As 2020 comes to a close, entrepreneurs are looking ahead to the new year with small business resolutions. These resolutions, however, look a little different than previous years. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses found themselves in uncharted territory that nobody could have predicted.
However, there was, and still is, resilience in the unknown. Small businesses made pivots to their business models. They created new offerings and services to meet customer needs. Teams worked hard together, with many employees working remote from home. Being agile, creative, and positive makes all the difference in keeping small businesses afloat.
The way entrepreneurs conduct business and engage with customers (as well as how customers engage with businesses) will never be the same. Small business resolutions for 2021 reflect a different side of entrepreneurship. In 2021 and beyond, businesses will resolve to keep up with the following initiatives.
1. Establish an online presence.
One of the most important assets for a small business is a website. Many states initiated lockdowns and stay-at-home orders during COVID-19. Essential businesses, like pharmacies and grocery stores, were allowed to stay open while non-essential businesses closed.
Small businesses with websites and social media accounts used this time to connect and stay in touch with customers. One of the most popular small business resolutions for 2021 is establishing an online presence. This includes creating a website and posting and engaging on social media handles. Setting up an online presence and making sure it is fully functional has several benefits for small businesses. It increases your visibility online, as well as offline, and allows businesses to engage with customers. If a customer has a question or concern, businesses may address it and solve the problem.
What happens next now that you have an online presence? Create content that teaches your audience about your offerings and services on your blog and social media channels. Update your website to be user-friendly across mobile devices so customers may place orders. Send customers e-newsletters and text message alerts to keep customers in the loop about the status of your small business. Once your online presence is established, resolve to keep up with it!
2. Join a support network.
Running a business on your own is tough. Due to social distancing guidelines and COVID-19’s impact on live events, entrepreneurs have been unable to attend speaking events and networking nights. It’s also difficult to conduct basic aspects of business, such as meeting with a new client over coffee. The lack of in-person events amplifies the loneliness and lack of physical connection that entrepreneurs may feel as they start a business.
One of the best small business resolutions entrepreneurs can set is to join a support network. You may find support with the help of these individuals and groups.
- Mentors. A mentor plays a valuable role in a startup’s life cycle. These professionals understand the industry. They may answer questions and offer advice. Mentors offer help and honest feedback to entrepreneurs or mentees. In turn, an entrepreneur may even become a mentor later in their career. Several organizations, including SCORE, offer virtual and in-person mentorships.
- Facebook Groups. One of the most popular professional groups to network with are Facebook Groups. Entrepreneurs may connect with other business owners in these groups and engage in hangouts outside of Facebook, like Zoom calls. Facebook Groups help members empower and support one another in the entrepreneur community.
- Mastermind Groups. These peer-to-peer mentoring groups share similarities with Facebook Groups. However, they may be found through other platforms outside of social media. Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce or trade group to reach out and get in touch.
3. Invest in teams.
Many employees at small businesses have become remote workers during the pandemic. Working from home has not been a one-size-fits-all situation. Every employee has a different situation at home. Some have small children in distance learning classes. Others are caring for elderly family members or live with roommates. As employees work to keep up with their workload and attend to their families throughout the year, many individuals have experienced workplace burnout due to stress and exhaustion.
Investing in teams is a critical small business resolution to make in 2021. It must go beyond taking an occasional Zoom call together. Investing in a team means being able to show empathy with employees. Understand that no two work from home situations are the same and be empathetic with your team members. Remind everyone about shared goals and the role they play in making these goals a reality. Connect with each team member on a regular, routine basis. Offer to help out and provide support that meets their unique needs.
4. Celebrate the small wins.
Post-pandemic, one of the best small business resolutions is celebrating small wins.
Resolutions tend to be big in nature. The best quarters, the biggest number of sales, a high subscriber rate for e-newsletters. Scale it down in 2021. Think about the little wins from 2020. These can be as simple as thank you emails to team members offering to help one another out with a difficult workload. Celebrate little wins and victories from your team. The small wins make a big difference.
5. Challenge yourself to keep learning.
The pivots small businesses made in 2020 will continue to be used in 2021 — and beyond! Understanding how to pivot business models and maintaining an agile mindset is key for entrepreneurs.
In 2021, make one of your small business resolutions about being teachable. Find ways to keep learning new concepts and ideas. Read books from business leaders with great reputations. Listen to podcasts from speakers you admire. Take a class to learn a brand-new skill. Be flexible when adapting to changing times — or else you may miss the unique opportunities they have in store for your business.
Fulfill your resolution to start a business today! Reach out to MyCorporation at 877-692-6772 or contact us at mycorporation.com.