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How to Strategize for 2021

I think we can all agree that this year took a turn away from our expected plans and goals. 2020 has brought a lot of discomfort to people on a personal and professional level. Because of COVID-19, many have lost jobs and their loved ones to the virus, and businesses are struggling to stay afloat with fewer people buying and industries hurting.

Many of you are probably asking yourself, ‘how do we prepare for 2021?’ With cases on the rise again globally, will it ever end? The unfortunate reality is that no one really knows. So what do we do?

My advice: plan for 2021 like you would any other year. With so many unknowns, it can be hard to wrap your head around, but here are a few suggestions to consider for 2021 strategies.

2021 Budget

Being a part of the A/E/C industry, we are fortunate that most of our businesses have continued to work and grow in many cases despite COVID-19. Although projects are getting put on hold, our engineers and staff have been able to do their jobs in the field and remotely during the pandemic. Construction workers, engineers, and essential personnel have been out there since day one working on infrastructure and making sure the public stays safe. With that in mind, companies should budget for 2021 like they would for any new year to come.

2021 Marketing

Marketing is more or less the same since the pandemic hit. As a marketer, a lot of my initiatives have always been in the digital landscape through email, social media, website, etc. Although most of the channels are the same, we have to be strategic in differentiating ourselves with EVERYONE now resorting to digital outlets. Marketing communicates to a large audience and digital channels are the best way to reach a lot of people at little to no cost. With technologies continuing to grow every year, there is no doubt you’re already on the path to digital marketing evolution going into 2021.

2021 Events

The event industry has been hurting this year and with that, a lot of business development opportunities. Tradeshows have always been key to network and showcase your business. With all shows either canceled, postponed, or turned virtual, it’s been very difficult to sell to new clients in this environment. As we enter 2021, with many events still “to be determined” (TBD), our business goals don’t necessarily have to be TBD as well. We can still strategize for the hope that events will turn in-person again at some point, but more importantly, take advantage of your existing pool of exceptional clients. A good 70% of business comes from existing clients, which means we already have a relationship and reputation with them. Now is the time more than ever to check-in. Of course, bringing in new clientele is exciting, but some of your biggest jobs might actually come from clients who already know and trust you.

So how are you prepping for 2021? The same you would any other year? Yes! Of course, there are components that will differ in your plan, but that’s normal for everyone. Overall, your strategy should be virtually the same, no pun intended. Kick-starting the new year with a set plan and goals is the best way to make it happen. Although plans will probably change, optimism and hope are the best way to get through these difficult times.

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