Key Advice To Small Business Owners For 2021 By Rebecca Pang

Small Business Canada

Rebecca Pang, Vice President, Commercial Financial Services at RBC

Rebecca Pang is the Vice President, Commercial Financial Services at RBC where she leads a team of relationship managers with a focus on Asian markets in Toronto. They provide commercial banking services for example business loans, commercial mortgages, and cash management.

Previously, she was the Senior Director, US Strategic Business Development for RBC, where she led the development of strategic planning and investment initiatives for traditional and emerging U.S. banking sectors through Innovation and Mergers & Acquisition. Prior to this role, she had held various progressing roles at CIBC including the head of retail channel analytics to drive and support recommendations on various retail channel strategic initiatives, as well as the roles of director of Strategy & Corporate Development and director in mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to coming to Canada 13 years ago, Pang has also worked in China Netcom as assistant to the CFO and Investor Relations Officer where she led the first ever outbound acquisition by a Chinese State-owned enterprise. She has also worked at McKinsey and Company in Hong Kong.

Pang received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and later earned her Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Business Valuators designations. Pang currently serves as the board of Toronto Zoo, Yee Hong Foundation as well as the Advisor for the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. She was previously appointed as the Dean Council Member for Ryerson University Ted Rogers School of Management.

What is your key advice to small business owners for 2021? 

This year has been far from predictable, so as you tap into your resiliency reserves, here are 3 tips to help you stay confident as we head into 2021:

1. Focus on what you can control

The secret to weather an economic downturn is to invest in human experiences.

Employees. This group is your greatest asset. Treating your employees as such can pay back in dividends.

Customers. It’s difficult (and costly) to acquire new customers during an economic downturn. So strengthen the relationships you have with existing customers. This can reduce costs and maintain steady cash flow.

Suppliers. Strengthen your relationships with your suppliers to keep your supply chain intact and help prevent business disruptions.

2. Plan like a futurist

Futurists analyze current trends and statistics to predict future scenarios. Consider political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal (PESTLE) trends that could have an impact on your business in the coming months, years, and even decades. Then ask, how can you best position your business to deal with those changes?

Planning like a futurist can prevent business disruption, poor customer experiences and financial outcomes.

3. Find ways to lean into uncertainty

Use uncertainty as an opportunity to thrive. For instance, if your competitors fail to plan for a recession, they may be forced to cut down on marketing and public relations initiatives to conserve resources.

Plan ahead for peace of mind

If you plan ahead, you’re in the driver’s seat. Focus on what you can control, and capitalize on opportunities that arise during uncertain times.

Make smart investments you can protect your business from future turmoil. However, keep in mind that you’ll only be in a position to invest if you plan ahead.

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