Looking to improve business performance this year? Many business owners are looking to ramp things up in 2021 as a way to kickstart their recovery from COVID-19, with many businesses posting massive losses as a result of the pandemic.
It is a challenging time in the business world, but there are reasons to be optimistic, and there are a number of steps that a business can take right now that should lift performance and help your company to develop and improve.
So, if you are looking to boost business performance this year, then read on for a few ideas.
1. Consider a Hybrid Work Model
One of the biggest decisions that business owners are grappling with right now is to stick with remote work, to bring staff back into the office, or compromise with hybrid work with staff splitting time between work and home.
Ultimately, it will come down to how remote work has worked for you and your team and if it has impacted productivity in either way a significant amount. Many businesses are adopting a hybrid work model as this keeps all camps happy and allows you the best of both worlds.
If you do opt for remote work or a hybrid model long-term, you should look into investing in the best remote work tools to overcome the challenges that it can bring. Additionally, you might want to look into how to manage remote staff effectively and possibly look to remote hires when recruiting, as this allows you to access a much larger talent pool.
2. Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
As a business owner, you need to prioritize employee wellbeing in 2021 and understand just how difficult the pandemic has been for everyone. Many people have lost loved ones, are worried about the health of loved ones, have been sick themselves, and/or worried about their money and job security (as well as general anxiety/sadness over the situation).
It is thought that the mental health effects of COVID-19 will be long-lasting, and as an employer, you will want to do all that you can to support staff both to help them to cope as well as to ensure that they can work to their potential.
This might mean offering remote work and greater flexibility, encouraging them to come forward when they are struggling, providing resources, reassuring them about job security, or simply being there for them when they are struggling. It is a long road ahead, but when people communicate and work together, it will help to lift spirits and boost performance.
3. Motivate Your Employees
Leading on from this, you also need to find ways to motivate staff in order to boost performance. Many businesses have struggled with this during COVID-19 as it has been such a stressful and worrying time, but moving ahead, you will want to revitalize your team and help people to work to the best of their abilities.
There are many ways to keep staff happy and motivated, such as positive feedback, rewarding hard work, targets, career development opportunities, and creating a positive atmosphere in the workplace.
4. Use Staff Training
You should also be using staff training as a way to improve the abilities of your team, keep them engaged, and develop their career.
Training is a win-win because you can improve the performance of your team while simultaneously helping staff with their career, so be sure to see what goals your employees have and then help them to achieve this within your business.
5. Identify Problem Areas
The best way to improve in anything is to identify the problem areas and then turn these into strengths. With so much changing in recent times, many companies are finding that there are new issues, challenges, and bottlenecks that could be holding the business back.
You should identify what these issues are by communicating with staff and then putting your heads together to come up with the best solutions – often, staff has the best solutions as they are the ones carrying out the different processes each day.
6. Automate As Much as Possible
Now is also a good time to embrace automation, especially if you are having staffing issues. Automation can help you to greatly enhance efficiency, speed up processes, reduce errors and free up time for staff to focus on other areas.
There are all kinds of processes that could be automated, which will be one of the most effective ways to improve business performance and scale-up.
You could also look to outsource work to lighten the load for your team, which could also help if you have plans to scale the business and grow.
The freelance talent pool has grown enormously, so it is not too hard to find skilled people that you can use without having to pay a full salary and benefits, which can be a better option than recruiting new employees in many cases.
8. Choose the Right Project Management Software
Project management software is vital for all sized businesses, but you should never buy the cheapest software or the first one that you find.
The project management software that you choose can have an enormous bearing on the daily operation, the success of your projects, employee morale, and overall business success. This means that you should always take your time and know the most important aspects of this type of software:
- Scheduling and task management
- Team coordination and collaboration
- Time tracking and data storage
- Report creation
- Budgeting and cost tracking
- Billing and invoicing
You should then take your time to find the right project management software for your business, such as CoAmplifi, which can be used by both SMEs and large corporations to improve performance and take your business to new heights.
9. Ramp Up Digital Marketing Efforts
Now is also a good time to ramp up your digital marketing efforts in a time where the economy is starting to recover. It is expected to be a busy period in many industries, so you will want to make sure that your business is as visible as possible in order to kickstart your recovery.
It is worth investing more into your digital marketing campaigns as a way to increase brand awareness, attract more customers to your business and stay ahead of the competition. You should also make sure that you are using social media in the most effective way possible and getting your business noticed here.
10. Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing
While it is certainly important to have a strong online presence for your business, you should not overlook the value of traditional marketing.
Traditional marketing has always remained important as the tried and tested way of attracting new customers and clients, but in a time where communities are rebuilding, there is much greater support for local businesses.
This means that you might want to look into traditional marketing methods such as:
- Newspaper and magazine adverts
- Attending and hosting local events
This should help to raise your profile in the local area and encourage more people to use your business, and support the local community.
11. Seek Customer Feedback
Businesses should always be seeking customer feedback as a way to identify the best ways to improve, but particularly in 2021.
It is important to understand that it will not be a case of business as usual once the pandemic has ended and that consumer habits, expectations, and trends have changed massively. This means that you should seek customer feedback and conduct fresh marketing as a way to identify these changes and how you can capitalize on these moving forward.
12. Use Data Analytics to Boost Business Performance
It is also important to be using data analytics right now as a way to gain a better understanding of your business performance and consumer behavior.
Data analytics could reveal insights that would have been hard to spot otherwise and help you to make smart, informed strategic decisions that will boost your business in the short and long term.
13. Create New Goals and Targets
It is safe to say that the pandemic put a serious dent in the goals and targets that most companies were working towards at the start of 2020, so now is a good time to establish new goals and targets to work towards.
Goals and targets are vital for keeping the business sailing in the right direction and to keep the entire workforce motivated, so you should take some time to establish new goals and targets in the short, medium, and long term and then to get to work trying to achieve these.
Hopefully, this post will give you a few ideas for ways that you can improve business performance in 2021. It is a challenging time for business owners, with many struggling as a result of COVID-19, but there are reasons to be optimistic looking, and now is the time to start working on getting back on track.
These tips should help to improve the performance of any business in the coming months and could take your company to the next level.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.