The mid of years 2021 has paased. This is the best time to explore the environment and take advantage of the opportunities to develop a business plan for 2021. And the crisis of Health, in addition to exposing the strengths and weaknesses of many companies, has also opened new avenues to boost business growth.
We know that prioritizing all situations can be difficult; hence it is important to analyze our entire business environment to prioritize those that are key to our own business.
To facilitate this process, I took on the task of selecting some situations that, from my perspective and analysis, are a priority to consider in the business plans for next year.
1. Digital transformation
2020 taught us that digital technology is essential to maintain business continuity and company resilience. Those who prioritized digital transformation were able to start working beyond the walls of an office to serve customers digitally, keep employees safe and productive from home, and accelerate the transformation of digital products, services, and platforms.
Hence, by 2021, companies would be accelerating their digital transformation with a focus on customers, products, practices, platforms, partners and places to sell and serve, according to Forrester . Of course, cybersecurity will continue to be a priority and driver for the integration of new technologies into business models, which together will help companies succeed, innovate and gain a competitive advantage.
2. Flexible work
The scenario we are going through has been a watershed in the beginning of a completely different future in terms of working life. Although digitization was transforming the way of working , a variety of flexible modalities have now emerged that, supported by technology, not only maintain productivity, but even improve it while achieving an adequate balance between personal life and labor.
Flexible working is an essential component of the future of business and it looks like it is here to stay for the next year. According to KPMG figures, 77% of CEOs globally will continue to take advantage of the current use of digital communication and collaboration tools to drive virtual work, and 69% say it will reduce office space. Remote work, hybrid or mixed models, shorter work weeks, among others, are some of the modalities that companies will continue to consider to maintain productivity in their operations.
3. More “discoverable” businesses
It is very likely that businesses that are dedicated to selling via the web, have presented a considerable increase in their online traffic and in the number of purchases. And it is that the change in consumption habits caused by the pandemic is giving impetus to the search for consumer information on the web. This is important for businesses as 87% of shoppers start their shopping journey on digital channels, according to Salesforce data .
To capitalize on this scenario, it is important that businesses prioritize an SEO-based marketing strategy to become “discoverable” among all the information circulating on the web. A good SEO strategy makes our site more attractive to a search engine and shows it as a superior result when our potential clients are looking for products and services that solve their needs; generating more website traffic, quality leads and conversions.
4. Focus on sustainability
Sustainable practices will also be a priority in 2021. In addition to benefiting the world around us, they help us build a more efficient business, save costs and build a more positive reputation . For example, 7 out of 10 consumers consider it “moderately important” for brands to offer sustainable and environmentally responsible products (77%), according to the IBM Institute for Business Value.
All companies require changes to help the environment and adopt a more sustainable work style in the ordinary way. Becoming a sustainable company is essential to allow not only the companies themselves, but also the entire economy and society to prosper. Companies can rely on tools such as technology to reduce energy consumption, integrate eco-design, environmental education, among many more.
5. Human talent above all
According to McKinsey & Company, most companies were able to address the basic security, stability and protection needs of internal employees during the first phase of the pandemic. However, changes in the way we work have affected people in different ways and organizations need to be aware of this.
Focusing on employees should be a priority, since it can have a direct impact on morale and productivity and, in turn, on the growth and performance of the company. Maintain continuous communication to reinforce the values and principles of the company, continuous learning , involve them in the redesign of the new business model, improve the employee experience and promote a culture of equity and collaboration despite physical distance, are some of the actions that we will be witnessing in 2021.
Giving priority to certain areas over others will depend to a large extent on the experiences that each organization has lived in this 2020. Beyond that, the truth is that businesses that take into account the opportunities that are now presented to consider them In their 2021 business plan, they will be better positioned for success and will have time to make the necessary adjustments in such a dynamic environment.
As a famous phrase by Winston Churchill says: “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”