So here we are again at the precipice of another year. Covid-19 has shown us that we cannot be stuck in our ways nor can we do things the way we've usually done them. As we move through 2020 we have seen that uncertainty has become our best friend and entrepreneurship in 2021 will have no place for rigidness. We must be adaptable, we must be flexible and we must prepare both for the worst and for the best. For most of us 2020 has been the year of challenging our thoughts, ambitions, goals, dreams and the general status quo of what it really means to be entrepreneurs. Here are some ways to remain flexible and grounded for the year ahead.
1. Prepare a contingency plan
As cases continue to rise in the United States we must fully prepare ourselves for either another shutdown in our states or an environment that is filled with another bout of uncertainty. Having a contingency plan will help you pivot, sustain your business and prepare for chaos that may arise due to this pandemic. Your contingency plan may answer these questions: How many employees can I furlough? Will I have to fire some of my employees? Which emails will I send to my clients if I shutdown my business location? Can I consider going fully online? What are the costs associated with going fully online? What time will I have to lose by being online? What sacrifices will I have to make personally to run my business from home? If I'm going to keep my business location open, what plans can I put in place to ensure that my customers feel safe? What government resources are available for me and my business? Will my family and lifestyle be affected from my new business operations?
2. Expand your offerings and services
Take a good look at your current offerings and find ways in which you can add more or give more to your clients without breaking the bank. You can add social distancing friendly options in your offering packages. For example you may want to offer a two-for-one discount for customers who have loved ones that are currently in quarantine. You can also push a community friendly agenda by holding a socially distanced food drive or partnering with a local outreach program to help those who have been financially affected by the pandemic.You may even want to extend your services outside of your local area. There may be many other places that may need your services due to numerous layoffs and closures of other businesses. Look around! There is more opportunity than you think.
3. Maximize your Digital Presence
In the past, your business may have thrived on word of mouth/face to face marketing and you may have even thought having a website or a social media page was unnecessary. Now more than ever, customers are looking online to find out whether you're still providing your service, if you’ve shut down your business or if you're offering limited services. These types of questions have made having a digital presence in the past year crucial to the longevity of businesses in the age of Covid-19. As we head into 2021, we cannot afford to miss out on the benefits of social media, websites and updated branding.The best way to become relevant is to start with your branding. Ensure your brand messaging is strong, translates the product/service value you provide to customers and clearly states what your business is about. Then create your visual brand assets such as your logo, your website and your e-marketing material. If you’ve already done so, you may want to take a look at your current branding to see if there are ways to refresh it for a digital landscape. Thirdly, you want to ensure that your website and social media pages are up to date with the correct information. Don’t forget to cite your Covid-19 guidelines. Finally, you want to make sure that you're constantly updating your social media, blogging or investing in digital advertising to ensure that your presence is constantly felt by your clients and prospects.
We know this year has not been easy for any of us. Our outlook towards 2021 is centered on being ready, prepared and optimistic for the future. We believe entrepreneurship will evolve as our world leans more towards a digital landscape. The time is now to ensure that your business can thrive, grow and succeed for the years ahead. As always, we are here to help you do so in all aspects of creativity design and branding. Please feel free to reach out to us to get your business online.
We wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year.