November marks “National Entrepreneurship Month.” Having a month named for entrepreneurs may not really mean much, but 2020 has been a wild ride, so we’ll take it! This year at VersaTel Solutions we introduced our Process Management service, designed to help businesses run smoothly be developing procedures to streamline operations. And we offer services like bookkeeping and virtual administrators to take some of the stress off of business owners.
In addition to being Entrepreneurship Month, November is often a time of reflection. Forbes.com has put together a list of “Things to keep in mind to ensure the next 12 months provide somewhat of a return to normalcy.” Here are some of the things they suggest:
1. Always put customers first. Many companies have leaned on digital tools and offerings to remain relevant in the wake of Covid-19. While these tools are incredibly useful when social distancing is necessary, it’s essential not to let distance de-emphasize the need to focus on your customers.
Now is as good a time as any to recommit your marketing and overall service to the customers that make everything tick. Regularly check-in with customers about how they’re responding to your services — be it good, bad, or otherwise. Ask important questions to refocus on who you should be targeting. Is there something you aren’t doing that competitors are? What about the opposite? Is there any real-time feedback being provided that can be applied in the future?
Think of all these questions (and others) in taking a more agile approach to marketing and engagement. According to Sarah Fruy, director of brand and digital experience at Pantheon, an agile approach is vital for companies that want to spotlight the people they serve.
“Agile is a mindset that values people over the tools they use,” Fruy said. “In a marketing landscape in which keeping up with the marketing tool Joneses is paramount, make your company stand out by putting people at the center of your strategy.”
2. Get your books in order. Belts and budgets tightened for a lot of businesses over the past year. Some of those cutbacks came in the form of layoffs, while others manifested themselves in closing physical office space. But as companies worldwide respond to the ongoing economic rebound, it’s important to crunch some numbers.
Use revenue projections to predict what your business will need to bring in next year to remain profitable and limit turnover. You might consider cutting some yearly rituals like retreats, conferences, and other professional development ventures from the budget to make room elsewhere. Perhaps by cutting there, physical offices can be opened back up in a limited capacity.
Take a long look at your budget to figure out how you can stretch it as far as humanly possible. By getting creative with your bottom line, you’ll be able to sustain and thrive companywide.
3. Start brainstorming now — not in the new year. Planning is vital for any organization with long-term aspirations. But strategic planning can look different based on your unique goals. With so much uncertainty about what’s to come in 2021, it’s best to start plotting now rather than waiting for the calendar to turn to January.
One survey found that only 63% of businesses plan a year or less in advance. With less than two months left in 2020, take the rest of the year to put things into perspective for 2021. Continually revisit your budget, aligning those numbers with your big-picture goals for the year.
Do you want to grow by a certain percentage, add new service lines, or complete long-standing initiatives? The further out you can look at these plans (and others), the more likely they will stick or come to fruition. Put these elements into perspective and determine where they fit into your company’s prospects for the next year and beyond.
We hope Forbes’s suggestions are helpful to you. And remember, we can help you implement your goals for the months and years to come. Reach out to us, and we’ll help you