If we could sum up the last six months in one word, “Uncertainty” would hit right on the nose. We are uncertain on this new-normal, uncertain when things will get better, uncertain on how to have a career, be a teacher, and keep your sanity all at the same time – and for many of you, business uncertainty is all too familiar.
We’ve seen this uncertainty take hold of business leaders, marketing managers, and entrepreneurs alike – all flush in the face, grabbing at straws trying to determine what they can do to keep their business alive to see through Covid-19.
It’s easy to get stuck in this cycle of fear, thinking everyone else is in the same boat, and learning to live with the ambiguity.
But the hard truth is: this spiral of thinking will never lead to success. This way of thinking only leaves you frozen, unable to make decisions and unable to get ahead.
There is fear in the unknown, but certainty will lead to confidence – confidence in decisions, confidence in leadership, and confidence that your business will make it through.
Consider these questions
1. What is your business plan for 2021?
2. What does your company forecast look like?
3. Will you be growing or downsizing?
4. Are you reaching the right people?
5. Are you employing the right people?
6. Is your product or service appropriately designed for today’s consumer?
7. Is your messaging relevant to today’s consumer?
8. How confident do you feel about being able to grow your business in 2021?
If the answer to #8 is not a resounding "VERY CONFIDENT" read on.
How to create certainty
Fortunately, we’re in the business of creating certainty in order to build real confidence in business decisions. Providing answers to the unknown, strategizing on new insights and giving your business solid direction is why we do what we do.
If you’re currently building out your company forecast for 2021 and want to grow, you must focus on creating certainty around these three key areas of your business: Consumer Insight, Brand Messaging and Employee Engagement.
Consumers live a vastly different lifestyle and maintain a new headspace compared to that same consumer of Q1 2020.
Similarly, lifestyle changes amidst COVID-19 present enormous opportunity for you to appeal to a new group of consumers who may not have been available to you before.
Before building your business forecast for 2021 it is critical for every business to examine, understand and be certain about who your customer is and what they want from you in this post COVID-19 environment.
Read more on Consumer Insight.
With the consumer living in a new world, with new needs, your brand can’t be saying the same thing as before. Additionally, if you want to stand out and get ahead, your brand can’t be looking the same as everyone else.
“We’re here for you during this unprecedented time.”
We’ve all heard, one time too many, the words “we’re here for you during this unprecedented time” PLACE BIG CORPORATE LOGO HERE.
Show, Not Tell
Instead of big empty promises, consumers want to FEEL how brands are there for them, how they’re making their lives easier or better. This doesn’t mean going door to door and giving them coupons or free stuff. It means aligning with consumer values, showing them that you truly understand who they are and what they want and then showing them how your brand can help them get what they want.
Standing Out From Others
Standing out in a post COVID-19 marketplace will be a huge challenge for businesses. Being certain about your brand message and knowing you are 100% aligned with your consumers wants and needs, will ensure your business growth forecast for 2021 is success.
Finally, your people. Your employees are your front lines, your brand’s face to every customer. It’s critical that every employee understand your brand’s promise to its customers so they can live it and reflect it every day. No boat can row in a straight line if everyone onboard doesn’t know what the destination is.
Does your business have a reason for existing?
What problem is it trying to solve? What hole is it filling in the marketplace? Often times these questions and their answers, are only known among leadership personnel– but they need to be known throughout your organization if you want to see success. How is your sales team reflecting the company’s purpose and fulfilling customer needs? How is the receptionist doing this? How is your accounting department doing this?
Business Forecasting for 2021
Every touch point within your organization is an opportunity to reflect who you are, why you’re different and why your customers can’t live without you. How will you be harnessing this opportunity in 2021 to propel your business forward?
Success Is Possible
Make the decision to eradicate downward spiral thinking. Success in these times IS POSSIBLE. It requires being flexible, scrapping your old plan when there’s a new game to be played and most important: it requires certainty. Stop guessing. Start knowing. The success of your business depends on it.
What business decisions are you uncertain about? Let’s rid the business uncertainty, together.