Year-End Review During a Pandemic

Taking the time to do a year-end review is a must for every business, as it’s important to understand what worked – and what didn’t – in order to plan the year ahead. But how the heck do you do that during a pandemic?

You get creative and give yourself options.

The truth is no one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow or next year. But at this point, we’ve spent nearly a year dealing with COVID-19, and can expect that we’ve got a long recovery ahead of us.

That means we have experience and data to pull on.

It also allows us to plan.

Establish a Plan A and Plan B.

While it’s not a happy thought, if you anticipate that we’ll be in this situation for the next year, and plan for it, you’ll be in a better position than spending time hoping things will change soon. 

That said, news about vaccine progress has many people optimistic that things will return to normal sooner rather than later. Thus, Plan A and Plan B:

Plan A: Operating and marketing your business in a pandemic for 2021

Plan B: Operating and marketing your business as normal for 2021

Sure, that means extra time on strategy, but it also means you’ll be prepared for anything and in a position to quickly pivot if things change. Chances are having a solid plan for both scenarios will also help your mental health, as you won’t be so worried about the “what ifs.”

Understand how the pandemic changed your business

While some businesses have thrived in the midst of COVID-19, most have taken a hit.  You likely already know that sales are either up or down, but how much have you thought about why?

It’s easy to say, “The economy is in shambles, so my business is down.”

That may be a true statement, but it doesn’t help you move forward. You need to go deeper to understand how your business changed.

As an example, a good portion of my business usually revolves around website design, which seemed to be too big of an investment during the pandemic. Instead, my clients have been focused on search engine optimization and social media. Here’s how knowing that helps me:

  1. My marketing efforts should focus on social media and SEO services, not web design. This impacts everything from what I post on my own social media pages to how I introduce myself when networking.
  2. My team will change. Web design projects require graphic designers and web developers, whereas social media requires a copywriter, and SEO needs someone to analyze data.
  3. Social media and SEO projects cost less than web design, so I will need more clients than usual. That means a greater focus on business development.

I’ve now got information that helps me plan for staffing needs and marketing strategy – all things that help me work toward a reasonable budget.

First things first: Understand what you’re selling and how that changed during the pandemic. Since many businesses had to pivot this year, your sales trends may be different than you’re used to. Spend some time evaluating what changed and how you’ll move forward in…

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