As a business leader, you’re likely well-versed in making decisions, but in the midst of a global health crisis, a political minefield, and environmental disasters, planning for the upcoming year is different territory for even the most seasoned business professionals. So, how do you make the right decisions for your 2021 plans? Start with these three steps.
1. Look at the data.
Data has never steered you wrong before, so don’t stop using it now. However, you have to use the right data and contextualize it with today’s lenses. For example, when choosing a new marketing campaign or direction, continue looking at the cost, revenue, potential errors, and risk factors. Use those to make an informed decision about which step to take. For example, is the campaign empathetic to the needs of your clients, or will it come off as tone-deaf? (Hint: Try split testing in 2020 before fully deploying a new campaign in 2021!)
2. Don’t go with the status quo.
“This is how we’ve always done it” will kill your business. Nothing is the same as it was just one year ago. The entire world has transformed, and attempting to continue with what’s “normal” will only cause you to miss what could be. As you plan for 2021, consider the abnormal. Look at options you would have never considered doing and test their efficacy. If one fails, move on. But there’s a big chance that you may stumble into something that is totally unique and completely worth your time.
3. Embrace change.
You’ve set your course. You have your team in place. You’re excited to begin. Now, get ready to change everything. Sounds exhausting, right? But it can happen. Rather than being resistant to what isn’t working, admit defeat and move on. If there’s one benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that we were all given a crash course on how to adapt quickly. Take those lessons and apply them to your 2021 plan. Be prepared to admit when your original plan isn’t working because staying on an ineffective course can do more harm than good.
Don’t avoid it. Planning for 2021 is necessary — even if you need to change course quickly.