Focus on communication to grow your business in 2021
Updated: Jan 13
If 2020 taught us anything at a business level, is that companies that innovate and adapt rapidly to new challenges are more likely to survive -and grow- during tough times that those that keep doing business as usual. Companies that stayed afloat during COVID-19 have shown in the clearest way possible that new approaches are required.
In a survey by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly half—43 percent—of 416 small businesses with 500 or fewer employees reported that they were finding new ways to stay in business. At the same time, only 21% reported to have the in-house skills, resources and commitment to pursue growth in these challenging times (McKinsey & Co).
While restructuring systems, delivering alternative services and even developing new products can help companies stay afloat, rethinking how you communicate with your customers and stakeholders can also have a profound impact in your business revenue, brand image and reputation, which leads to increased growth and awareness. Here is my list of 3 great ways in which communication can help you take your business to the next level in 2021:
1. Explore new communication formats and channels
2020 saw a significant increase in video streaming and business podcasts, so considering new channels and formats also in 2021 might report huge benefits for corporations. While most companies used digital solutions to replace physical events, conferences and even internal meetings in 2020, some are actually adding digital products to their standard offer: think of how gyms offer virtual classes even after having their doors reopened. Take advantage of this opportunity and consider: How could I provide more value to my customers? Are there any formats or channels that could help me grow my business?
2. Upskill your communication skills – or outsource
According to the World Economics Forum's The Future Of Jobs Report 2020, 40% of the employees who remained in their roles in 2020, can expect that the core skills for that position will change. In line with this, a recent TalentLMS survey shows that 42% of companies stepped up their upskilling/reskilling efforts after the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, 42% of employees have pursued training on their own.
With remote collaboration increasing and a new, pressing need for growing brand awareness throughout different digital channels, it is vital that companies train their workforce to tackle new communication challenges.
An alternative to time-consuming training and upskilling is to hire communication freelancers or consultants for specific time periods or even concrete projects. Tim Robbins, VP of staffing and recruiting at Monster, believes that the pandemic-fueled trend of using temp workers to tackle new challenges will continue well into 2021.
3. Stay ahead by following the communication trends that work for you
Every year, new communication trends appear, and 2021 will not be an exception. If anything, companies can expect big changes in how they do business -and in how they need to communicate these changes internally and externally. Some trends mentioned by experts in the industry are:
· A focus on showing a greater authenticity as a brand, making employees more visible and sharing real stories behind the scenes
· An increased focus on quick and responsive digital communication, with quick updates on changes that might affect customers
· A need for on-demand content that provides real value for customers
· Data storytelling: With the ongoing global health situation, the importance of data visualization has been highlighted like never before. Both digital and physical informative platforms have shown the impact and spread of COVID-19 in an effective, easy-to-understand manner by using infographics, charts, and timelines. According to the experts, this trend will continue growing, becoming more popular in the business world as well.