I am quite sure I can speak for all of us when I say, “Good Riddance!” to 2020. This has been an incredibly difficult year on a wide range of fronts. Between the pandemic, social upheaval, and politics, we’ve had quite a bumpy ride since last January. While it would be delightful to have a positive outlook for 2021, the truth is that next year is not going to be any easier. The difference is that we now have a chance to plan ahead and go into the year with a little more preparation for the challenges we’re facing now.
Five Ways to Prepare for the New Year
If you’re not sure how to approach making a business plan for 2021, here are five ways to help you evaluate the best steps for moving forward.
- Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Whether you choose to use a specific tool for assessment or analytics, or simply sit down with your team to evaluate your progress, it’s important to know what your business is doing well, and where it can improve.
- Include Your Management Team – Make sure you’re discussing future plans with all levels of your management team, to ensure that needs are being met at all levels of the organization.
- Be Open With Your Whole Team – Once you’ve discussed your plans with management, present them to the team as a whole. Making sure that everyone has a clear understanding of your goals for the year will help foster good communication and feedback for the year.
- Plan for the Pandemic – Even as access to approved vaccines will grow into the new year, it is still wise to include COVID-19 protocols and restrictions into your business plan. As I like to say, “We’re not out of the woods yet”, and in this case, it is very true.
- Set Realistic Goals – It is good to be optimistic about a return to growth and stability as we enter 2021, but if our goals are too lofty, we set ourselves up to fail. When we set reasonable, achievable goals that we can keep track of with actionable data, it motivates us to continue to push forward with a positive outlook.