5 Questions Every Business Should Tackle in 2021
2021 is here, bringing with it our hope for a smoother, less eventful year. And while most of us are ready to move on from 2020, there are still plenty of unknowns ahead. As we turn the page on a new calendar year, here are five questions to consider to help you position your business for the best possible outcomes in 2021.
1. How do we add workplace flexibility and still achieve our goals?
In 2020 many businesses were forced to create a work-from-home strategy almost overnight. Some businesses saw challenges with this new WFH world, while others realized greater productivity and engagement. No matter how your company fared, it became clear that employees want and need greater flexibility in order to thrive.
This year businesses will need to reconcile the two: How do you offer increased flexibility for employees, while also maintaining your growth and strong business results? Will you offer a permanent work-from-home option, or a more flexible time-off policy? How will you support working parents and caregivers? Keep in mind that a little understanding goes a long way and often results in greater employee satisfaction and engagement.
2. How far should we take digital transformation?
Surveys show that within a few months the pandemic accelerated the digitization of business operations by roughly seven years. Many companies were forced to go digital just to maintain continuity and stay afloat, but once they realized the benefits of digitalization – like added efficiency, uptime, and transparency – they hungered for more.
How far should your company take digital transformation? The answer is different for every company, so take a look at your current operations and identify any hiccups; then think about whether or not you have the budget and resources to implement the right digital technology and automation. Simple updates – such as using eSignature in place of wet signatures like this small business does – can keep your business moving forward and prepared. From there you may consider digitizing entire systems via tools for things like CRM, ERP, and HR.
3. What does community look like this year?
While the rise in remote work and digitalization helped companies streamline operations, it also took a toll on employees, many of whom missed having in-person, face-to-face contact. Communities are a vital way for people to connect and share, but as we learned, it’s difficult to foster that same spirit in a virtual world.
As you dive into 2021, be sure to build a strategy for how you’ll build and maintain community among both employees and customers. Last year many companies started with virtual town halls, which were a great way to keep employees connected and in the know. Those evolved into creative virtual conferences, customer events, and team-building activities. My team recently connected through a fun shared experience: making sweet potato gnocchi in a virtual cooking class with Truffle Shuffle. Get creative with your community!
4. How can events and partnerships drive leads and revenue?
Companies often use events and partnerships as a core part of their lead-generation strategies, and the dearth of in-person events in 2020 left them struggling. Virtual events are on the rise, but how do you drive revenue from an online event? And what do partnerships look like in this new world?
No one seems to have an answer for this yet, which means now’s the time to think creatively about how to reach your company’s goals. If events are a large part of your revenue or lead-gen streams, you may consider Zoom's webinar product or a virtual events platform like Hopin. Is it possible to host a virtual expo? If we don’t return to in-person events, are there new partnership opportunities that can make up for this lost revenue stream?
5. What steps are we taking to prioritize health?
One thing we learned in 2020 is the health of our employees and customers is paramount, and businesses must take care to ensure a safe experience for everyone. This includes our physical safety, as well as our mental wellbeing.
In the push for health and wellness, simple things like weekly check-ins and virtual wellness sessions can go a long way and are inexpensive (or free) to implement. If you have the budget, you might consider offering subscriptions to a wellness app like Spring Health, a fitness app like Peloton, or a session with Heart Centered Counseling. Business is certainly important – but the health and wellness of your customers, your employees and yourself should always be top priority.
Agree faster this year
No one can predict what 2021 has in store, so it’s important for your business to have the right tools in place to be prepared. With eSignature, your customers, employees and partners can send and sign documents anytime, on any device, from virtually anywhere. Start this year with a free trial and see how remote transactions can actually foster friendlier human connections.