Lessons from 2020: Ways to Improve your Business in 2021 and Beyond

Last updated
March 29, 2024

Take the lessons from 2020 to improve in the new year

It’s been a long time since a new year was as hotly anticipated as 2021. While we know realistically that turning the page on the calendar won’t magically make our problems go away, there’s something refreshing about the idea of a new year and a fresh clean start. And, of course, this wouldn’t be complete without the perfunctory tradition of setting resolutions. While yours for this year may include items like “wear something other than joggers” or “break up with Netflix,” we do suggest thinking of the ways 2020 made your company better and continuing to incorporate those to improve in the new year.

Use less paper

One item at the top of our list is “use less paper!” Many businesses were forced to go digital 10 months ago and had to abruptly break up with paper. Contracts went from paper and ink to e-signature, companies moved from paper checks to online bill pay, and even the Supreme Court had to make its way to the digital age. If your business was like ours, you probably found that in addition to saving on paper and ink costs, you saved the most important commodity of all – time – for you, your employees, and your clients. So in 2021, we urge you not to go back to the era of the Flintstones and keep up with paperless.

Embrace Remote Work

If you’re like me, your travel came to a screeching halt last March. And the way things are trending, March 2021 may not look too different from March 2020. And while air travel stopped for me, doing business across the entire continental United States did not. In fact, it picked up! And the inability to meet face to face did not deter business; it was quite the opposite. There were no more logistics juggling of airports and drive times and schedules that would sometimes take weeks to get on the books. Instead, we could hop on a video conference – sometimes that very same day – and work out an agreement. This saved on time and cost and removed the unknowns with travel. While there are still certain things that are best done in person and that is an important facet of relationship building, I think we will all be less eager to jump on a plane or in the car and instead ask, “is this something that can be done in person or over video conference?”

Use your dollars wisely

While budget line items like T&E and conferences went to zero, there were certain areas of business that were worth investing in in 2020. Laptops for certain employees, software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom for remote and video work, and other technologies required investment in order to keep business going in 2020. Digital access to records was another area where many businesses decided to invest in 2020. Last year, we worked with several businesses who found that they were woefully behind the digital curve and in quite a pickle when lockdowns occurred in the spring. When senior law partners were forced to trek into the office and wade though thousands of dusty boxes in order to find a single brief or case they need at their home office, they saw the value in investing in a digital solution to their paper problems. A big lesson in 2020 overall, was not necessarily spending less but spending wiser, and this law firm was a case in point.

Focus on what matters

If all these points could be boiled down into a singular message, it would be this: focus on what matters. This is true in both your personal and professional life. From how you spend your time to how you choose to invest in your business, 2020 was a year to strip away the excess and focus on the things that drive change and make a difference.  It was a year to realize that the way “things have always been done” doesn’t mean it’s what needs to be in place going forward.

At Secure Records Solutions, we are about “always improving,” and in that aspect, 2020 was quite apropos. If you are facing 2021 unsure of what changes you still need to make to ensure your business is running in the most efficient manner, contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you figure out what solution works best for your business today and in the future.

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