Ways to Maximize the Second Half of 2021

Social distancing mandates became second nature around April 2020, as many homes, businesses and even governments locked down or closed their doors to curb the spread of the pandemic. We’ve seen social distancing and movement restrictions gradually loosen up over the course of 2021, but are still experiencing the effects of the pandemic, and the job loss and disrupted economic activity it caused. Let’s explore a few steps small businesses are taking to maximize the second half of 2021.

Tips to ensure your small business thrives in the second half of 2021:

Create a culture of agility

If we learned anything in 2020, it’s to be comfortable with a culture of ambiguity. Many businesses are using this shift to make sweeping changes in the second half of the year. Consider adoption of a new technology to automate shipping, or revamp your business plan to include new, post-pandemic products that are in high demand, like masks, home exercise equipment, or home office supplies.



Revamp your business model

Before the pandemic, many businesses like restaurants and grocery stores were standing alone, with no additional services. Now we are seeing more of these businesses offering delivery, to cater to a more home-bound customer base. Think carefully about what is important to your customers, and try to offer it to them. For example, if your customers are concerned about sustainability, offer more sustainable products, or recycled packaging, to meet both their physical needs for your product, and their emotional need to be better to the earth.


Enhance your social media strategy

One area of the world that hasn’t suffered from COVID is social media, with 3.78 billion users worldwide. Customers are relying on social media for social interaction, shopping, reviews and information on their safety. Enhance your social media strategy to include more interactive content, or adopt SEO for better search engine results.  A few ways businesses are tapping into social media in 2021 are:

1.                         Deploying a multi-channel approach

2.                         Investing in influencer marketing

3.                         Engaging commenters quickly

4.                         Tap into similar markets

5.                         Deploying on-platform and on-site analytics to track activity

6.                         Committing to a unique brand identity



Increase productivity

It’s time to get people inspired again, and coast on the wave of feel-good recovery we are seeing in the economy and in people's lives. Leaders are maximizing the second half of 2021 by implementing several policies proven to boost productivity.

· Increase and improve communication & clarity with your team about business goals

· Work with employees to plan and organize the steps to achieve your goals before you act

· Delegating takes time consuming tasks off your plate, and shows employees that you trust and respect them

· Reallocate or shift staff to play to their strengths and business goals

·  Set SMART goals for employees, and track KPIs for a clear picture of overall productivity

·  Identify constraints by following the 80/20 rule – eighty percent of stumbling blocks are from inside, and 20 percent from outside.


Use strategic partnerships

Partnerships are a great way to tap into a new market or gain new customers, but you must choose your partnerships carefully, based on careful analysis. For example, offer access to useful tools like the USPS Shipping Calculator. Customers trust USPS and will see your partnership as a good omen of your commitment to success, satisfaction and transparency.


Support your brand advocates

Your satisfied customers are the best tool you have in your quiver. Happy customers tend to interact more readily and positively on social media and online platforms, and often share about their positive experience by word of mouth. Friend’s social media posts are proven to be a big influencer on American shoppers, with 83% admitting to making purchase decisions based on word of mouth. Supporting your brand advocates could be as easy as responding to their posts on Facebook or Instagram, and some small businesses are going one step farther by creating a referral or incentive program for loyal customers.


Automate time-consuming business processes

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds through the pandemic, with apps, platforms and tools to automate everything from shopping to shipping. Consider using new HR software to help streamline the onboarding process, or deploy network security protections to ensure you don’t fall victim to one of the many devastating ransomware attacks circling businesses like sharks in 2021.


Get feedback

Get feedback on how your processes and changes are affecting employees and customers, and act on the feedback where possible. Listening to employees is a great way to boost retention and attract the best talent. Did you know that 91% of unhappy consumers will never return to your business? Listening to their issues and responding by making changes is a great way to really take advantage of the 2021 economic upturn.


The outlook for 2021 is not as bleak as it first appears.  We are seeing an upturn in economic activity in 2021, with the GDP expected to surpass projected levels by early 2025, with an annual growth of 2.6%. The unemployment rate is also expected to decline by 2022, with a return to normal rates expected by 2024. Now is the time to kick-start your own recovery, and many are stepping forward to prepare for what everyone expects to be a post-pandemic boom.


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