Now is when many business owners evaluate how they can make their enterprises stronger in the coming year. Here are 10 tips for building your company’s resilience.
1. Improve Your Goal-Setting Approach
Many entrepreneurs are too vague when they set goals. The ideal method is to make SMART goals — ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Don’t plan to merely “sell to more customers.” Instead, you could aim to increase your 18-24-year-old customer base by 20% by the third quarter of 2021. Create goals that challenge you or the parties responsible but don’t cause constant frustration and discouragement.
2. Take Customer Feedback Seriously
The internet gives people massive platforms for spreading the word about outstanding companies — or airing their grievances. A 2020 survey about local business reviews found 72% of respondents had written about companies in their areas. Additionally, 20% of reviewers expected representatives from those entities to respond within a day.
Think about what you could do differently in 2021 so customers feel heard and respected. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, but let people know you value their feedback and will take it into account while making operational decisions.
3. Consider Letting Employees Work From Home
The COVID-19 pandemic meant that many people worked from home for the first time in 2020. It may benefit your business in 2021 if they keep doing that — even if the public health threat eases. A recent employer survey indicated that 94% of respondents found employees were as productive or more so when working remotely.
Shifting to a partial or complete permanent remote work arrangement could help you save on things like rent and furniture costs, thereby increasing your budget for things that directly support business growth. Many employees view remote work options as perks, which could aid in your hiring and retaining efforts.
4. Use Data To Make Better Decisions
How many times have you made a crucial company decision without the data to support it? Many leaders naturally rely on things like their experience and gut instinct. Those things can pay off, but depending on them too much introduces preventable risks.
Think about ways to use your company’s existing data to guide decision-making processes. If your budget allows, invest in data analysis software. No matter what, take the necessary steps to ensure your information is as clean and accurate as possible.
5. Call Attention to the Solutions You Provide
As you evaluate customer engagement options for 2021, go beyond the typical approach of selling products and services. Instead, tailor your messaging to sell a solution for an identified customer need.
If you sell luxury candles, you could position those products as helping people relax and relieve stress. If you offer a time-tracking app, discuss how it boosts administrative staff efficiency and improves employees’ workflow.
6. Address Your Cybersecurity Shortcomings
2021 is an excellent time to have a professional cybersecurity audit that illuminates weaknesses and shows where your company excels in preventing attacks. Getting an outside expert’s opinion should reveal things you previously overlooked.
According to a 2020 global IBM report, data breaches cost companies an average of $3.86 million per incident. Moreover, 80% of the attacks studied compromised information that identified specific people. Unfortunately, that finding emphasizes how hacks have reputational costs as well as financial ones.
7. Enhance the Company’s Social Media Presence
Many people find a company’s social media profiles before encountering their websites. Is your collective presence an accurate and enticing representation of the business’s’ goals, values and products?
Check for potential areas of improvement concerning the content variety, post frequency and user engagement. Keep track of which posts get the most attention and break down which factors draw readers’ interest.
8. Consider How Videos Could Highlight Your Company
A 2020 report clarified how businesses used video in 2020 and what results the marketing teams got. The conclusions showed that 83% of people cited video as becoming a more important content type for their organizations. Plus, 94% of those polled thought it achieved an equal or greater number of conversions compared to all other formats.
Videos could give current and potential customers more insights into what your company does. For example, you might create a video that sheds light on a particularly complicated manufacturing process that helps your company stand out from competitors. Alternatively, you could livestream a buzzworthy event, such as a product launch, to help people share in the excitement from wherever they are.
9. Automate Your Time-Consuming Processes
Your company almost certainly has some processes that take longer than they should. The upcoming year is a fantastic time to determine whether automated tools could help you streamline them.
For example, many companies automate some lead management steps or invest in automated tools that help employees organize their inboxes. Automation is not a magic fix for all of a company’s problems, but it could make yours more resilient by reducing error rates and freeing up employees’ schedules.
10. Show Employees How You Value Them
Your company almost certainly could not survive without hardworking employees. Strengthen it in 2021 by ensuring your team knows you appreciate them and view them as integral to the enterprise’s success.
Doing that could be as simple as recognizing and rewarding the things people do well rather than only having discussions about their mistakes. You might also start an employee-of-the-month program. These efforts keep team members motivated and maintain high morale in the organization, making your company a great place to work.
Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet
2020 certainly brought challenges to most businesses, and perhaps yours was among them. The 10 tips here will help you make a fresh start so your company regains momentum in 2021.