Episode 117: 5 Ways To Prepare Your Business For 2021
What a year 2020 has been! Are you ready for 2021? In this episode, I’m sharing 5 ways you can prepare your business for 2021.
No one knows exactly what the future holds but preparation will be key if our businesses are going to either continue to thrive or in some of your cases rebound from the 2020 slump.
Going into the new year, the key themes to keep in mind will be:
1.) Creating an expanded digital footprint
2.) Enhancing your SEO for discoverability
3.) Content, content, content
Listen on Apple Podcasts
- 5 ways you can prepare your business to compete and thrive in 2021
Mentioned in this episode:
Episode excerpt: "Check in with your feelings because I think that is a data point. How are you feeling about the things that you did this year? How are you feeling about the way your business is running? Are there things that did well but just don't interest you anymore? Are there things that you are interested in trying but haven't felt like you've had the capacity to try them? This is the time to check in with yourself and factor that into your data as you're making decisions for what you should be doing next year."
Hi Off-Scripters! It's your host, Serwaa Adjei-Pellé, and welcome to Episode 117 of the She's Off Script podcast. This is a show where we hear and learn from women who've created unique blueprints for success. My hope is that you'll hear their stories and translate their gems into a unique path for yourself. What a year 2020 has been. Are you ready for 2021?
If you're in the camp of people who just can't bring themselves to think about 2021 already in this episode, I'm sharing 5 ways you can start to prepare your business to not only compete but to thrive in 2021. Now, of course, no one knows exactly what the future holds. But I do know that preparation is going to be key if our businesses are gonna either continue to thrive or in some of our cases, rebound from the slump that your business went through in 2020.
Before we hear the rest of this episode, I would love it if you could subscribe, rate, and review our show on iTunes. This will help to spread the word about our podcast. So amazing stories we share can continue to inspire women looking to launch their own Off-Scripters Ernie's with that. Let's go off script as I share five ways you can prepare your business for 2021. It's that time of the year where a lot of business owners are realizing that we're well into 4th quarter and they're pulling out all the stops just to ensure that they have a strong finish for 2020. A lot of businesses had a big stutter step in March of this year when COVID really started to hit the nation. And now, given that this is the time of the year where most businesses typically go into the black, which is why we call it Black Friday, businesses are very focused on what they should do to rebound a lot of the losses that they've already had.
So I've seen a lot of my peers offering super bundles. I've seen a lot of collaborations going on, so I think that is the right move is to keep going and not to let yourself be brought down by so many changes that we've all experienced this year. However, at a certain point, your attention needs toe also start to turn towards 2021 the things that you can do to prepare your business to operate in what is undoubtedly going to be a very different landscape. So that's what this conversation is about. Today we're talking about what are those areas you need to focus on so that your business is able to adapt and thrive in 2021 Now, from the conversations I've been having and everything I'm reading on the news and listening to hear a few themes that I've picked up on that are going to be crucial for 2021 now.
Of course, no one knows what the future holds. But I would say in the long run, things tend to even now in one direction or the other. So, yes, we may be experiencing a time of great volatility right now, but I believe in the long run, things tend to even out. But in order, Thio ride this wave that we're on right now here a few things that I think we need to focus on here, the themes first, and then we'll dive into those five areas that we should be preparing our businesses for in 2021. So the first thing is having an expanded digital footprint. Now, I know a lot of businesses were dabbling with having a blawg or dabbling with podcasts, and you probably left a lot of unfinished projects along the way. This is the time toe focus and hone in on your digital footprint because people are online and this is how they're going to be able to access you. So make yourself accessible by expanding a digital footprint. That's one.
The next thing is S.E.O. Focus on your S.E.O for discoverability because it's about to get extremely crowded next year because 2020 was the time for people to figure things out. Now, in 2021 you'll see a lot of businesses hitting the ground running. So if you've already been in the game, don't get left in the dust by people who are coming around and really executing. So focus on S.E.O. That's gonna be one focused area. And then the other focus area, I believe, is going to be essential in 2021. Is your content right? You're gonna need content online in order to keep people engaged. People are extremely content starved. I see people tweeting jokes, saying that they've already watched all of Netflix so clearly. People have a little bit more time on their hands and they're trying to find entertainment. Your business has a void to fill, and that attention is going to go to the business. Who has the most engaging content? As I said, play the long game. Keep your eye on the long-term goal and just work on the different ways that you can pivot and change your approach in order to get to where you're trying to go. In the long run, don't get distracted by all the shiny new things people are doing. If those things aren't going to play into your long-term goal, don't bother with them. Keep your keep your eye on the prize.
All right, so now let's go into the five ways you can start to prepare your business for 2021
- Look at your Data
First, look at your data. Data is extremely important because it tells you a story and can be a great way to guide the growth of your business. So I would look at what worked for you this year. Look at the products or your services that sold not only the ones that sold, but the ones that actually gave you the greatest return on your investment. If you sold $1000 product and it sold like hotcakes, but it was extremely manual and you were having to customize it for every single person that purchased it, it probably is not the product that's giving you the best return. You're probably spending 10 hours for every $1000 which may or may not be a good return for you. You just kind of have to think about what that means for yourself.
Next, look at the products that are underperforming. Did you release a new product that a few people wanted and purchased. Even though everyone said, Yep, this is exactly what we need. Cut it because right now there needs to be a lot of fat trimming going on based on the data. Next, I would check in with your feelings because I think that is a data point. How are you feeling about the things that you did this year? How are you feeling about the way your business is running? Are there things that did well but just don't interest you anymore? Are there things that you are interested in trying but haven't felt like you've had the capacity to try them? This is the time to check in with yourself and factor that into your data as you're making decisions for what you should be doing next year. Next, look at the trends.
Trends are data points as well. Aside from the focus areas I mentioned earlier, there are other trends we're seeing emerging right now because the landscape has changed so much. So, for example, when I look at my Google analytics for my website or for the podcast, I've noticed a little bit more of a shift to people accessing my platforms on their desktops, whereas in the past that wasn't the case. People were predominantly accessing my site and the podcast through Mobile. Now Mobile is still the majority. But I've seen the desktop usage is gaining more ground, and when you think about that from your user's perspective, their behavior has changed because they're working from home. We're seeing less people commuting. So from a podcast perspective, whereas most people were listening to the show during their commute, they may no longer have a commute. So maybe they're listening to the show in the background at home as they're working. Or they're listening to it now on the weekends as they're doing their chores, whereas before, they probably would have listened to one show every single day on their commute home. So you have to think about the way user behavior is changing as well. I did mention people are content starved, so you may see them searching for new things. And that's why Social Media is creating some new online stars because people are picking up on new content. That's interesting to them that they may not have had the time to focus on in the past, so capitalize on that. The second thing you could do to prepare your business for 2021.
- Keep your eye on the long game
I've said this already, but it's to keep your eye on the long game, and this comes about when you're doing your business planning for the year.
You need to have goals in place for your business from a 10-year view, a five-year view, a one-year view, and then all the way down to the first quarter of next year. What are you trying to accomplish and then work backwards from there? What is it going to take for you to accomplish those goals? Ultimately, you need to keep your eye on that 10-year prize. The goal may shift, yes, but if that 10-year goal shifts, then you can work backwards and also change the other milestones. In accordance to that, however, the reason I encourage people to keep their eye on the long term is because when things like COVID show up, you keep your eye on the goal. You keep your eye on the ultimate goal and figure out how you're going to adjust your tactics in order to accomplish that goal. You're not necessarily going to be like a chicken with their head cut off because you already know exactly what it is you're trying to accomplish.
What you're going to be focused on in the near term is trying to figure out how to make that happen. So if you always have your eye on a long term prize, things that come up in the short term aren't going to be as jarring for you. So, for example, when I think about myself personally on my consulting side of things, I was already for the most part online. Most of my meetings were on Zoom, and I rarely went into client offices except for if they were local to Dallas, I would go in. But now my clients are absolutely OK with virtually everything. But on the podcast side, I really wanted to be ableto have a physical in person event earlier this year. If you follow me on instagram, right When Whispers of Cove it started to hit in January, I started pulling you guys to see if you were comfortable coming out to an event, and it became clear that in person events we're gonna have to take a back seat for a while. So I didn't end up having that event and I had a major car company that was going to be sponsoring and we were having it at a local retailer. Well, now national retailer. They were going to be our event location. I had plans and I was so excited about them. But unfortunately it didn't happen. However, it helped me accelerate other plans that I had in the work. So you guys saw that come to fruition in the form of the master classes that we hosted in October, where I had a themed event around money and I invited experts to share with you all different ways that you could build generational wealth. And this is a format that I plan to continue with this podcast community. This format also allowed me to reach more people from a diverse range of locations that I would have been able to reach had I had an in person event, so blessing in disguise, I would say this is something I was already planning on doing, but I was ableto merge a few facets of what I would have done at an in person event now that's not to say if situations change. I won't go back to the in person event. However, I've already seen that I can have a profitable event without necessarily having it be in person. I kept my eye on the long game, but my execution changed in this case. Alright, so that's number two.
3.) Clean up your digital footprint
Number three is to clean up your digital footprint. If you've done something halfway in the past, this is the time for you to circle back and clean it up because this is now your storefront. This is how people are going to be interacting with you and they've got time now, so they're really going to be looking at whatever you have. If you have a website go through, look at the copy. Make sure that it's actually communicating what you needed to communicate. Clean up the graphics if you haven't done a shoot in a while. Get your photographs updated. Make it look more presentable because this is your hub. It's your home and it needs to speak to the quality of the services that you provide. If you've been operating right now without a website and you've been focus solely on your social media presence. You may want to rethink that. However, we have seen that people are successfully operating businesses just based off of social media. But we've already seen how social media platforms are responding to some of the social volatility that we've seen out there with everything that happened with the black lives matter movement to the response that Instagram had for the election, where they limited the use of hashtag. It's been a lot, so you may want to rethink your dependence on social media. However, we all realize the social media is a tool that's extremely helpful. So I would encourage you to clean up whatever you have on there and make sure that it's clear to people what you are offering and who you are when they come to your social media platforms. Also, there's no shame in dialing back. So if you were very ambitious when you first started and you decided that you're going to create a Twitter account and you're on Pinterest and you're on YouTube and you're on Facebook and Instagram and their tumbleweeds just rolling through a few of those platforms, there's no shame in shutting those down because wherever people discover you, you want them to see that you are active and you're giving value. So if you're on platforms and they discover you on a platform where you're not active, that maybe their first impression of you, so just be mindful of that.
4.) Create a content strategy
All right, so then the fourth thing that businesses should focus on in 2021 is to create a content strategy who, when people come across you, no matter where they come across you online, who it needs to be clear to them who you are and what you do. I often liken having an online presence to having a digital book and those pages that people come across need to tell a clear story of who you are, and they need to be accessible in places where your ideal client is going to come across them. So in order to do that, you need a content strategy and this is the time to take a step back. If you have not been intentional about the content you're putting online, this is the time for you to take a step back and think that through and come up with a clear plan. as to What are you putting out there? Why are you putting it out there? And who is it for? I will say that I do offer a content strategy. V I P Day, which is a six hour session where you sit down with me and I help you figure all of that out specific to your business specific to your company. Where if you don't know how to tell your brand story if you don't know who your ideal client is, what kind of content they respond to, we will figure that all out, down to the details of what should you be posting and what kind of caption should go alongside them. So if you're interested, you can go to Serwaa Adjei-Pellé dot com forward slash services, and you can set up a free consultation with me where we'll talk about whether or not that content strategy v. I. P Day is right for you. It's important that you get more intentional about the content you're putting out there because you want every single breadcrumb you drop in the digital landscape to be impactful. So number five last but not least, And this is something I'm seeing.
5.) Collaborations and partnerships
Moving towards the end of 2020 but is gonna be crucial in 2021 is collaborations and partnerships for you as a business owner who's trying to establish themselves in a space or who's trying to scale in this space? You may want to try to find other business owners that have overlapping audiences and find ways to cross promote To both of your audience is, of course, this is going to take a lot of research for you to look into the different industries out there and see which ones are gonna be the best match for you, but doesn't right. This really does yield a lot of benefit for both sides. Keep an open mind. I think for the longest time, people were of the mindset that there in their own lane doing their own things and they don't really want to invest the time into building collaborations in this way. However, when you think about building revenue streams and opening up your business to new audiences, this is something that can really amplify your online presence. And, as I said, one of the focus areas for 2021 was having an expand, a digital footprint And if you're looking to expand your digital footprint, collaborations can help you do that. And oftentimes money doesn't necessarily need to exchange hands because it's a mutually beneficial interaction for both companies. So their ways for you to negotiate this so that you both benefit from it. The other thing, I think is going to be important in 2021 is partnerships, depending on the kind of business you're running. Partnering with brands who want to have access to your audience is number one, a way for you to give value to your audience. But number two could be another revenue stream for your business if it fits. This is probably something that you want to look into because some of you probably have large audiences that trust you that you've grown over time that trust your recommendations, and they trust the moves that you make. And so if it fits with your business model, you may want to also consider partnerships as well.
So there you have it. These are five ways that you could prepare your business for 2021 but the businesses who are going to come out of our time as winners are the ones who are adapting. Yes, I think there was a time where we were depressed, where we were shell shocked by what had happened. But those of us that were able to bounce back and are looking forward to 2021 are the ones who are going to come out with thriving businesses. You've got to pivot. We've heard enough of that word, but you've got to adapt. And then you have to figure out what is going to work
in the future. No one has a crystal ball, but looking at the trends and looking at what people are responding to, here are some areas that you should probably keep your eye on as a business owner going forward. I love the saying that a rising tide lifts all boats, so let's continue to help each other out and lift our community up because it's an ecosystem and we all depend on each other in some way for our successes. So I would love to hear from you all. How are you preparing your business for 2021? What sorts of things are you doing? What worked for you in 2020 that you're carrying forward into 2021. Go ahead and let me know in
the comments for the Instagram post for this week's episode of The Podcast, and we'll see you on the next one. High Off-Scripters. I'm so glad you made it to the end of this episode. If you enjoy listening to our show, please pay bored by sharing us with your network. Between episodes, you can find me on Instagram. Our handle is at She's Off Script, or you can catch up on past episodes at She's Off Script dot com. See you on the next one.