2021 is here and if you’re like us, you have no idea where the last year went. The time has flown by and although 2020 has been quite a tough year it doesn’t mean we can take a break. Only 50% of small businesses have a marketing strategy in place for 2021 and that has to change! So let’s start your 2021 strategy planning today!

Now’s the time to start planning and prepping for the year to come. It’s time to make 2021 an unforgettable year for your business (for all the right reasons)! 

It’s time to set yourself some achievable goals, make a clear plan for your online content, and stick to your plan for success throughout the year. 

So, let’s take a look at how you can prepare and plan ahead for 2021. 

How to set SMART goals for 2021 Strategy Planning

Hold up, first things first – what are SMART goals?

SMART goals are the key to your success in the year ahead.

They are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Setting SMART goals will help you stay motivated and achieve your business goals in 2021 – and let’s be honest we could all use help after 2020. 

Create specific goals

Having goals are great, but try to stay specific when coming up with what you want to achieve in 2021. Your goals should be fleshed out enough that you know exactly what it is you want to achieve when thinking about them. 

It’s easier to achieve something that’s specific than something that’s vague, here are a couple of examples:

  • ‘Make my website better’ is vague – ‘update my website with a lead funnel and email campaign to increase my conversions by 50%’ is specific.
  • ‘Update my LinkedIn profile’ is vague – ‘Add an optimized bio, add past portfolio pieces, and update my work history’ is specific. 

Don’t forget to take into account social distancing, travel bans, or event-cancellations in your goals. 

We might have been surprised in 2020, but now that we know about the possible restrictions we can come to the table better prepared for 2021. 

Have measurable goals

If you don’t have an end point in mind for your goals, you won’t know how well you’re doing, what you’ve already achieved, or how much you have left to do. 

Try to track your progress using analytics and data collected throughout the year. For example, if you’d like to increase the number of visitors to your site by 30% this year then keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see how many people are visiting each month during 2021. 

If you’re not noticing much of a change then you’ll know your current marketing tactics aren’t working so it might be time to change it up a bit to hit those targets.

Make goals achievable & realistic 

We’ve put these together because you can’t have unrealistic achievable goals, and we’re pretty sure you can’t have realistic unachievable goals either! 

There’s no point in setting a goal for yourself and never being able to reach it. That’s just going to make you feel demoralized and unmotivated. 

The best way to figure out if your goal is achievable and realistic is to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do you have the resources available to achieve this goal?
  • Does the goal fit with your financial plans?
  • Do you have the time available for this goal?
  • Does it match up with what you want to accomplish?
  • Is it relevant to the growth of your business?
  • Does it benefit your business?

If you’ve got a resounding yes, your goal looks good to go on this front!

Time-bound goals

The last part of creating a SMART goal is to make sure it has a time restriction. By setting a timed goal you’ll be more accountable which means your goal isn’t going to slip away from you and just become another lost dream or ‘to-do’ item. 

If that sounded a bit dramatic to you it’s because it was dramatic – don’t lose sight of your dreams! Or your goals for that matter, and add a definitive time frame to them so you’ll know when you need to complete them by. 

Start building your content calendar

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, content is king and to survive and thrive in 2021 you’re going to have to get ahead of the curve and start planning your content out for the next year.

By planning out your content in advance you’ll be able to make sure that you’re producing top quality content every week. This will keep your audience entertained and solidify your presence as an expert in your niche. 

Having a content strategy helps you:

  • Produce high-quality, relevant pieces of online content
  • Avoid rush posting and getting it wrong or making mistakes
  • Organize themed content to come out during holidays and celebrations
  • Create a schedule that you’ll be able to stick to
  • Write consistent content that keeps your audience entertained
  • Get to know your target audience better
  • Improve your brand’s reputation and reach
  • Improve your SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Make delivering content easier
  • Save time by creating content in batches, before it’s due to publish

When you’re planning your content be sure to write down the different topics you’re going to write about, potential blog titles, what times your content will be published at, and where you’re going to promote it. 

You should also take SMART goals into consideration when planning out your content for the year – your entire 2021 marketing strategy should be a cohesive machine. 

Think about new ways of working for 2021

Thanks to COVID-19, 2020 has seen an increase in working from home. This has caused a lot of business owners, just like you, to rethink the way they run their business. Continuing to work in the office and on-site is an advantage but it might be worth considering what is best for your business and your team. 

Has working from home been a positive experience for your business? 

Ask yourself whether you’ve benefited from your employees working at home or if it has had a negative effect on your workplace. 

Working from home is known to improve staff well-being and retention rates, plus it can decrease your company’s overheads. 

However, working from home might not work for some. If your staff members are less productive at home or don’t have the proper set-up to work comfortably at home, then you might have to accommodate them with an in-office space. 

Talk to your staff and make a plan of what to do regarding work in the future. With the likes of Slack, Zoom, and eCommerce platforms being so user friendly and widely available, your company has all the things it needs to thrive online. 

Don’t set it & forget it

The last important thing to remember when preparing and planning for 2021 is to follow your plan. There’s no point in developing an awesome plan for the year only to forget about it a couple of months in and go off track. 

Not following your plan means that you’re not going to be able to accomplish your goals. You might lose out on potential clients and you could end up falling behind your competitors. 

If you don’t want your competitors to get all the attention then be sure to stick to your 2021 plan!

The end of one year and beginning of a new one can be a stressful and panic-fuelled time of the year for any small business but don’t worry there are ways you can get organised and stay on track for the new year!

If you’d like help organizing your 2021 plan then get in touch today, we’d love to help you out

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