Every business owner is chasing after success in 2021. Of course, many of us had the wind knocked out of us by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a CEO, it should go without saying that you want your company — and all of your employees — to be as successful as possible. After going through a tumultuous 2020, you’re definitely still focused on these goals. With all the changes around us, however, you might be unsure how to pursue ongoing success.
Given what we’ve all been through, all of this uncertainty is understandable. However, there are still plenty of tangible and effective ways to create and execute successful business strategies to pursue success in 2021.
Keep these three high-level guidelines at the forefront of your thinking. They will help you prioritize every other decision you make throughout your day.
1. Get Current with All of Your ‘Assumed’ Expenses
Granted, as a busy CEO, you don’t necessarily have time to micromanage everything in your company. You shouldn’t want to, anyway. But to truly get a handle on your business, it’s important to not continue ongoing operations that rely on old data. You need to occasionally reacquaint yourself with everything that happens at your workplace. This is especially true when it comes to expenses.
Every so often, take a closer look at how much your company spends on office supplies, utilities, inventory management, and breakroom amenities. You may be surprised to discover the amount you’re paying for certain assumed costs. With access to current figures, you can now decide where best to cut costs, if needed. Success in 2021 might mean making some unpopular decisions.
Another area to scrutinize for cost-cutting measures is your third-party vendors. Perhaps you’ve been lulled into assuming they’re helping your company run smoothly. For example, the information technology provider that keeps your workers connected may not be innovating as quickly as you’d like. And yet, you’re still shelling out good money every month for their services.
According to financial services consultant Paladin, there may be things that core IT suppliers don’t want you to know about in your contract, including pricing. Of course, you certainly have the right to know these key details. If you experience such an issue, ask for a copy of your contract in writing. Pay attention to how much you’re spending versus what you’re actually receiving. If appropriate, rethink the terms and/or your relationship with that vendor.
2. Success in 2021 Means Listening More Intentionally
To make your company as innovative and successful as possible, it’s imperative to realize that your employees and customers often have great ideas. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s all too easy to forget to listen to the “troops in the trenches.” After all, as a CEO, you can become so preoccupied that you may sometimes appear to hear what other people are saying. In reality, though, you’re not actively considering their thoughts, feedback, and suggestions.
To help your company bounce back after the Covid-19 pandemic, executives must heighten their listening skills. It’s critical to be able to focus on what your employees and customers are sharing. It’s especially hard to continue listening once you’ve decided that you have heard this comment before and discarded it. However, listening — rather than speaking and instructing others — instills confidence in leadership. Active listening as a lifestyle could easily be a key factor in whether your company achieves success in 2021…or not.
3. Look for New Ways to Save Time
If only you had a nickel for every time someone told you that being a CEO requires a lot of hard work. Oftentimes, though, the key to success is working smarter, not harder. This means embracing the talented people you work with and allowing them to take on more responsibilities.
You want to hire self-starters, confident that they can tackle anything that comes their way. Encouraging and praising their efforts routinely can go a long way in keeping morale high. You should also enlist your employees in your time-saving efforts. Establish an ongoing quest to find better and faster ways to get the job done. You need every set of eyes you can get on this task. You might even consider initiating some form of tangible reward program for employees who unearth an effective means of saving time. This can be a cash bonus, public recognition, a day or two off with pay, or whatever seems fitting. The size of the reward should reflect fairness in comparison to the operational efficiencies realized.
Additionally, working smarter may also mean using the power of technology to help with certain tasks. For instance, if your company is not doing so already, develop a content marketing strategy that allows for a high degree of automation. There are multiple apps available, many of them free or low-cost, that allow for posting content anytime day or night. Wherever you find employees engaged in dull, repetitive tasks, consider if the pursuit of success in 2021 might mean an investment in more modern tech.
For Success in 2021, Hit the ‘Reset’ Button on Business-as-Usual
We all know that the past 18 months have been challenging. Thankfully, you and your company got through it. As we work through the second quarter of 2021, it’s time to start focusing once again on thriving instead of just surviving.
By taking the time to take another close look at company expenses and cost-saving measures, working on your listening skills, and automating processes where possible, you should find that your customer base and profits will increase in both the short and long term.