5 Thoughts About Preparing Your Business For 2021
Dec 21, 2020
By now most business owners are already planning for 2021 and beyond. While no one knows what 2021 will look like, most experts agree that COVID-19 will continue to affect our lives well into the first half of the next year. The good news is that the strongest, well-managed businesses will continue to pivot and adapt to remain successful and learn new ways to create even more success.
It starts by looking at your business with a critical eye and evaluating its performance honestly and objectively, with input from your team to be sure you are on the right track for 2021. Here are five ways to help your business prepare for a successful new year:
1. Conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. A SWOT business analysis has been used by top companies for years, and is a very basic, but useful tool when developing a business plan. But whatever tool your business uses, it only works if you do it consistently with tactical keys and diligently to create a plan of action.
2. Include your management team, not just your top executives. To get the most creative input from your team, include those that know how your business is being run from all levels throughout the organization, including senior and management level staff. You’ll want to make sure there is buy-in from your entire team in order to prepare and implement any business plan.
3. Share your business plan’s timeline with your entire team. To be successful, you will want everyone to be on the same page. New processes take time to plan and be accepted, and if everyone knows the overall time frame for implementation it will be more successful. Let your team know you value their feedback and ideas, and gather key takeaways from each strategy meeting. When creating the final plan for 2021, make sure the leadership team is fully on board.
4. Include various COVID-19 scenarios in your 2021 plan. Make COVID-19 health and safety precautions an integral part of any business preparations for next year. There will need to be accommodations for vaccinations and other pandemic considerations baked into any successful plan. Allow for new COVID-19 precautions and other possible restrictions in the business plan as well.
5. Set realistic goals and track the metrics. The best plans don’t mean much without a way to measure if they were successful or not. While reaching for the stars is great, making sure your senior leadership is being realistic and setting achievable benchmarks in a business plan is crucial. Setting up your team for success when planning goals is key, because goals that are too far out of reach could reduce morale and set the stage for failure. If your team does not truly believe in your mission—and THEIR mission as part of your overall effort—your potential for success is far, far lower.
Remember to chart your actual performance vs. the plan’s goals at regular intervals (weekly or monthly) and celebrate every success, rather than waiting until end-of-year to praise hard work! Success breeds more success, so make sure team members know when goals have been met or exceeded. Let the entire team know they contributed to reaching those goals or benchmarks. Your team will appreciate being acknowledged as a vital component in the overall success of the business.