Top tips for building a strong business in 2021

When it rains look for rainbows!

2021 is not getting off to the best of starts, however here at 360 Growth Partners, we do feel that following a bumpy start it will improve.

So, we are focusing on what we can do to help our business partners remain optimistic and focus on what they can do to build strong businesses in 2021.

Here are our top tips covering business, finance, marketing, HR and technology that we have gathered from working with a diverse range of clients, helping them adapt and find solutions after the most challenging of years.

Here, our experts share their insights to ensure your business is in the best shape possible for growth – no matter what 2021 throws at it.

 

Q: What practical steps can business leaders take to build their business in 2021?

Homeworking is a trend that will continue into 2021. Don’t forget your people still need to feel supported in the same way they did when we were office-based, even though WFH now feels ‘normal’. Ensure they have clear short-term goals and objectives to focus on and give them a feeling of success – it’s very important for building resilience.

Also, pause and reflect on what you learnt in 2020 and use those reflections to review your business action plans for the new year. Create a clear post-covid plan – avoiding the urge to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater.’ Stay aligned to your purpose to stay on track.  Andrew Silver, Founder and Director

Technology changes all the time and as the new year begins, it is important to review the tactical decisions you made in 2020. Often these decisions will have been made at pace as you quickly adapted to new ways of working – do they still serve your needs now? Start to create a roadmap for how technology is going to support the business in the future. It may be that there is little change, but in many cases, it will be fundamentally different.  Mark Jenkinson, Business Technology Associate

Understand the requirements and the impact Brexit will have on your business and if you haven’t, take action now. Communicate and talk to your suppliers and customers. It helps to understand and appreciate their situation, especially when reviewing your cash position.  Sharon Coull, Finance Associate

Be prepared – think about what might be coming down the line for your business and your people this year. Look at your workforce and try to project the impact ongoing changes to your business will have on them. Remain adaptable because although we’re in a new year, the situation is still incredibly fluid, and you have to remain flexible.  Alice Ackroyd, Leadership Development & HR Associate

Look after your people – resilience will continue to be more important than ever this year. The pandemic isn’t over and your team will be facing increasing pressures on their mental health, morale and ultimately their ability to deliver. If you fail to acknowledge and address these ongoing pressures, this could be reflected externally and in your brand.  Samantha Legget, Marketing Associate

 

Q: What are your three key pieces of advice for business leaders in 2021?

  1. Stay focused on your cash flow.
  2. Enable flexible forecasting and scenarios planning – tacking the ‘what if’ scenarios head-on.
  3. Develop real-time reporting so you have better visibility of what is happening in the business to make faster and more informed decisions.

       Sharon Coull, Finance Associate

  1. Keep your workforce model flexible, embracing what you’ve learnt from home working.
  2. Listen closely to the experiences of your workforce and help people deal with them. That could be how they’re dealing with homeschooling, illness, or redundancy.
  3. Keep close to your people and help them transition back to the working environment, particularly if they’ve been furloughed for long periods.

       Alice Ackroyd, Leadership Development & HR Associate

  1. Stay focused on your values, your ‘why’ and ensure any changes you make are in line with these.
  2. Focus on what you can control – much of what we faced in 2020 – and continue to face this year, is not in our gift, so stay on top of what is.
  3. Prioritise ruthlessly. Which decisions will have the greatest impact on your future?

       Andrew Silver, Founder and Director

  1. Embrace the new Cloud collaboration tools that may have been thrust on you, but make sure you understand their benefits to the business.
  2. Create a clear technology strategy that reflects your business plan.
  3. Team that with a roadmap that can direct you through the process of delivering any new technologies.

       Mark Jenkinson, Business Technology Associate

  1. Find your purpose. Get serious about what drives you and what you want to achieve and stay focused on that vision. If you need to pivot then do it from your ‘why’, not your ‘how’ or ‘what.’
  2. Be specific about your core audience; ensure you know who they are and connect with them meaningfully over your shared sense of purpose.
  3. Listen, really listen. Get as close as you possibly can to truly understand the needs and behaviours of your well-defined audiences. Show you understand how they are changing and reflect this in everything that you do.

       Samantha Legget, Marketing Associate