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In a year when the US election and the UK’s exit from the EU weren’t even the biggest news stories, it’s hard to think of the right way to sum it all up.
We’ve had a lot to adjust to since COVID-19 reached the UK at the end of January, from social distancing and remote working to understanding furlough and applying for the various Government support schemes.
Some business owners have been able to find opportunities amid all the chaos, whether they’ve started an online shop, explored new marketing techniques like video promotions or social media, or adapted their products to suit customers’ changing needs.
But for those in certain sectors, such as food, hospitality, travel and events, it’s been far from easy – and with restrictions continuing into the new year, there are more challenges to come.
Business owners don’t tend to get much time to sit back and enjoy the holidays even in more normal times, but if you’re able to, take a well-earned break as you prepare for whatever 2021 might bring.
On behalf of the UKBF team, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s contributed their advice, ideas and support to the forums over the past year, and helped to create a sense of community and camaraderie that’s much needed when times are tough.
Here's a collection of some of our favourite comments from the last 12 months.
Ally Maxwell on postal services: “Have you got a really, really unreliable alcoholic uncle? If so, put him on the list to do your deliveries before Hermes.”
simon field on COVID-19 measures: “Did the naughty virus go away for a while and then come back, or was it artificially suppressed by the draconian measures imposed?”
Mr D on normality: "There is no guarantee that we will ever get back to the normal we had last year.”
JEREMY HAWKE on keeping star employees: “The simple answer is you cannot pay people less than they are worth and if you wish to keep them then pay them.”
ecommerce84 on business expenses: “This is where I’ve been going wrong then as I’ve been trying to claim for Domino’s as a business expense. I’ll head to Papa Johns next time.”
Bob Morgan on business plans: “NEVER download any business plan template from the internet.”
MBE2017 on the financial crisis: “2008 was a hiccup compared to this pandemic.”
MY OFFICE IN CHINA on taking a business online: “Definitely go online. It's a no-brainer for your business, but also keep your shop and use this as your base for local trade and deliveries.”
Talay on the importance of spreadsheets: “If you can't use Excel proficiently, learn before you even think about starting in business.”
WebshopMechanic on e-commerce: "E-commerce isn't about flooding a site with products and hoping for the best. It's about selling the right products, in the right way, to the right customers."
Clinton on why big businesses never answer their phones: “I don't answer my phone at all. It's on permanent voicemail. People can leave a message and if they're worth speaking to I'll call them back.”
KM-TIGER on the perks of working as a roofer: “I had always presumed that roofing contractors enjoyed an elevated status.”
Mark T Jones on pitching: "You don't want people coming up and pitching in your face, so don't do it in theirs.”
Stas Lawicki on being your own boss: "It's tough right now, but to me this is exactly the time that being one's own boss brings the biggest challenges and also the biggest satisfaction."