What does the future hold for your R&D in 2021? Now, the curtain has fallen on 2020. It’s time for the next act. Enter a new year and new prospects. According to Capital Economics, the promise of a vaccine-led recovery means global GDP should be out of the woods by July. So with opportunity likely to come knocking, we look at five New Year’s resolutions to set your R&D up for success in a post-pandemic era.
1. Onward and upward
Many businesses with R&D were left battle-weary by economic impacts wrought by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. As we ease back into work after the festive break, use these early weeks of 2021 to revisit your growth strategy. After a year when many businesses with R&D found themselves on Struggle Street, thinking about growth may seem premature. But it’s precisely the time to begin charting your course to a brighter future. Start by defining what type of growth your business needs. Whether it’s finding new investors, hiring key personnel or expanding your product range, knowing where your R&D expenditure needs to go will shape your growth strategy.
2. Make plans
With your strategy in the bag, it’s time to map out how to make it happen. Planning holds the key for small companies, such as start-ups or scale-ups, and big companies alike. Take time to consider how to optimise each component of your business, so they help deliver growth. Make sure you update your marketing analysis to reflect the COVID-19 crisis and the post-pandemic recovery ahead. Start by revisiting your competitor analysis. Then ensure your operating plans, including your supply chains, are still fit for purpose. Reviewing your products and services; revising your sales and marketing plans, and getting across your business finances are vital steps too. It will give you clarity about which milestones you need to hit to grow your R&D. A clear road map provides you with greater visibility of your business and the risks and opportunities you’ll face along the way. And it will also make it easier to convince investors to back you.
3. Lift your marketing game
We already touched on marketing planning as part of your 2021 reboot. In some industry sectors, markets and consumer demand changed beyond recognition last year. With a vaccine-led recovery on the cards, 2021 is likely to herald more challenges. Whenever there are developments in your business, it’s crucial to let your stakeholders know. That way, your company and its products or services are more likely to remain trusted and top of mind. But doing this means you’ll have to pump energy into your marketing. First up, define who your customers are. They may have changed in the past 12 months. Don’t forget about any backers or investors you have either. When it comes to your business, they have skin in the game, so it’s important to keep them updated about your progress. Make sure you know how and where to reach all your stakeholders. Then roll out a plan to deliver communications, products and services to them. As detailed in our December blog, all things digital have taken a giant leap forward, so when it comes to sales and marketing channels, make sure you’ve kept up with the times.
4. Out with the old, and in with the new
Business pivots were all the rage in 2020. As we move to a new normal in 2021, chances are, we won’t have seen the last of them. Take a long, hard look at your products, services, channels and processes and evaluate how relevant they’re likely to be this year. Don’t be afraid to ditch what isn’t working or what’s nearing its expiry date. That way you’ll be better placed to capitalise on opportunities in store for your business and your R&D this year.
5. Get financially fitter
While we can’t predict or prevent catastrophes such as fires and pandemics, we can get our businesses match fit to support our R&D. Give your finances the once-over, so your capital and cash flow are in shape for the year ahead. Remember the R&D tax incentive (RDTI) received a $2 billion boost in last year’s Federal Budget. Some of the administrative changes have already occurred, but most of the updates will kick in from July 2021. If you haven’t already checked whether you’re eligible for this important tax offset, now is the time. If your business has an aggregated turnover of $20 million or less each year, the tax refund on your R&D will be your company tax rate, plus a premium of 18.5 percentage points. With the government ditching plans for a $4 million cap, there’s now no maximum on the amount you can receive as a cash refund on R&D. Businesses that are eligible to apply for the R&D tax refund are also eligible to apply for a Radium Advance. So once you’ve applied for the RDTI, look into accessing it early with R&D financing.
Smart R&D capital for 2021
Your business can lock in as many Radium Advances as it needs throughout the year. The more Radium Advances you access, the more your R&D and cash flow benefits. So if you’re ready to line up the financial firepower to make your growth plans a reality, get in touch with Radium Capital’s R&D finance experts on 1800 723 486 today.