Five tips to set yourself up for success in 2021
2020 has reminded us that planning and preparation are critical to the success of your business. As we move closer to 2021, now is the time to think about what you can do to be ready for the year ahead.
While it’s important to know what you want to achieve, it’s even more crucial to know how you’re going to make it happen. By taking the time to review your business and implementing simple strategies, you’re setting yourself up for a year of clarity, competitiveness, confidence and growth.
Here are our five tips to help you plan ahead and make 2021 a winner.
1. Review the year that was
Under normal circumstances, reflecting on the previous 12 months would be simple. However, 2020 was anything but normal. Still, there was a lot to learn. An unprecedented year of chaos has shown us that using the past to plan for the future has its merits.
Steps you can take
- Identify the goals you set for yourself.
- Which goals did you achieve?
- If there were goals you didn’t achieve, reflect on if they were tangible.
- Which strategies worked in achieving your goals?
- Capture your thoughts and reflections using a mind mapping tool that.
- helps you think, collect knowledge, remember and create ideas.
2. Identify future business goals
What is the current health of your business? After reviewing the year that was, you should have a reasonably good idea of where your business stands.
This provides a great platform to establish objectives that consider your business’ previous performance. Once you have identified your realistic goals based on hard data, you can start to plan out how you will achieve them.
Steps you can take
- Use previous achievements to guide your future goals.
- Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you.
- Write them down.
- Plan the steps you need to take to realise them.
- Cross off each one as you work through them.
3. Understand your business’ unique selling point (USP)
What does your business offer that many competitors can’t match? Identifying your competitive advantage enables you better understand what you should be amplifying and promoting to customers, and potential customers. Use our guide to find out how to define your market position and build a healthy pipeline.
4. Prepare for obstacles
2020 taught us that things don’t always go to plan. So, while it’s great to set goals, identify how you will achieve them and understand what strengths to promote, it’s also crucial to be prepared for speedbumps along the way. While setbacks are inevitable over the course of a business’ lifecycle, having recently experienced a recession and rapid downturn puts you in a great position to learn from it and implement a contingency plan for when it might happen again.
Identify current challenges and what future obstacles might arise. Put together strategies that enable you to address these scenarios and put your business in a position to thrive. View our webinar on applying strategic foresight for an uncertain future here to build a robust and effective plan.
5. Monitor your progress along the way
You’ve conducted a review of the year that was, identified your goals and set out a plan to achieve them. You’ve pinpointed your strengths and how to promote them, while using past performance to help prepare for future challenges. Great! The final step, however, is probably the most important to bring it all together.
Monitor your progress along the way and allow your business plan to be fluid. It may very well change several times as the market and other unknowns enter the picture. But don’t be discouraged. Regularly check on your progress and track how the steps you have taken are working to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid to make changes and refresh where appropriate. Having your plan in place means you can easily change tact where necessary to ensure growth.