Business Planning for 2021

By Generational Equity


As the fourth quarter of 2020 winds down to a close, and we get to leave 2020 behind, many of you are beginning to plan your 2021 business strategies. We have been amazed to witness sheer brilliance on the part of our clients as they adapted, improvised, and overcame some amazing challenges the last seven months.

But now is the time of year when many of you set aside some quality time with your management teams to create your 2021 goals and strategies to reach them. A recent article by our friends from Vistage really caught my attention as I was contemplating this topic (Vistage is the world’s largest executive coaching organization for small and midsize businesses).

Entitled, “Planning for 2021: 5 Key Questions Leaders Are Asking”, the article is full of some great tips on what we need to be asking/doing/contemplating as we begin to plan for another eventful year, with much unknown even now. Here are the five questions that they suggest every business owner consider as you move into 2021 planning sessions:

  1. How long will we be operating in short-term sprints?
  2. Where are there gaps in skillsets among members of my leadership team?
  3. How will my team want to work in the future?
  4. How do I bring more value to customers to over-deliver?
  5. How do we maintain/revive culture in 2021?

Although each and every one of these are vital questions that need to be examined, from an exit planning standpoint (and yes, exit planning still is important because buyers are still actively looking for investments – according to data from Refinitiv, the third quarter set a record for M&A activity), the fourth question is really key. Here is how Vistage described it:

One thing hasn’t changed during the pandemic: The most successful leaders are laser-focused on staying close to their best customers and understanding the strength of their relationship with them. Leaders are taking these key questions into consideration: What specific challenges are my customers facing? How will my company adapt our resources to address customers’ current and future needs? What are our coverage plans for servicing customers?

One vital area that business buyers look closely at during due diligence is how sustainable is the target’s future growth? How strong are the relationships with key clients and customers? This is especially true in today’s world.

Many of you have worked closely with your key clients over the past seven months and have most likely implemented strategies and tactics to better meet their needs. If you have, then great work! You will be well-positioned for the economic recovery.

If you haven’t, take some time over the next few weeks to ask them what you can do better to help them. Talk to your salesforce, listen to what they are hearing and take steps today to determine how best to add value to your business by better connecting with your clients.

Find out what pain they are feeling and adapt to help them and, in so doing, cement your future with a solid, sustainable client base with strategies and tactics that are nimble, adaptive, and provide true value to your customers.

As we all know knowledge is power – the more you learn about exit planning and, even more importantly, how to grow your business so that it is buyer ready when you are ready to move on, the better. 

To gain this knowledge, I would encourage you to attend a Generational growth and exit planning conference. If you have attended one in the past, and it has been years since, you really should plan to attend again to find out just how you can access the services of our skilled growth experts with Generational Consulting Group

Our team is helping business owners just like you right now to solidify their operations, implementing tactics and strategies to not just survive, but thrive.

Don’t just take my word for it – have a listen to what a few of our clients have said about our consulting services:

The common theme you hear here is one of hope! GCG and its team of professionals helped each owner come up with a plan that will radically change their future trajectory. We can do the same for you if your exit plans are for 2021, 2025 or beyond.

But the first step is attending (or re-attending) a Generational growth and exit planning meeting. To learn more, follow these links, and thanks again to our friends with Vistage for giving business owners some great questions to contemplate heading into 2021:

Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

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