A Guide: How to Start Strong in 2021
Many of us are eagerly awaiting the new year so we can say goodbye to 2020. Regardless of the heartbreak that COVID-19 brought to many small businesses, it also revealed many strengths and weaknesses. Not only did it help businesses become stronger, but it also provided opportunities for many new businesses due to new consumer needs.
The beginning of any new year provides us with a fresh start, but the start of 2021 has a different feeling because of how much we’ve learned this year. The cracks in our operations have been exposed and we’ve been able to repair them propelling more successful business practices.
Let’s plan well for 2021, take what we’ve learned and move forward for a more successful business despite where the world leaves us. Keep reading for some helpful advice on how to plan well for the upcoming year.
Let’s learn from our adaptability
How has your company changed in the last year? In what ways did you adapt to the pandemic and other obstacles? What changes did you execute? How did you implement new products/services? How was that received by your clientele? These above questions should be asked prior to goal setting. It’s important to know and evaluate where your company has been in order to proceed successfully. No doubt about it your company has changed in some way this year, why not ask your customers how they felt about it? What ideas do they have that can make your business better? Even take a look at your online/social media presence and evaluate those platforms–did you gain followers? Did that lead to more sales? How can those platforms be used more effectively in the future? These are just a few example questions–we know you’ve learned a lot this year, let’s write those lessons down and keep moving forward.
Let’s set achievable goals
Once you’ve evaluated your past year, looking ahead to 2021 should be optimistic and enjoyable. Think about what you can do for your business to see it grow both long-term and short-term. When setting goals, it’s wise to keep them S.M.A.R.T. The “S” stands for Specific. Keep your goals simple and reasonable. “M” is Measurable. Quantify your goals! “A” is Achievable. Make sure your goals are ones that you can actually reach. It can be discouraging when goals are too lofty. Meeting goals can be a powerful tool to raise moral. “R” is Relevant – realistic, results-based. Last but not least, “T” is for Time Bound. Setting a deadline for your goals is a great idea. Let’s look at an example goal and make it a SMART goal.
Plain ole’ Goal: Grow Social Media Following
Specific: Grow Instagram Followers
Measurable: Grow Instagram Followers – 5K total followers.
Achievable: For example sake–you have 4k followers right now.
Relevant: Is this a goal that seems worthwhile? With social media platform growth–Yes!
Time Bound: Grow Instagram Followers – 5K total followers by Jan of 2022.
Isn’t “Grow Instagram Followers – 5K total by Jan. of 2022” a better goal than “Grow Social Media Following”? It gives a clear expectation of what exactly the goal is and when it needs to be accomplished by. It’s a great roadmap for moving forward with goals in making your business successful in 2021.
Let’s take care of our people
At the heart of every small business are the people. The people who do the packaging, the customer service, the dreaming and the day in and day out mundane roles that make your business tick. Therefore, at the core of your 2021 strategy should be a solid plan to take care of these people. Now more than ever, businesses need to prioritize their employees’, work-life balance, quality of life, and physical/mental health. Think about incorporating things like paid volunteer days, generous PTO policies, half-work-day Fridays, etc. There are many things you can do to show your employees that you care about them. Happy employees means more loyal and hardworking employees.
Let’s plan for the “What If?”
If we haven’t learned anything else from 2020, we’ve all learned that unexpected events happen out of nowhere. How do you plan for a world to be affected by a virus? You don’t. But now that we know what we know, we can plan for the future and for potential odd scenarios. What if schools shut down again and my employees are working remotely with the kids? What if our product/service becomes obsolete? What if we take another big dip in sales? Find yourself an enneagram six friend and let them “what if” with you all day. Do what you can and plan for those wild scenarios and hope they don’t actually happen.
Pro-Tip: Find a solid company to help you implement your new goals and strategies.
We know what it’s like to have a rough year and we would love to help you and your business grow and succeed in 2021. Happy new year! Here’s to learning so much in 2020 and starting fresh with new goals and new strategies. BreveCo Marketing would love to be your biggest cheerleader this year–let us know how we can help.