Crafting business plans is second nature to every experienced leader or business owner.
However, 2021 is a peculiar year and demands special attention.
To give you a hand, we wrote this handy blog post with our top 5 essentials to a powerful business plan that will help you come out stronger this year.
Let’s crack our knuckles and get to work.
Plan Your Business Goals
For your company to grow stronger this year, the goals you outline in your business plan have to match your ambition.
Goal setting is the first step to realizing your business plans for this year.
Without writing them down and making them easily accessible for your entire team, you’re essentially just wishing for great things to happen.
Define your goals so that everybody in your company is on the same page.
There’s one more thing you have to get right as you map things out.
A well-written goal is always measurable and trackable. Therefore, as the year progresses, make sure to track the numbers that define your business.
Doing so helps you understand how close you are to achieving your goals and what more you must do.
Never underestimate the importance of monitoring and adapting your strategy.
A while ago, Harvard Business Review did a study on the importance of goal setting, and it revealed that 14% of surveyed people that had goals spelled out are ten times more likely to achieve them than their peers who neglected to do that.
Setting goals makes an enormous difference.
That’s what makes this such essential knowledge for business leaders.
When it comes to the success of your business, it’s alright to dream big, but you have to remember to write your goals down and track your progress.
Make Sure Your Operations Are Tight
First things first, your operations have to be fortified if you want 2021 to be a successful year.
We’ve seen them disrupted throughout 2020 because of the ongoing pandemic. It’s safe to assume that’s a strong possibility this year as well with new waves and new virus strains.
Since airtight operations are an essential part of any strong business, you need to make sure your business plan covers this point.
The failure to fix the weak points in your operations will damage your business growth, so it stands to reason that identifying them comes before figuring out alternatives.
After spotting the problem, it’s time you think about solutions.
With the risk of another wave, everyone’s operations are at risk.
To make your operations immune (no pun intended) or at least reduce the risks to the minimum, you need solutions in place in case things go wrong.
Write possible backup solutions so your operations can continue if a disruptive situation occurs.
Pandemic-related disruptions have crippled countless businesses all over the world. Let’s take manufacturers, for example.
Survey data provided by Advanced Tech has found that interviewed manufacturers have had six weeks of operational delays because of the pandemic.
To make things worse, 53% of them expect a reduction in production.
Operational management plans are a fundamental part of any business plan keen on growth in 2021. Your competitors are thinking about it as well, which brings us to the next point.
Double Check On Your Competitors
With everything that’s been happening, your competitors have felt the impact of the pandemic as well. This makes for a top entry point in your business plan.
Running a competition analysis is a must-do if you want to make the most of your business plan.
In an economy where everything is connected, no business is an island.
Understanding how your competitors are coping with the pandemic is key to making informed decisions beneficial for your company. It creates room for improvement and innovation—as you’re about to find out.
Identifying what you can do better than your competitors will set your business for success in 2021.
Companies do things differently, and if you can understand their process and improve it, you’ll have a winning edge over your competitors.
If you do it right, you can gain the upper hand, which can make or break your company in the precarious contemporary marketplace.
Have you ever taken a look at your competitors and think: how are they doing it?
It turns out that asking that question is more important in 2021 than ever.
Start by considering these points:
- What SaaS solutions are they using?
- How do they engage their audience during the pandemic?
- Has their product changed?
- Who are their new partners?
Looking outward towards your competition should be essential to your business plan.
Let’s now talk about opportunity makers.
List Your Opportunities
There are always opportunities lying in wait for your business which is why your business plan must have a place for them.
You know very well that you need to capture opportunities to drive business growth. New opportunities pave the way for more profits and stability for your business.
Without coming up with something new, you’ll be in the same place where you started in 2021. To do things differently next year, you need fresh business opportunities.
The second side of the opportunity coin is the efficiency upgrade.
New opportunities also bring possibilities to supercharge the productivity of your business.
More productivity means you’ll waste fewer resources getting the same or higher output than usual. For your business to come out stronger, boosting productivity is a necessity.
Finding new opportunities is a big deal, and it’s always easier to achieve in theory than in practice.
But that’s why business plans are here.
Follow this advice to pinpoint new opportunities in your business plan:
- Study your process in the slightest detail so you can spot how to improve it.
- Try with more minor changes and fine-tune them until they work for you.
- Keep an eye out for limited-time opportunities that rarely happen.
- Use LinkedIn to network with other professionals and create opportunities for your company.
Once you actively pursue new opportunities as part of your business plan, you chart a path for a stronger and more prosperous place for your business.
Update and Redefine Your Sales Strategy
As 2021 is shaping up to be an unpredictable year, your business plan has to accommodate an updated sales strategy.
A sales strategy tells you how your business will achieve sales.
Having a plan laid out for your team to follow will be essential for the success of your business. It can’t grow more robust and count more sales without a sales roadmap.
After devising a sales strategy that suits you the most, write your plan down and make it easy to update.
Clever business leaders understand the value of tools.
The right tools make creating strategies simple and easy to read for the entire team.
Having the flexibility to update your plan as things change throughout the year makes this an essential asset for devising the sales and marketing aspects of your business strategy.
Your plan has to be highly adaptable and take many eventualities into consideration, like another lockdown.
Your company would spend precious weeks trying to stabilize while losing sales income.
Whatever changes you make, be sure to have your team on board. Their engagement could prove vital for keeping your business safe and healthy.
Engaged employees are 21% more profitable to their companies. However, at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, only 41% of employees were actively engaged.
Have a flexible sales strategy that’s easily updatable at the core of your business plan and that works both for your employees and your business.
In business, nothing happens by accident. Behind every success story, there’s always a strategy that makes it possible.
Leaders and managers must figure out ways for their companies to become stronger in 2021 than in the past year.
The new normal is still too risky for businesses, but the best way to reduce risks is always with a brilliant plan behind your team.
With the tips we laid out, write a robust business plan and see your business break its success records this year.
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