It’s been a long time since our business instincts have had a clear sense of direction in the United States, but low and behold – 2021 has entered the building!
It’s safe to say our clients adopted a variety of new tools and technologies over the last year, as they experienced a growing number of operational changes. At Craeve, we feel some of the most important insights can be found in looking at the numbers and figuring out the story behind your sales – good or bad. Last year business owners needed to take a more creative approach to sales and marketing, so learning which strategies were useful can be helpful for reallocating budgets in 2021 and positioning your business for growth as things open back up.
Where should you start?
- Compare the past three years of sales numbers to discover what types of sales and marketing strategies worked best for your business – before and during the pandemic.
- Evaluate past goals and results. This is equally important in pinpointing where strengths and weaknesses have shifted during the global pandemic and where goals need updated moving forward.
- At this point in the new year, you should be creating new goals with the above information in mind. Perhaps you want to offer a new product or service, maybe you want to grow your sales a certain percentage, add on to your current business model or hire certain position; whatever the goal is, the first quarter is the best time to set it and begin the planning process.
- Have measurables that define your team goals to create alignment across the board and best position you for the coming year. These could be divided up among departments or team members, so long as you are all measuring the results of your efforts for the greater good of the company.
- Create sensible brand awareness campaigns. Quarantine restrictions have driven most of your potential clients online and it is time to show them who you are as a brand. Rather than using a sea of sales tactics in an unsteady buyer’s market, accept the imbalance in routine buyer motivation and keep your digital marketing spends on a reasonable level.
- Establish your social media presence without being too pushy. This will keep a healthy reputation for your brand throughout this year while you figure out what’s next and where to spend.
Although most companies took a hard hit in 2020, it gave a lot of small businesses the opportunity to slow down and think about the bigger picture. You should always be prepared for slower periods. Taking the time to sit down with your team and communicate exactly what you want to accomplish is the best way to set yourself up for success. This past year business owners, in many instances, took on several roles just to make ends-meet. We hope you took this opportunity to find areas you needed to dial back, places to invest and ways get educated on growing technology.
The Bottom Line: By understanding how your strategies performed in the first year of the pandemic, you will be able to make smarter decisions on marketing spends and sales strategies for the year ahead!