2021 is here, and it’s time to kick-start new year planning. 2020 was a challenging year for most, making 2021 an even more crucial year. As we embark on this year, it’s essential to reflect on the previous year, plan properly, and set goals. To help, we’ve developed a quick 2021 checklist to help field service businesses prepare for this new year.
Assess 2020 goals
To start off the 2021 checklist, it’s important to reflect on the year before. Before jumping into your 2021 goals, take some time to assess your 2020 goals. Review your goals systematically and examine them with the following questions:
- Were your goals achieved? Why or why not?
- If you exceeded your goals, why did that happen?
- What are the next steps?
- If you fell short on your goals, why did that happen?
- What can you do differently? (plan for a budget increase, rev up marketing initiatives, implement more advertising, etc.)
- What are the next steps?
Once you’ve assessed your goals for 2020, you can then use that information to plan your goals for 2021. Maybe there are specific goals or milestones that you didn’t meet, and you want to try to achieve them again this year. There might be goals that you met, and for the new year, you want to strive higher. Either way, your goals, whether fulfilled or not, provide a basic framework for how you want to succeed in the future.
Plan 2021 goals
Your 2020 goals review should give you a clear picture of what you want to achieve in 2021. Now is the time to write them down so you can begin to work towards them. What do you want to accomplish for the new year? Is it to:
- Increase sales?
- Expand your offices?
- Hire diverse talent?
- Implement new training?
- Reduce costs?
How might you go about achieving these goals? One thing to remember about goal setting is that you need a guideline to help you. Consider the SMART goal setting system.
SMART is an acronym that helps guide you through each step of goal setting.
- S: Specific:
- Your goal should be specific and clear so you can focus your efforts on the right thing. When crafting your goal, think about the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where, and why.
- M: Measurable
- Your goal should be measurable so you can track its progress and stay motivated to achieve it. When you’re able to assess the progress, you can stay focused.
- A: Achievable
- Make sure that your goal is realistic and attainable. Your goal shouldn’t be something that can be done easily; instead, it should be able to challenge you and your abilities.
- R: Relevant
- Relevancy means that your goal is important to you and aligns with your other goals. Make sure that your goals drive everyone involved and that they’re essential to the company.
- T: Time-Bound
- Each goal needs a deadline or target date. This part of the goal-setting outline ensures that you have something to work toward and prevents menial tasks from getting in the way.
Once you’ve set your goals, take some time to discuss them with everyone in the company. Ensure that all employees are on board with the goals you’ve set for the business and guide them on how best to achieve them.
Create Your Marketing Plans
This is the perfect time to plan your marketing campaigns for the year. Decide what areas of marketing you want to focus on. For example:
- Search engine marketing: This type of marketing is about increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website by using the right search engine keywords.
- Social media marketing: Social media marketing is used to boost brand awareness, promote the company and engage with existing and potential customers.
- Content marketing: Content marketing focuses on creating content — basically any piece of consumable information useful to the customer. It includes blog articles, videos, e-books, infographics, etc.
- Email marketing: Email marketing involves messaging and developing relationships with customers.
- Direct mail marketing: Direct marketing is sending marketing/promotional materials to customers through the mail.
In addition, what else within your marketing strategy needs to change? Do you want to focus on a new audience? Is there a specific product that you want to focus on? Do you want to embrace a new trend within the industry? Make sure to include these with any other major marketing plans that you have.
Ensure Financial Statements and Tax Records Are Up to Date
Set aside time early this year to ensure that financial statements are up-to-date. Also, meet with an accountant to make sure that tax records are good to go.
Assess Employee Engagement
It’s essential to make sure that your compensation and benefit structures are aligned with your industry and region. If your compensation and benefits packages aren’t competitive, you could lose your top talent and prevent new talent from coming in.
Do you have any promotional paths in place? Are there opportunities for career advancement? Companies that have these prove to be successful in the long-run.
Also, plan for employee morale events as well. It’s essential to foster job and employee satisfaction to build loyalty and reduce employee turnover. When you take the time to plan these out ahead of time, you’re able to choose times that are appropriate for everyone. Be sure to plan events that work for your company and your industry.
We hope this 2021 checklist helps you build a solid and successful plan for the new year. 2020 might have changed the course for our goals, but now we can look forward and find better ways to achieve them. Here’s to a great 2021!