When nothing is certain, you can create some certainty in how you plan for 2021. In fact, what this past year has taught us, is that the unexpected is always around the corner, and when events unfold, acting swiftly and adopting prompt decision-making models can determine the survival of a business. In addition, having Plans A through D should be in place, to shift strategies when required.
If you are having trouble planning and projecting for 2021, read this guide.
Analyze the business
For starters, a review of the past year and a deep dive into the organization is warranted. Reflect with your team on the main events, how you responded as a company, and what you could have done better. Then research where your industry is going and plan to implement any needed changes. The country in which you operate also matters, provision for unexpected events and response strategies for each best and worst case scenarios. Then, prepare a SWOT analysis, for everyone to be on the same page.
Outline the strategic direction
Once the known facts, potential scenarios and findings from the research are in front of you, you can begin outlining the strategic direction for the company. Ask yourselves if you need to venture into new markets, release innovative products or enhance your services. Also, review all brand assets, from the branding, communication material and website – and start enhancing them. There is always room to improve to become more competitive in your industry and in the markets in which you operate.
Focus on what is in your control
There are a few matters within your span of control – and those are all related to internal plans and decisions that need to be made. The main focus should be on improvements and innovation. Have you always wanted to start doing business online? Put a plan in place. Are there markets that a need for your products or services has been identified in? Start tapping into them. Have you received any comments or feedback from customers that will improve your offering? Detail it and implement it.
Define the new way of work
Without a doubt, 2020 was a year of disruption, thanks to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the repercussions of the virus. Working remotely was the only option for some, given the strict measures and numerous lockdowns in place. However, many people did not find the work from home setup suitable on productivity and motivation levels. Assess your office requirements and work structures. Perhaps a co-working space or hot desks are more suitable given your company structure and will be kinder to your balance sheets. Or even a new office in a dynamic digitized district, with an abundance of networking opportunities is what you need. Check out the co-working spaces and hot desks,with a world of amenities, available at BDD.
Assess cash flows
Seeing that nothing is certain, planning for the future in terms of cash flow is a must. Review your expenses and see in what areas you can cut costs. Then, prepare what-if scenarios and their impact on your cash flow. Every business needs at least 3 months of working capital available to sustain itself. Also explore how to generate more revenues, and tap into outsourcing your services to international companies.
Analyze the data
There is surge in data at our fingertips. Have you properly analyzed the data at hand? Track website analytics and where customers spent the most time. Review the insights on social media and which posts, products or services your followers interacted with the most. This data should be telling, in terms of what you should be focusing on more.
What we have found in 2020, is that the most agile companies are the ones that thrived. And so, we wish you agility in an uncertain future, and success in your ventures and plans. Happy new year!