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The Alternative Board Blog

Planning for 2021? Investment and Transformation Will be Key

Nov. 10, 2020 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Woman leading a planning meeting

It's hard to believe that 2020 is shortly coming to an end. For most of us, that may come as a relief, but the road to recovery is just beginning. Amidst the many different social and economic challenges 2020 brought, this year has truly been one of the toughest in modern times, especially for business owners. But with challenges come opportunities to change and grow, and that's what we should be focused on for the upcoming year. While there is still much unknown about the future of business, we can take this time to invest and transform our businesses based on the latest industry trends.

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As you begin planning for the new year, here are some things I recommend you consider to make a strong comeback.

Foster relationships

The rapid development of COVID-19 may have had you scrambling to find solutions to supply chain, logistics, and other operational issues. Now that we’ve overcome the worst of it, I recommend solidifying and strengthening these relationships on an ongoing basis. The more resources you have available to you, the more prepared you’ll be once business resumes back to normal and if any future crises arise.

Additionally, talk to your customers to understand their current and anticipated needs. The pandemic affected people in different ways, so it’s important to get a deep understanding of where you should invest your resources. This also provides you with an opportunity to identify new revenue streams.

As you anticipate the future of your business, I encourage you to speak with a diverse group of stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, distributors, investors, etc. In doing so, you’ll get a comprehensive look at not only your company but your industry as a whole. This valuable information can help you make strategic decisions for the upcoming year.

Advance technologies

If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic showed us, it’s that the future of many businesses is online. Countless businesses that were able to survive the detrimental effects of the pandemic had nimble business models that allowed them to continue their operations while other businesses were forced to close. As you plan for your upcoming year, I recommend reviewing and strategically investing in the digital transformation of your business. Take a look at your competitors to see how they’ve adapted but remember that your goal should be to provide innovative solutions. Use this as a starting point as you modify and improve your product and service offerings. Additionally, ensure that your customer experience reflects the latest trends.

Evaluate your processes and infrastructure

At the onset of COVID-19, many businesses were forced to make a swift transition to virtual operations. Some have even chosen to maintain this operational model. No matter how you choose to operate, I recommend safeguarding your I.T. infrastructure against cyber-attacks. It’s projected that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses and this number will only continue to increase. As my clients prepare for 2021, I've also informed them to improve and streamline their sales and operational processes. Now is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your dated CRM software and other communication channels that affect your sales and customer experience process. In a post-COVID world, the competition will be even more intense as businesses attempt to bounce back, so ensuring you are delivering the best possible experience will be of utmost importance.

While 2021 is projected to have modest growth for most businesses, this upcoming year will really be about investing and transforming your business for the years to come. If you need help getting started, contact me at The Alternative Board today!

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Written by Phil Spensieri

Phil Spensieri is a TAB Facilitator in the York Region of Ontario, Canada.

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