What Are the Most Significant Factors Impacting the Business Environment for Your Company in 2021?
It’s not COVID (at least directly). It’s not government regulation. Access to capital is not a big issue either (there’s more capital flowing into tech than ever before).
Fundamental shifts in customer buying, big changes in workforce expectations, and rapid movement in the competitor landscape are what SaaS companies expect to have the most impact on business in 2021.
2021 Business Environment
These are some of the results of our most recent SaaS CFO Q1, 2021 Pulse Survey, conducted in March. The results are interesting and a good view into the dynamic world for which SaaS Finance is budgeting and planning right now.
Long-term Business Concerns
For smaller companies, 2021 means being nimble and quickly adapting to the new business conditions. It is easier for small companies—they don’t have large sales organizations that need to be re-trained in how to manage a sales cycle in a virtual world or how to meet changing buyer expectations.
For larger companies, 2021 means accelerating both business and product plans for digitizing offerings if they aren’t fully SaaS yet and executing strategies to make the company able to respond to the new changes.
The competition in SaaS offerings is expected to increase through 2021. Companies are looking at ways to meet and beat the competition through innovation and product development, new sales strategies, and new hires.
Finance Leaders Regret Putting the Brakes on Hiring in 2020
One of the biggest concerns cited by Finance leaders in the Q1 Pulse Survey and in OPEXEngine meetings is hiring.
Many companies slowed hiring in 2020. They are now putting the gas on to catch up and support growth goals in 2021 and 2022. And while some functions are easier to hire remotely worldwide, other positions, like sales and marketing professionals, often require skill sets that can only be found in your home market, making the hiring competition tighter. We are hearing that some companies are already increasing recruitment budgets going into Q2.
Top Risks for 2021 Business Plans
There’s no doubt that 2021 will be an interesting year and that the changes that 2020 brought will continue to evolve and transform how tech companies grow and compete. Benchmarking against peers and market leaders is more timely and important than ever.
This analysis is the first in a three-part series that we will be sharing. Each will highlight different business observations uncovered when we conducted our Q1 Pulse Survey in March. Our goal with these surveys is to provide you with valuable operating insights and peer context to help you plan for the rest of the year.
For additional insight into your 2021 planning and budgeting, we recommend taking a tour of BenchmarkEngine. Our cloud-based platform helps finance professionals compare company performance and operating metrics across all departments of a typical SaaS or software company to peers and market leaders.