The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses all over the world to adjust to strict lockdown guidelines, causing a massive shift in how companies conduct their day-to-day operations. It’s also led to thousands of businesses closing down and millions of employees being laid off. Budgets have been slashed or frozen, and it’s unlikely that things will get any better until the virus is gone. Despite all these complications, it falls to executives to plan for the coming year. Here are five things you can do to keep moving forward in 2021: 1. Remember Your “Why” Your “why” is the reason you started your business and your primary source of motivation. Put your “why” into words. Write it down on a post-it note and stick it to your bedroom mirror or jot it down in your journal. That way, you can remind yourself of it every day. When things get difficult, and you’re teetering on the edge of burnout, remember the reason why you chose to do all this in the first place. Often, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture gives you more perspective. 2. Set Realistic Goals But, of course, purpose and motivation aren’t enough to push a business forward. You also need to set goals. Yes, you’ve probably already done that, but they might still be pre-pandemic goals. Now that the world has turned upside down, you’ll have to revisit those goals to see if they’re realistic. Based on one of the principles of SMART goal setting, they need to be relevant — meaning achievable based on the current realities of society. The global health crisis has forced companies to make huge adjustments, so 2021’s goals need to consider that. 3. Don’t Stop Learning You are never too old to learn, especially if you’re running a business in this ever-changing world. And in today’s digital world online learning is not only becoming more accessible, but just as valid as traditional classes. Scour the internet for free webinars relevant to your line of work, and invite your employees to join in. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn new things and check in with your employees. Moreover, if you have the funds and want a qualification at the end of your learning, online masters programs will help you build your skills in a variety of industries, all from the safety of your home. This is done through school partnerships with industry leaders like Boeing and Edward Jones, dedicated tech and academic support, and an asynchronous learning environment that connects you with professors and peers conveniently and regularly. Be sure to look up different options for you and make a point to look for schools with certifications in online learning, like the Apple Distinguished Schools distinction. This way, you can make sure you will get the most out of your time and investment. The bottom line is that the pandemic has opened up thousands of online learning opportunities, and your business is sure to benefit from their utilization. 4. Build an e-Network Networking has and always will be important, global health crisis or not. And despite the pandemic, it’s still possible to build connections with other professionals. All it takes is some emails, a couple of virtual meetings, and being proactive. Admittedly, networking is much harder in the digital sphere, but it’s worth the awkwardness — especially now, in these uncertain times. The right connections can help you boost your business, protecting it from closure even in the worst economic downturn. 5. Be Resilient, But Don’t Overwork Yourself Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to check in with yourself. Charging forward at full speed isn’t a good idea if you’re going to get burned out by the end of it. Don’t try to plan and fix everything immediately. Instead, incorporate rest time into your daily schedule and keep an eye on your mental health. Work smart, not hard. You’ll get there. These five tips are sure to set you up for 2021. But remember that you aren’t the only one who needs to be motivated. Your team needs to be too — now more than ever. So, make sure your presence is felt (albeit only digitally for the time being) and encourage your employees to suggest changes that can improve the current system. That way, they’ll feel more involved, making them more focused and engaged. Good luck!
Article written by Romina Jameson
Exclusively for eileenmcdargh.com