring the most gains to your business

A digital audit will show you where digital technology can bring the most gains to your business

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