Let’s be real. 2020 has sucked for business.
But don’t dwell in the past. 2021 is coming soon, and you should already be planning on how to address the new year. Is your business ready for the future?
I’ve put together 6 questions that will help you better understand if your business is prepared for business trends for 2021. Some might be a “yes”; others a “no”.
Just know that if you keep doing things the same way, you’re going to get crushed.
So get out your thinking caps, and look into the 2021 crystal questioning ball.
Q1: Are you using your data right?
2021 is going to be all about how to best use your data to revamp things after a 2020 business slump.
Your data can help you solve big questions if you know how to ask them right. Which customers will respond best to an incentive? Who can I count on for X behavior? How should I market my new product based on what people might like?
Make friends with a data scientist because data is the new oil. If you’re not using predictive analytics and big data to solve your toughest business questions, you’re going to get swept up in the 2021 dustpan.
Data is the new oil. Make sure to apply enough to your squeaky business parts.
Q2: How are you addressing systemic inequalities?
2021 will continue to be about social justice. How about your business?
2021, just like its predecessor, will drive the business community to contribute to reducing systemic inequalities. If your business doesn’t have a plan to address issues like Black Lives Matter or #MeToo, then you’ll be left in the times and your customers will be thinking about what you really stand for.
Businesses have to adapt to being more socially conscious, especially around issues of race and gender equality. So make a social justice plan.
Find ways to support the issues, and get in with 2021.
Q3: What’s your continued work from home (WFH) policy?
What? You thought your employees would only be working from home in 2020 until this pandemic ended?
After everyone with an office job has been working over the internet for 9+ months, they’re going to want to continue it. If you don’t, you’re at risk of losing employees to companies that will do WFH.
Get your employees’ thoughts. Make a preemptive WFH plan, and get everyone’s buy-in. You’ll need it. Oh, and get a professional Zoom plan with automation.
No one likes the 45-minute forced “bye-bye”.
Q4: Do you deliver on-demand?
If your product/service can be done over the internet, do it.
In 2021, customers will want more on-demand services that they can get instantly. So whatever you do, try to get at least some part of it online and easily consumable.
If not, get ready to be Amazoned.
Q5: Have you got an influencer?
Stop thinking in traditional ad mindsets. Get with the times, and make friends with Instagram, social media influencers, bloggers, and famous faces in your community.
Do this especially if your market is the younger crowd as they rely more on influencers for their decision making. Make a “Doug the Pug” office dog account.
Whatever you do, start leveraging this key marketing tool to your advantage.
Q6: How is your employees’ financial health?
Never asked? Too taboo?
Financial health is a key predictor of employee happiness and stress. The more financially healthy your people are, the fewer problems you’ll have.
It’s not all about compensation. Find ways to talk about investments, advice, and services. Do your employees have the best bank account for their situation? Are they still getting charged 2% for their investment account every year? If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
I know money is a sensitive topic, but your employees will openly accept financial health support if it’s done in a supportive way.
2021 is coming. Is your business ready for the new business trends?
I hope these questions and business trends for 2021 will spark positive changes for you and your business this year.