Table of Contents
Hopeful for 2021
Last year was a very dramatic year on so many fronts, but there seems to be a general attitude of hopefulness for 2021. Although the pandemic lingers, many businesses continue to shift and alter their operations for today, but also with a vision of what things might look like in 6 months or even a year. The term ‘new normal’ may have a different definition for your situation.
Let’s look at things you can do with your business while you continue to navigate COVID-19. Then we’ll consider some ideas to work on for later in the year to prepare you for your business’s future.
Not out of Hot Water
Public health protocols continue and in some cases are doubling down, and how consumers react to the varied stages continues to affect all businesses. Whether your business has lost significant momentum or you are thriving in this new world, the next six months will still be a challenge. Some things will stabilize and others will continue to change.
The advantage of being a small business allows you to be more nimble and resilient. Take the time to assess your 2020 actions, hopefully you’ve been tracking everything you can. Look at expenses, operations, staff hours, and sales by category for starters. Take a deep look at how your target market is shopping, purchasing, and consuming products in your category (i.e., check out other brands) and specifically in your trade area. What trends do you think will shift and what might be the new normal? For your business and your marketing, analyze what things worked and hang on to those. Anything that didn’t serve you, consider how it can be altered or be left behind.
Although difficult to consider what to do in such uncertain times, it’s important to carve out a plan as best you can. Looking at your numbers from pre-COVID and during COVID will give you insights to plan on what actions you can take in the short term, and then later in the year. Learn from your industry colleagues by observing what they’re doing, or even reach out to them directly. There have been many successes whether from organic business growth due to consumer demand, or innovative pivots to shift a business’s focus. What can you do?
This unprecedent market disruption has forced our food sector to adapt and be responsive. The key is to take action. You can’t sit around and do nothing or you’ll be left behind. If you have had to create something new and will continue to operate in that way, then now is a good time to also develop processes to improve efficiencies. That also stands true if you’ve seen significant revenue over the past 9 months. Processes and systems make it easier to grow and will serve you well in the long term.
2nd Half Progress in 2021
In 2020, how people bought and sold food changed in so many ways. In the first half of this year, things will be somewhat status quo. People will continue to buy selectively, in safe ways, hopefully supporting local businesses as much as possible. As the pandemic restrictions subside, you have to be ready to leverage opportunities as things open up. Recognize that it will happen gradually, not on a specific date.
What does your calendar look like? Identify particular dates where things need to happen, whether that’s operational, distribution, or marketing, also noting if this is during or after COVID, or in between. Watch the agriculture and food sector to get a strong sense of how the latter half of the year will unfold. Will you be able to make other business adjustments and can you prepare early on to be able to implement your plan?
Do you have a pandemic success story? Did you have a growth spurt or a unique pivot achievement? We’d love to hear from you so we can help other food businesses with your input.
As part of a closely connected B.C. food industry, we are building a community connection on social media. You can help us help others to steer out of the other end of COVID.
We will be on Instagram in 2021, but in the meantime:
Facebook Page – Like our Page and watch for event and industry news, blog posts, and business stories.
Twitter – Follow us to connect and discover interesting topics on the food sector.
Website Events Page –Keep up to date with online and in-person events on our website.
Happy New Year and all the best for a hopeful and progressive 2021.
Your Farm Food Drink Team.
PS – By the way, if you need help with your business planning, market research, or some creative marketing during your shift, contact us to discuss your need or opportunity.
If you found this post helpful, you may also find these useful to help you plan and set goals:
While you persevere and produce with your product output, track and then consider how what you’re doing can affect your business in the short and long term.
As things in BC start to open up, there will still be limitations and barriers (literally!), but also new threads of opportunity. With your structured approach, segment and analyse the three main areas of your business: 1) operations/production, 2) sales/marketing, and 3) financial management.
Do you regularly set goals for your business? There is much research recognizing that if you set and track business goals, you are much more