It’s 2021 and most of us are thankful and completely ready for a fresh start and to forget 2020. But as business owners, we can’t forget. So what should a business focus on in the year to come?
Here is what IMS suggests to add to your business resolutions for 2021:
1.) Make your Marketing Strategy Adaptable, Flexible, and Up-to-Date
Marketing will matter more in the year to come. As many of us learned in 2020, having a marketing plan that can roll with any situation is invaluable. Take what you have learned from the lockdowns and update your marketing plan to follow current trends and make it adaptable or flexible for any foreseeable situations.
By having a marketing plan that can be tailored to the level of availability, you will not only reach new audiences but help your current and returning customers. You will be able to obtain the customers of businesses who don’t adapt to the times.
If you contact your IMS Broker or one of our Media Specialists, they can help you with your marketing goals and plans to make sure your business pushes forward in 2021.
2.) Evaluate your Streams of Revenue
In order to make any resolutions possible, it is vital to evaluate your streams of revenue and possibly add new revenue streams to your cash flow. If one of your revenue streams are taking up 50% of your time, but only bringing in 5% of your business, you should consider if that stream is actually necessary. You might have already taken a look at your budget to see where you are wasting money, losing money, or where you could budget tighter on necessary items. But you need to also factor in your main revenue stream. What will you do if suddenly that was gone tomorrow due to a lockdown or new government mandate?
This is where IMS will help you thrive in 2021. Barter has proven multiple times over to help improve your cash flow and bring in new streams of revenue. Read more about how IMS can help here.
By utilizing your IMS barter account, you will save cash. Cash, as we were reminded, is vital to keep a business afloat, especially in uncertain times. Having a cash reserve could mean keeping your electric bill or vendors paid.
3.) Re-Examine Your Customers Needs
Customer needs drastically changed this last year - restaurants offering curb-side and delivery options for the first time, contactless pickup and service options were created, companies flocked to digital meetings and appointments… most customers loved these now necessary options.
The questions you should be asking your company: What do our customers want to keep once the pandemic becomes under control? What do they need in 2021? What practices will keep our new customers from 2020?
An Ipsos survey recently found that 62% of consumers say they would stop shopping at a retailer if they didn’t believe their health and safety were taken seriously. So, if you have been on the fence about updating your registers to have chip readers, or have been wary about adding delivery options to your business, or investing in a digital meeting service, 2021 might be the year to upgrade. Your IMS broker has many options to help you with these investments.
4.) Update your Website and consider making new resources
In a Pew Research study, 90% of American adults are connected to the internet. If you’re not online or if your online presence isn’t strong, you are not helping your business.
2021 is the time to update your website; working on SEO so your business ranks better and is more findable in internet search engines. Update your social media platforms and maintain a social media content plan or, if you don’t have social accounts, create them. Consider writing a blog to create a resource database for your customers. With lockdowns still a possibility, you need to cover all bases of the internet to make sure your customers have the best and most current information about your business and services.
If you are able, consider building an app or updating your existing app. We are in a digital time - 90% of our population uses the internet. Make sure your business makes the most of it.
If you are unsure where to start or you need help getting started, contact IMS. We have hundreds of clients that specialize in website design, development, e-commerce, SEO, social media, and more.
5.) Learn and Experiment
One of the many lessons 2020 taught business owners, or rather, reminded us, is that a business must constantly be learning and experimenting with different practices. This new year is a perfect time to bring that mentality back. Have you always thought YouTube would be a great platform for your business but didn’t know about how to film or edit your footage? Now is the time to learn. Have you wanted to build an app for your company but never had the time? Now is the time to make one. Did you want to see if QR codes could actually work for your e-commerce site? Now is the time to see. Use your IMS dollars to fund these experiments.
6.) Take Care of Yourself and Employees
A recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health issues in 2020. We have learned that our mental health is just, if not more, important than our physical health. Consider adjusting your policies to add personal or mental health days, maybe include more in your health insurance plans if you are able.
If you are worried about the cash needed to accommodate your employees with these necessary items, IMS can help you. You can subsidize your cash for trade here - we can connect you with physicians, dentists, chiropractors, nutritionists, counselors, and more medical professionals who are part of the IMS network. Save yourself and your employee's cash by paying copays through your IMS account.
2020 burn out was a real thing, especially for small business owners who naturally work themselves to the bone. Burnout doesn’t do you, your business, or your employees any good. Make sure in 2021 that you have a clear vision of what you want your health (both physical and mental) and your employees’ health to look like and make it happen.
There are still many unknowns about 2021, but one thing we do know is that IMS can help your business in more ways than one. IMS continues its mission of changing the way the world does businessTM through innovation, just as many of you have done by pivoting to fill the many needs and face the many challenges of 2020. We hope your business took advantage of the many ways being in the IMS network can help you save cash, bring in new sales, and attract new customers in 2020 and beyond!