2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but it was also a year of determination and growth. We all had to overcome new obstacles, which has enabled us to become better professionals. We can learn a lot by reflecting on the past year and strategizing for the year to come. Here are some steps to prepare for 2021.
Look Back to Move Forward
It may seem obvious but reflect on the past year to see what practices can be improved or what did not work for your business. Just like all New Year’s resolutions, avoid repeated mistakes and adjusting current practices could revolutionize the way you work in the new year. If there was something you did that really improved business, try to focus on that.
Create a Budget
After you have reflected on your past and ways to improve, now it is time to plot and strategize what you want to accomplish this coming year. Create a budget to visualize what expenses can be avoidable or unavoidable, and if it is possible to estimate how much you can budget for the coming year. It is best to set money aside for unexpected marketing expenses or client appreciation initiatives.
Enlist the Help of your Staff
If you have support staff, think about how you can utilize their skills to keep you on track for a successful year. Ask your staff to reflect on the past year and listen to their improvements for either their position or the business. Accept advice for what you can do for your staff. You can also see if there are certain activities you could delegate to other staff members to free time for yourself or others.
Put your Plan on Paper
Physically visualizing your plan will help make it official, real, and obtainable. Whether it is using pen and paper to draw out your ideas, a PowerPoint to present to yourself or staff, or even a calendar to ensure goals are met. All these options will provide a physical copy of your new year marketing plan. A visual of your goals will help you and your staff stay on track for the rest of the year.
Share your Plan
If you have created a visual for your plan, then sharing your plan should not be too difficult. The purpose of sharing your plan is to receive outside opinions that will either highlight areas of improvement or provide confirmation that you are headed in the right direction. An outside influence, such as your spouse, mentor, or strategic partners will give your plan a fresh pair of eyes. They may see improvements you never even thought about!
Evaluate monthly and adjust as needed
2020 threw everyone a lot of curve balls. Always understand that your plan does not have to be carved into stone. Unexpected changes are bound to happen and as a professional, you will need to be able to pivot and adapt. If you notice that something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make changes.