December is often a time of reflection for business owners. It is the chance to think back on the year and what went well, along with recognizing what could use some improving.
Granted, 2020 has been a doozy of a year, so owners may want to be gentler with themselves than usual as they evaluate what they want to do differently moving forward. At the same time, it is still wise to set strategies and goals for 2021 as well as look for solutions that can help them overcome any issues they encountered.
Business owners who want to get their company to the next level in 2021 may want to adopt some or all of the following suggestions.
Focus on Customer Service More Than Ever
As the BalanceSMB.com notes, you want to not only attract but retain desirable customers. This will help contribute to your company’s income and also increase your business, as each of these happy customers acts as free advertising, sharing their positive experiences with your company and staff with their friends and family. To help with this goal, you can ask for and act on feedback from your regulars, be adept at addressing any problems that might arise in a respectful and satisfactory way, and rewarding regulars with perks now and then, like an extra-special discount or free delivery.
As the pandemic goes on, thinking like your customers and taking their concerns into account is also wise; for instance, letting them know through e-mails and social media about the safety protocols you are following, assuring them that you are open and ready to serve them and that you have a decent amount of stock on hand.
Improve Your Communication With Your Employees
In order to grow and advance as a company, you need a solid team of employees who feel empowered and engaged in their work. This requires crystal-clear communication on your part, along with a willingness to allow flexibility in scheduling — especially for any team members who are now working from home.
To help achieve this goal, invest in innovative and relevant software and technology that will allow for seamless and constant communication between you and your team, no matter if they are with you in the building or working from home. This type of software can also include scheduling options that allow people to tweak their hours as needed, which in the age of remote work can be really helpful for your employees’ morale.
By being kept in the loop on any and all work-related issues, your employees will be more effective and happy workers who are better poised to serve your customers.
Rethink Your Business Plan, for Now
In some ways, a pandemic business plan is no different than the original plan you drafted many years ago. But to bring your company to a new level of success in 2021 does require you to rethink at least some of your goals, adjusting them to the current reality. As CharlestonPR notes, identify what you hope to accomplish in tangible terms; for instance, over the next six months you will grow your business by adding X number of customers, hoping that each will spend X amount per month. Or you can focus on adding X number of new products to your lineup, focusing mainly on things that people are trying extra-hard to find right now.
Once you see on paper what you want to do next year, think about the personnel, capital and/or raw materials you will need and add them to the plan. This may be a very scaled-back plan based on what you usually strive for, but this is still growth you can be proud of.
Success Is Possible, Even During a Pandemic
Do not let the pandemic take away the chance to grow your company. There are still steps you can take, goals you can work towards and technology you can try that will help you to take your company to the next level in 2021.