If your business is still moving forward in 2021, consider yourself lucky. In the early months of the pandemic, as many as 98,000 had to shut down operations permanently.
Today, many industries are simply trying to recover. It’s hard to focus on growth when so much of our business came to a screeching halt just a few months ago.
5 Business Priorities All Leaders Need to Focus on in 2021 and Beyond
As society begins to move forward again, it’s up to business leaders to lead with intention and set the right business priorities.
We all want to get back to business as usual, but with such a turbulent economic, political, and medical environment, 2021 needs to be focused on laying an even stronger foundation.
Yes, we want to grow and launch new projects. However, it’s important that our companies are stabilized, able to withstand any hardship that may come about at a moment’s notice.
With that in mind, here are the top business priorities leaders should be focused on this year.
1. Workplace Sanitization
Whether you operate an office building that doesn’t have incoming customer traffic, or a retail store serving thousands of different people each day, the standard for facility sanitation has been raised. Workplaces need to be properly cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.
This is one of the key small business priorities to ensure we are doing our part to protect our staff and our local communities. At a minimum, a dedicated cleaning employee or team needs to be sanitizing commonly touched services multiple times per day, if not after each use.
The use of a fogger or other airborne disinfectant needs to take place, disinfecting every corner of a room or building. And sanitizer use needs to be as common as drinking water.
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Install sanitizer dispensers in every entryway to encourage people to sanitize frequently.
2. Ongoing Use of PPE
In 2021, it’s clear that the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is going to continue to be one of the national key business priorities.
Even as some regions and states are seeing relaxation in regards to the use of PPE, facemasks, in particular, it’s up to business leaders to maintain standards that prioritize safety.
This means ensuring that you have a constant supply of PPE products stocked in your facility for your team members on a regular basis. It also means carrying extra for customers, clients, or others who enter your facilities without bringing their own equipment.
You also need to stay ahead of the curve as far as supply is concerned. We never know when the next waves of a pandemic may hit, or when restrictions will tighten again.
Rather than buying supplies online or at your local drugstore, make sure to have a relationship with a PPE supplier in place.
When society is shaken, you don’t want to fall behind, scrambling for supplies. Click here to read more now about choosing a PPE supplier.
3. Cyber Security
One of the biggest threats to business in our day in age is cyber-attack. Hackers from around the world are getting smarter and more efficient every day.
It’s very common to receive emails letting us know that another company was breached, leaking personal information to criminals. In a society where trust is running very thin, it’s important that we maintain trust with our customers by prioritizing cybersecurity.
A breach has the potential to lead to lawsuits and could very well mean the end of a small business that doesn’t have the means to go to court.
To protect your customer’s information, make sure to work with a cybersecurity company that has experience in your industry.
On top of that, invest in a cyber liability insurance policy, so that in case something happens, your business will be covered.
4. Contingency Planning
Were you prepared as a business leader when the majority of the global workforce was required to stay home during the pandemic? Did you have any plans in place to continue paying your team, even though operations were at a standstill?
Did you have the equipment necessary to allow your team to work from home? If you are like most business owners, you didn’t have those plans in place. But you live and learn.
Now it’s time to prepare for the craziest possibilities. Leaders need to expect the unexpected and have procedures in place for when things fall apart.
At a minimum, financial priorities for a business would mean having business interruption insurance. That way, if work operations ceased due to factors outside your control, your insurance would be able to cover the costs.
5. Company Impact
In 2021, the voice of the company is what draws the customers. You cannot be a voiceless, lifeless company simply trying to make money. You have to have a mission and be willing to stand up for that mission in good times and bad.
Consumers are expecting the business and leaders that they know and trust to rise up against injustice, to rise up for a better society and a safer society in the midst of a global pandemic and social injustice.
This might mean speaking out against racism. This might mean requiring masks, even if consumers are tired of wearing masks.
Whatever it looks like, it’s important to understand that your company has a position and it needs to not be afraid of standing up to support that position in order to serve people and communities better.
Your Main Business Priorities
When it comes to business priorities this year, it might be less about you and more about your team, your customers, and your community.
It might not be the time to focus on growth, on launching new products, but more about investing in your team, realizing that your company can’t exist without their hard work each and every day.
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