If 2020 has taught us anything it’s to be prepared. December is “Write a Business Plan Month.” Although you may have written one before, it is important to update your plan every year with a list of your goals and how you will accomplish each of them, especially since we have many lessons we’ve learned in 2020. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce outlined some great tips to tweak your business plans for 2021 during a global pandemic.
How does COVID-19 affect your business?
We know that the beauty industry has been affected by the pandemic but we also know we are a resilient community. All year long, you have adapted to new safety regulations, protocols and cleaning procedures. You’ve changed your booking patterns and helped to keep your communities safe. What can the past teach us about how we will emerge from this? “According to a recent study published by McKinsey, no event since World War II has caused an economic downturn of this magnitude. Nevertheless, the study examined how the country has responded to previous global crises, like the Great Recession and the Great Depression. Three themes emerged as successful solutions:
- Prioritize people.
- Understand existing trends.
- Create adaptive, long-term solutions.” (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests using this data and guidelines as you approach your 2021 business plan.
Even though there may be some unknowns, continue on and set the same goals and plan your business in a similar way you approached last year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests the following to create a new plan:
Analyze the Market: Things have changed a bit since pre-pandemic so make sure your figures are accurate to where the beauty industry currently stands.
Update Your Marketing Plan: Online shopping and social media are being used now more than ever before. Use social media and digital marketing as your main marketing tool. As a Suite Elite Member, you can now order your favorite products to use for service and retail at My Suite Store and never have to leave home to stock your back bar and retail.
Face Your Operational Challenges: Plan for any closures and how your business can still run during a closure. Refer back to some of our education and blogs from during the initial closures for some ideas including focusing on selling retail and gift cards.
Forecast Realistically: Do your research and make sure to forecast your income realistically to adapt to any closures or changes.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests the following to update an existing plan:
Define Your Challenges: Define the long term and short term challenges you anticipate. Adapt your goals and business plan to reflect how you will overcome these challenges. “If there is another closure, I will focus on selling retail and gift cards as well as virtual consultations.”
Be Flexible: Acknowledge that things can change within a day. Set your mind to be able to adapt to any changes that may occur. Incorporate all of the lessons of 2020, stay up to date on your state-guided safety regulations, CDC and World Health Organization. “More often than not, crises bring collaboration, so communicate with other businesses sharing insights and learning. Think out of the box and respond to your customers’ new needs.” (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
One of the most important things you can do as a Suite Elite Member is know that you have a team of people cheering you on and here to support you with resources and education.