Business planning for 2021


6th January, 2021

Power up: 5 simple business planning tips for 2021

If you’re looking at the mess that was 2020 and wondering how to adjust your business plans for the year ahead, Mel Power has five key tips for you.

Hello, 2021! Goodbye and good riddance, 2020.

There’s something powerful about seeing the back of a year that was probably one of the toughest small business owners have faced.

As we move into 2021, now’s the time to reflect and plan ahead, ensuring that no matter what 2021 throws at you, you’re prepared. That’s why I’m using this article to explore some simple, but effective strategies to help get you started.

I exited 2020 with mixed emotions. Despite being a hellish year of lockdowns, death, panic, anxiety, uncertainty and a see-saw economy; I want to move purposefully into 2021 and absorb every lesson I’ve learned.

Sure, I have a crisis plan, but did anyone envision a global crisis on this scale? Every small business owner would have made short term decisions in their response to COVID-19, and now’s the time to take a step back and consider how they impact your long-term strategy.

It’s time to grab a coffee, a pen and paper, and nut out your plan for 2021/22.

1. Two heads are better than one

Before you start cementing your plan, engage members of your team, co-founders, a trusted friend or advisor to support you with your planning.

Working with an experienced advisor can help you make considered and strategic decisions, not to mention forecast earnings and investment. A friend will ignite your passion and remind you why you started the business. I love nothing more than mapping out dreams and plans over a wine with friends – their feedback is often hugely valuable.

2. Dust off your childhood piggy bank

Remember the pennies you saved as a kid, and how rewarding it would be when you gave your little piggy bank a shake? Hold onto that memory and plan your rainy day fund.

Governments across the world have mapped out fiscal stimulus plans, and the economy continues to fluctuate, so relying on your own savings has become more important than ever.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s to prepare for the unexpected. Decide each month how much you can save for your contingency fund, without it impacting your daily operations. Cash flow is the biggest burden for small businesses, and having a reserve set aside can see you through more challenging periods during the year.

3. Tighten up your offer and messaging

By getting this foundational pillar right, you’ll be well positioned to target and attract the right customers and grow your business.

The global pandemic has left a scar on many economies and the way you communicate and showcase your value, needs to be reflective of the altered consumer and business landscape.

Start by getting your finger on the pulse by listening to some business and/or marketing podcasts or trade publications like AdWeek or The Drum. LinkedIn has plenty of resources from respected thought leaders, like Simon Sinek who specialises in brand marketing.

4. Make your dream a reality with strategy

What to expand your physical locations or invest in a more sustainable supply chain? You’ll need a strategy and a target.

If your sole goal is profit for 2021, consider every tactic that will deliver it while reducing overheads or streamlining services. Capitalise on any data you might have to inform your decisions and provide insights that can shape your business.

Make sure your strategy has some degree of flexibility to allow for changes in legislation, wage increases, employee benefits or sudden changes in the industry or long-term sickness.

5. Make mindset part of your lifestyle

You’ll hear this word a lot, and when it comes to navigating a new year still reeling from the effects of lockdown, it’s a vital tool in your kit.

Reframing your headspace for success is an ongoing process; one chat to yourself in the mirror does not a mindset shift make. This requires the willpower and dedication to walk into each day with belief in yourself and why you started the business. I’ve worked with students who’ve completely reset their thinking and opened up doors they thought were bolted shut.

The biggest lesson I learned from 2020? Just get started and learn as you go. Better to be trying something when it’s 80 percent finished and refining it as you go, than waiting for perfection.

You might not have the perfect website or most polished Facebook page, but you have a vision, so get cracking!