Next year looks to be a challenging year for business owners.
While there is hope for the COVID-19 vaccine, it will take some time for everyone to get inoculated. That means we can expect strict regulations and restrictions on in-person interactions for some time to come. These have already greatly impacted your business, so you’ll have to continue to account for them next year. When crafting your 2021 business plan, be sure to keep these questions at the top of your mind so you’ll be ready.
1. Is your technology and software up-to-date?
During the coronavirus quarantine, many businesses were suddenly forced to go entirely virtual. While you may have been able to upgrade some of your tech along the way, 2021 will require you to make a solid commitment to using the latest software and technology in your business model.
It’s especially important that businesses are using technology and software that fits their current business operations in order to effectively and efficiently train new hires, streamline processes, measure areas of growth and opportunity, and more. You need solutions that can support customers across all self-service and agent-assisted channels including voice, SMS, mobile web, live chat and social messengers. With these tools, you can optimise your internal workforce and processes to improve your bottom line.
2. Do your employees have what they need to succeed?
Your business isn’t all about profit. It’s also about taking care of your workers. There has been a large increase in mental health issues due to the pandemic. Research from KFF shows that 53 percent of U.S. adults said their mental health was suffering, up from 32 percent in March.
This means your 2021 business plan will need to take into account your employees’ well-being. Make sure you have ample health insurance coverage that includes mental health support. You might also think about creating or improving your existing employee wellness program, allowing more flexible scheduling and offering more paid time off.
3. Are you being conservative?
While some experts think the economy will rebound in 2021, it’s still best to be conservative in your projections. When establishing your goals for the new year, don’t set them too high. This might mean holding back on aggressive acquisitions or putting a limit on excessive spending.
Playing it safe probably isn’t what made your business successful so far. That said, we’ve never faced a global issue of this scale before. Even if you aren’t as profitable as usual, it’s better than going under completely.
4. Are you prepared for the worst?
We’ve seen a lot so far in 2020, but there’s always a chance more unusual events could occur. Are you ready for them? You should take into account what might happen if there’s another resurgence of COVID-19. Having a contingency plan in place means you’ll be ready for whatever happens.
One way to draft this plan is by crafting a SWOT analysis. That way, you’ll be able to see your strengthens, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to see where your funding should really go.
5. Do you have ways to track all the data?
Being able to stay ahead of the curve means you need up-to-date data and information. If you don’t have solid tracking systems in place, you won’t be able to react quickly enough to stay afloat.
Keep constant tabs on your profits, losses and budgets to make sure you’re staying in line with your plan. You may even want to find ways to track every employee’s value so you’ll know who the strongest members of your team are if the time comes for budget cuts.
Prepare for 2021
There’s no promise that 2021 will be easier for businesses, but we can all hope. By putting effort into planning your business plan and considering the above questions, you’ll hopefully be ready for whatever the world throws at you.