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A Guide to Your 2021 Business Strategy

It’s tempting to think once 2020 is over, so will all of the uncertainty that we’ve experienced with it, but it’s more important than ever to plan your business strategy in the 2020 mindset. We’ve come to learn that nothing is set in stone, and the entire business landscape can change within a couple of weeks. It’s also empowering to be a part of that change and able to navigate your business through the tumultuous waters. Although many businesses were not so lucky, or able to adapt, many resources and innovation came out of 2020. We need to keep in mind that there is no “going back”. 

Business owners are well aware that there is no straight line to success and your business strategy is bound to change more than you may have anticipated. Contingency plans have become our new best friends, and they have given entrepreneurs the courage and experience to get through the unexpected by taking all possibilities into account. 

It’s become challenging to plan ahead and the start of the new year will not change that fact. Some business owners have a clearer, more independent, path while others depend on state restrictions to be lifted. Either way, you can build an effective business strategy that will keep you on track to meet your goals. 

Here are some considerations:

Get ahead

Start thinking about what 2021 will look like for your business as soon as possible. You may just be trying to stay afloat or figure out what the next week looks like while we enter into a new wave of COVID-19 cases, which is completely understandable, but take some time now to figure out your goals that will serve as the core of your business strategy for 2021. The long-term may change, but it’ll prove to be healthy for your mindset and business if you take a moment to step out of survival mode and look to an optimistic future. 

Develop your business strategy based on today’s reality. One method to get you started is to conduct a SWOT analysis. Get a clear picture of where your business stands today and compare it with your competitors. What actions do you need to take to meet your goals? Are your goals realistic? Getting a comprehensive view of your company now will help set you up for success next year. 

When creating your business strategy for next year, consider things like your remote workforce and what they need for support, decreases in product demand, and a resurgence of COVID-19 and what that may look like for your staff.

Don’t Get Comfortable

Components of your business strategy need some flexibility. This was true before a global pandemic and it’s even more evident now. Market sizes are changing, and customer demands have shifted in record time. Your goals and analysis will need to be tweaked along the way. Try not to be complacent with your business strategy. You’ll have to revisit your strategy more often and evaluate what needs to change to keep you on track or rethink the track altogether. What will happen if your financial projections are off? How will that affect your business?

Be conservative. Your business may not grow as quickly as you had hoped but take advantage of the modest growth with a conservative plan and careful actions. If you see an opportunity, by all means, take it, but if you’re in a tight financial position, do so cautiously. By keeping a conservative mindset you’ll be able to achieve productivity and profitability. 

Deliver Value to Customers

So, you’ve fallen behind financially or haven’t grown at the rate you had initially projected and hoped for. It’s natural to want to sell, sell, sell when you have the opportunity. But that’s counterproductive. A selling mindset will only set you back further. 

Your customers want resources and value, not a sales pitch. Consumers will respond positively to an empathetic approach. A lot is up in the air and consumers are just as uncertain and unsettled as you are. Figure out what your target market needs and deliver it with empathy. 

Start Your 2021 Business Strategy 

It’s all about expanding your initial plan and thinking through all possibilities, even the unlikely. Take a step back and get an all-encompassing view of your company. Be ready to readjust according to different scenarios and keep your employees in the loop. New to creating a business strategy? Here is what to include and a template with additional information.