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Don’t finalize your 2021 business strategy until you read this

Last month we published an article for #OpenWeStand readers where we asked: Is your 2021 business strategy designed to compete? If you haven’t read it yet, you won’t want to miss the advice offered on big-picture thinking, employee engagement, community activism and sound (but not rigid!) financial planning. To cap off your 2021 forecasting, you’ll want to read it along with these final words of wisdom from our operations and marketing experts.

Operations should promote your company’s values

Cameron Reichert, SVP of Operations & Customer Success at Nexa

Are you seeking out the opportunities in the discomfort?

Be intentional and use pivotal moments to reaffirm, revive and maybe even re-shape areas of business that needed to change because of the pandemic. This mindset helps us not only thrive through uncertainty, but purposefully navigate and push forward when visibility is limited. At Nexa, for example, we never envisioned a 100 percent virtual scenario for our operations, but the pandemic forced us to explore and adopt a new model that’s proven to be successful and perhaps an even better model than the one we had initially created for ourselves.

Advice for small business owners

Our personal and professional lives are now intertwined. We must embrace a new level of humanness, patience and compassion in how we communicate—not only with our team members, but also in our client relationships. It’s been a joy to meet co-workers’ and clients’ children and animals, and just connecting on a much deeper level. Work relationships will become even more “human” and we should continue to promote the idea of being (and celebrating!) our whole unique selves in the workplace—that also means having the courage to have difficult conversation. We’re finally bringing to the forefront important conversations around racial equity and mental health. This needs to continue.

Getting crystal clear about who you want to be for your people and your customers is vital. What values does your company stand for? And how do you embody these ideals every day? How are you holding yourself, your leadership team and employees accountable to it? By answering these questions, you can create a synchronized, high-performing team that’s driven by a shared vision.

Developing a solutions-focused marketing mindset

Walt Conrad, VP of Marketing at Nexa

How nimble is your company—and your marketing?

The needs of your target market and clients are ever-changing. In sales and marketing, it’s crucial to be as nimble as possible for your clients. This starts by identifying ways in which you can provide better solutions to fit their needs at a particular moment in time. Whether that’s creating a faster onboarding process or introducing a new service offering, the need to be a ‘step ahead’ has never been a bigger takeaway than it was in 2020.

Advice for small business owners

It’s easy for a marketing team or organization to get a bit sucked into what’s working, particularly as you navigate uncertain times. But even the slightest bit of complacency can leave you behind the eight ball as your competitors move quickly and the needs of your clients change. Marketers need to be more nimble in how we address changing needs and leave behind any sense of complacency we may have felt last year. The greatest opportunity I see is in identifying additional solutions to better serve your clients. You may have a core offering, but it’s likely you do even more than that. Where are there greater opportunities to serve, either through technology or additional product offerings?