Published: February 4, 2021, Denver Business Journal
Author: Nick Stanitz-Harper
It has become clear that the Covid-19 pandemic will not pass without leaving long-term business and economic consequences. While many companies remain focused on staying afloat, it’s crucial for any business to plan for the future and be fully prepared for what may come next.
But don’t let the past year’s hardship sour your outlook for the new year. The following is a five-step guide to help your business become and remain successful in 2021 and beyond.
STRATEGIZE AND PLAN
Staying successful includes staying relevant and competitive. As business owners, we learned how to think creatively in 2020. Outside-the-box thinking helps you stay relevant and provide product solutions that people actually need for this new way of life.
Revisit your business goals. Take into consideration the challenges your business might face in the new year, and strategize for those different scenarios — including communication (internal and external), customer generation, cultivation of key partnerships, market competition, etc. No company wants to trim staff or reduce expenses, so be sure to include a contingency plan. It will help to stay afloat if things should become rocky.
PRIORITIZE CUSTOMER NEEDS
Change is happening at an alarming pace, and the old ways of acquiring and serving clients are faltering. With change, the needs and problems customers face are equally growing. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to engage with your clients. Engagement is a simple strategy to stay on top of customers’ needs and identify new opportunities. Highly engaged customers buy more, promote more and demonstrate loyalty. No matter the type of business, staying connected to your customer is the gateway for future growth.
The economic hardships over the past year have many people questioning everything they do in their professional and personal lives. The uncertainty erodes our confidence to take risks and make bold decisions. At a time like this, the question is, “How can I be confident?” The answer is simple: by empowering others. It has been noted by authors, coaches and notable speakers — such as Frances Frei and Anne Morriss in Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You — that we become more confident in what we do when we empower others.
Successful leaders unleash the leader within each person. Acknowledge strengths and the contributions others have made to the company and invite them to lead along with you. Empowering others liberates them to use their own power to make decisions, and the result is confidence. Everyone wants to feel like they’re contributing to the company’s vision. The future needs to be about your team and believing what you can do together.
Empowering your team to make decisions not only increases confidence it also builds trust and heightens productivity. Moreover, team collaboration enables employees to be quicker and more productive in their work. Collaboration increases employee engagement, opens the door for more creative thinking and encourages problem-solving.
Whenever a company has a crucial decision to make, team collaboration can help with finding a solution. Team collaboration allows for others to participate in the discussion and share different views. Some ideas may be adopted, and others will be rejected, but, in the end, collaboration helps promote one collective mind, one common goal and one common decision. Most importantly, collaboration helps to get everyone on the same page with the company’s goal and, as a result, set up the company for future success.
GO DIGITAL As every market is evolving, many companies are seeking alternative ways to connect with their customers and engage with staff. When most of the country had orders to work from home, phone calls and emails simply weren’t fast enough. The solution was to go digital. For instance, most companies employed videoconferencing platforms as a method to communicate with staff and customers. Going digital saves time, is cost-effective, and improves flexibility and productivity.
There are many ways to go digital and use different technology solutions that can help your business grow. Some examples include virtual reality, customer engagement and automation platforms, collaborative software, social media and webinars. By implementing some of these available tools now, customers and employees will be comfortable and proficient with new methods of communication in the future.
2021 is the year to move the needle in your business. Take time to plan, collaborate with your team, attain and cultivate partnerships, and use innovation for business growth. Stay married to your vision and goals, and it will be a prosperous year.
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