It didn’t take very long into 2020 for your big audacious goals to turn into something more like “survive, stay safe, and keep the business alive.” So far, 2021 is continuing the trend of uncertainty, but it’s time to come out from beneath the fear and panic of 2020 and start making some real plans.
Many business owners didn’t even bother making goals for 2021 because there was too much unknown. By now, we understand that although this year may be unique, it’s not an excuse to lose focus on the biggest picture.
Here’s a list of 21 business goals perfect for 2021 Whether you’re looking to expand or simply regain stability, you can use these to grow your business to new heights this year. Pick 2-4 to focus on this year and break them down into quarterly, monthly and then weekly actionable items.
1) Cut Costs
This is usually at the top of the lists every year for every business. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you don’t want to have any unnecessary company debt or overarching overhead. Make sure any costs you cut aren’t those that will come back to haunt you.
2) Work on Your Website
Online is king. If you don’t have valuable content marketing now is the time to get on the bandwagon. Work with a marketing team and give your website a refresh and create valuable content you can share on social media.
3) Improve Customer Service
This is one of those things that can always be improved. In 2020, we saw what happened when customers disappeared. Instead, this year focus on catering to those customers, gather feedback, change processes and make improvements to please the people that matter most.
4) Review Your Finances
Take a good hard look at how COVID-19 impacted your finances. Decide what you’ll do if you get shut down again and how you can recoup lost cost.
5) Increase Productivity
Make sure this one is a goal, not a wish. Productivity is always nice, but transform this one into an actionable goal by making sure you have actionable plans in place to help increase productivity. (Don’t just hope your employees work harder.)
6) Decide What Changes to Keep
2020 required all businesses to make some changes, but some of those might actually help you thrive into the future. Perhaps you implemented a new reservation system, outdoor seating, work from home opportunities, or reduced meetings, be intentional about your changes in 2021.
7) Reduce Your Paper Use
This is a great way to save money. We learned a lot of things in 2020, and how to eliminate paper waste was just one of them. Embrace a greater shift to digital to save money and boost productivity.
8) Increase Market Share
Any successful campaign to increase market share starts with good market research.
9) Audit Your Marketing Activities
See what you could do better this year to get customers in the door. Marketing is an essential business activity that we take for granted when things are going well. Perhaps consider a new or lower cost marketing strategy this year.
10) Step Up Your Networking
If you missed your annual conference, or networking event last year, make an effort to network individually this year. You can also research more virtual networking events for your industry and go from there.
11) Research New Markets
Perhaps you can take your current product or business and offer it in a different way or to a different market. If you can pivot rather than drown, it may save your company completely.
12) Get on Social and Get Seen
If you have been pretty quiet on social media, 2021 is the year to change that. Get out there and put your business where your customers will see it on the regular. If you already have social media, take stock of your analytics. Review your data for insights on engagement, and focus future efforts based on these insights.
13) Offer a New Employee Incentive
If you’re hiring, offer new employee incentives like a referral program, additional PTO, paid lunches, etc. These are a great way to boost productivity and overall positivity in the workplace, no matter what happens in the future.
14) Boost Your Employer Brand
Make this the year more people want to work for your organization. You can do this by taking care of your employees, offer flexible benefits and unique opportunities just to show you care.
15) Develop a New Product
Sure, this may sound scary, but adding a new product is one of the most successful things any company can do. Especially when we’re just getting to open the doors again, give people a reason to come back.
16) Engage with Customers Personally
Make sure your customers know that you appreciate their loyalty. Create relationships with those you see on a regular basis and give them an exceptional experience.
17) Offer More Flexibility
Help your employees manage this year by offering them more flexibility. Allow them the autonomy they may need to support their family needs and encourage creativity to meet company goals.
18) Address Staffing Needs
Look at your current staffing needs with a fresh pair of eyes. Do you have too many employees? Do you need to add to your team? Be clear about your goals so you can ensure you’re being as efficient as possible.
19) Connect to the Community
We’ve all been through a lot this last year, step into your community and look for ways you can contribute through community outreach efforts.
20) Provide Customer Resources
Just as it’s important to be flexible with your employees, be flexible with your customers as well. Offer more payment plan options, layaway, or lower cost alternatives to help meet them where they are with limited budgets this year.
21) Address Mental Health Concerns
Make sure your head is in the right place, and you’re paying attention to the mental health of your employees so you’re ready to tackle 2021 with optimism and renewed energy.