The anxiety and anguish of 2020 are behind us. It was a year that she left her mark on thousands of businesses everywhere.

Due to the pandemic, many companies adjusted their business strategies, readjusted, and then readjusted again.

Those with solid operating bases were able to survive. They were able to adapt to the ebb and flow of the market.

Some even prospered and achieved significant growth in sales and revenue. Others were not so lucky and were forced to cut production and staff.

As the COVID economy continues, business owners must continue to adjust and add to their strategic processes. This includes an analysis, evaluation, and development of a plan that sets the proper direction and discipline needed to navigate through the headwinds that are certain to be faced throughout 2021.

Case in point. I was a member of the 1988 US Virgin Islands Olympic Sailing Team. We set sail from the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, Florida. When we were racing, the track was set up in the shape of a triangle. That means that no matter which way the wind is blowing, you need to get your sailboat moving fast and maintain speed.

The course required that you not only fight hard to maintain momentum, but also watch out for other ships. A competitor cannot be allowed to literally “take the wind out of your sails”.

The race included a high level of strategy. The sails had to be hoisted precisely to make the next 300-degree turn without losing speed. It was a great effort to cross the finish line ahead of the competition.

Your business plan should do the same. That is formulating a strategy that not only allows your business to keep up, but is actually designed to win the race in the new year.

An example of a winning plan is the popular Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), used by thousands of businesses across the country and worth mentioning here. Like the EOS® plan, your strategy should focus on six key areas.

These include…

A strong vision. One where everyone in the organization is on the same page and rowing, so to speak, in the same direction. The entire team must understand the direction of the business and how it is going to get there. Great progress can be made when employees have a clear vision of where it is going and then spend most of their time aligned with it.

Good people. Business owners need to surround themselves with great people from top to bottom. A great vision cannot be achieved without a great team. Many business owners struggle in this area, but the best companies have a strong group behind them.

Data and metrics. Management must cut through all personalities, feelings, opinions, and egos. Instead, a plan should be boiled down to a handful of objective numbers. This gives you an absolute pulse on where things are at any given moment. These data points will help the team focus, commit, and work toward their vision.

Problem resolution. Problems can slow down a business. Most are solvable, but if left unresolved they can turn a thoroughbred into a slow-moving mule. These problems must be addressed at their root. When properly addressed, they can be eliminated and/or their impact substantially reduced.

Processes. Companies have various business processes. Some are better than others and may be different for each employee. Management needs to document what these processes are and then streamline them to ensure everyone in the organization follows them.

Traction. Once companies enact these processes, they reach a point in the implementation where they are making great progress, never before imaginable. By identifying your top priorities, taking time weekly to work on them, and holding each other accountable, you can grow bigger and faster.

Creating the right strategic plan, with the right processes for implementation, measurement, and accountability, will allow a business owner to crush their numbers and shake up their business plan in 2021.

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