It might feel challenging or counterproductive to plan ahead for your business after the many wrenches thrown into 2020’s plans. However, we can look at 2021 as a blank slate to set up our businesses for a successful, strategic year.
In fact, a recent study concluded that planning ahead, even if the results become futile, will keep you in a positive mindset and keep you from being overwhelmed by pandemic stress. With that in mind, the business coaches behind ActionCOACH RGV have a few tips to help business owners create strategic plans and keep their team moving towards positive growth for the New Year.
1. Start Now!
As most companies begin strategizing for the new year during the fourth quarter, NOW is the time to begin making your plans. The sooner you begin, the sooner your entire team will also begin thinking of long-term goals and plans.
This year, many of us had to think quickly, changing strategies each month or even each week. By planning early, you can get out of a reactive mindset and step into a more proactive approach to the future.
2. Embrace Reality
While it may be tempting to put off creating a plan when the pandemic is “over,” we cannot predict “when” and “if” scenarios may occur. Your strategic plans should be set up for the current situation and climate on which your business is operating. Analyze your wins and losses for 2020 in a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis to identify where to prioritize your next steps.
Certain threats we can now see as possibilities for 2021 are:
A resurgence of COVID-19;
Employees needing to quarantine;
Employees having their children at home for longer than expected;
Changing county guidelines for businesses.
Take some time to plan for other crises that may occur with your team, even if they seem like an improbability. It will push your creativity on strategy-making, as well as let your team know that you believe your business and their job are an important asset to protect.
3. Incorporate Adaptability
Of course, it is also great to plan for the “when” and “if” as well. Flexibility and adaptability were key factors that helped many business owners survive 2020.
As we were met with an unprecedented crisis, we were also met with the opportunity to put our resilience and crisis-management to the test. Businesses that thrived were able to adapt to the changes they were met with, and experienced a lesser impact than those who could not.
Knowing what we know now, adaptability should be factored into your 2021 strategic plans. Goals, processes, and strategies should be flexible and adjustable for any situation.
4. Take Care of Your People
Have you noticed that the most impactful advertisements this year involved employee appreciation and recognition? That’s because we saw the true strength and resilience of our communities in 2020.
Identify those key players who fought hard to make sure your business stayed afloat this year and their commitment will remain strong in 2021. In fact, a study from the University of Pennsylvania shows when leaders are grateful to their employees, the employees are 50 percent more successful.
You can be creative with this recognition as well! We saw many new employee perks in 2020, from flexible schedules, to more PTO, to mental health and wellness programs, and more. Take some time to listen and learn from your own staff on ways they have felt or could feel appreciated in their position.
5. Remember the Difference Between Strategy and Goals
As you plan with your team, remember that goals are not the same as strategy, although they are equally important. Goals should be set from the start, as you begin with the end in mind.
Some examples of goals are:
25% growth by the end of the 1st quarter
15 new referrals per employee
Implement new communication tools
Strategy is the real, actionable steps you will take to achieve these goals.
Examples of strategy are:
Research new clients and assign five per team member
Create and implement referral incentives for employees
Survey team on how they communicate and what is most effective
Remember to document as your strategic plans are completed. The process of “how” you get there is the strategy. The “what” you achieve along the journey are milestones. The end result is your goal.
Create the Roadmap to Your Success
As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” ActionCOACH RGV created GrowthCLUB to give business owners a day of focus on creating a plan and growing their business. By the end of this high-energy day, we believe you’ll have a clear picture of where your business will be in 90 days time and a step-by-step plan to get you there.
Take Action and Plan for 2021 Success with ActionCOACH RGV Today! Join GrowthClub below or call us to 956-299-5713 for more information.