It’s July. Wait, Whaaaat?
Although March and April seemed to crawl along as we all learned to navigate brand new economic and personal landscapes, it’s somehow suddenly summer.
The goals we set for ourselves and our businesses back in January seem a distant memory now. Wednesday, July 1st is precisely half-way through the year 2020.
The 182nd day of the year, it is the perfect time to take stock of the past six months.
In so many ways, the first half of this year has been challenging for businesses and organizations. There’s a reason that nearly every email we exchange lately contains words like “unprecedented” and “uncertainty.” But we know that times of upheaval can also be times of tremendous positive change—if we are intentional about the ways we engage with our business, with our employees, and with ourselves.
2020 thus far has been tumultuous. And in six months, it will be behind us.
It’s never been more important to take the time to pause, reflect and reevaluate, and recognize how to move forward in ways that recognize that the current state of the world may be the norm for some time.
So, how can we advance our businesses, given the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Take stock. Reassess how the year has gone so far. Look back on your goals for the year. When originally setting objectives and targets to measure the success of ongoing projects at the start of 2020, no organizations could foresee what our lives and companies and work would look like in a few short months.
Now is a great time to examine those objectives and targets and re-prioritize. What should you start doing, stop doing, and keep doing? What goals have been reached and which ones just aren’t realistic anymore? Which projects need attention, what new opportunities have presented themselves, and which efforts are simply not adding value anymore? Be ruthless.
If understandable delays have occurred in your business, think of July 1st as a time to get back on track. Consider July 1st as a restart – a New Mid-Year’s day, if you will. It’s a clean slate on which to adjust goals and come up with cohesive action plans that take our new “normal” into account.
Make an action plan for forward movement. Do you need to take a different approach?
Recognize the ways you can continue to make progress in the midst of uncertain times. If there are aspects of your business that need attention or adjustment, think about trying a different approach if you’re falling short of some of the goalposts you’ve set. Think about new methods and actionable steps that could help you and your team find new and positive ways of working for the latter half of the year. Try setting SMART goals—ones that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Keeping security up to date. Take some time at the beginning of July to ensure that your online security is up to par. As most companies continue working remotely, cybersecurity protection is more important than ever. Make sure that your cybersecurity is up-to-date and that any necessary updates have been installed. Prevent security issues and make sure the second half of the year is as smooth as possible. Security is complex and can be viewed as “just another thing to worry about.” But mitigating risk is a critical component of any successful business and you owe it to your customers to protect them – and to yourself to protect what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Don’t make a hard year worse by succumbing to a security breach that could have been prevented. If you need help, here’s a few good resources.
Holidays! Think ahead. Planning ahead for the holiday season will be essential for eCommerce stores. From your website optimization to products, July is the perfect time to plan out what your strategy should be for the 2020 holiday season. It is also a good time to get in touch with suppliers and distributors to understand about any potential delays and restrictions due to the pandemic. Online business will be the order of the day. Is your digital commerce strategy and site ready to go? No? Let’s get on it. Here’s how we can help.
Get creative about “events.” At the beginning of 2020, I approved a Marketing plan that invested heavily in events, in-person Partner Summits, and travel to clients. Well, that’s not our world anymore. As conferences, face to face meetings, and business-related travel continues to stay motionless, getting creative about ways to connect with your customers and employees is important. We’ve all had to make adjustments to our event planning for this year. While we are unable to come together for in-person conferences, consider using this time to completely rethink the way your business approaches these gatherings. Using a webinar format is a great option for the time being, give thought to how you can make them fun and interesting. But also consider brainstorming about how best to revamp in-person events when the time comes.
Connect with employees. It is vital to find ways to connect with employees who are working remotely. Outside of whatever sort of mid-year performance review you may do, consider reaching out to remote employees to have separate, open discussions about their professional goals. Though many things in our businesses have shifted and changed, our employees still have ambitions. Ask them about their hopes and think about ways you can support them.
Many people are using this time to think about personal development. Perhaps there are training resources or seminars that you can offer remotely to help employees build skill sets or try new things.
Finally, be sure to celebrate your successes. What have you done well in these challenging times? How have you shown up for your employees and reminded them of their value? It is essential to look back at all you have accomplished during the first half of the year.
Be sure to celebrate and congratulate yourselves and your colleagues as we continue working through this pandemic.