We all know this isn’t going to be a typical end of the year article. In many ways, 2020 is full of things we would like to forget. But as the year disappears into the distance behind us, there are some things that we all should reflect on and remember. As we turn the corner to 2021, here are some questions to ask yourself and your employees.
What went right in 2020?
It is easy to see all the things that went wrong in 2020. But focusing on the negative is unproductive and will not help you know what you need to bring with you into 2021. So many businesses adapted and found ways to reach even more customers with their brands. Whether you wanted to or not, you were forced to embrace new technologies like virtual reality and video conferencing. You found new ways to let your employees work from home and still be productive, and you took risks that led to unexpected successes. Some of the elements you had to introduce to your business model have actually helped your business grow.
What did you learn about yourself or your business in 2020?
This year we all learned more about what was really essential in our lives and for our businesses. Maybe you discovered the things that you can’t afford to compromise on – like great customer service and taking care of your employees. Or you learned how valuable relationships are to your business and how to maintain relationships in new ways. Companies big and small learned to be more flexible to adjust amid constant change. We all saw firsthand how important it was to have a cash reserve. And you probably realized that you can’t work 24/7 and still be at your best. Rest is crucial, and your business isn’t going to fall apart if you take a break. In fact, you probably increase your productivity by getting some rest every now and then.
What changes have you made, and which ones will you carry with you into the future?
Many businesses have fundamentally changed because of what we experienced in 2020. Instead of just hanging on until things go back to the way they were, successful businesses realized they need to adapt to a new reality. Some of the changes you were forced to make turned out to be good for business – like shifting to digital marketing or adding new technologies to serve more customers. Business owners realized that open communication with employees and customers will build trust and ultimately build the business.
As we roll headlong into the new year, this is the perfect time to think about how to maximize the benefits of all the changes you experienced in 2020. If there is a clear business takeaway from the last year, it is that the people and companies who embraced adapting to change are the ones that will survive and keep going.
If you had asked us what 2020 was going to look like 12 months ago, we never would have predicted all that we have experienced. As a company, we had moments of walking through fire with our clients this year. But our relationships grew stronger because of it, and we are grateful for the new levels of trust that have developed. We hope some of the lessons we shared on this blog along the way have been helpful for your business, and we look forward to all that 2021 holds – whatever that may be.