Business targets to strive for in 2021

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

By Imogen Clarke

Running a business is all about setting, re-evaluating and (hopefully!) meeting your goals. While your workflow might run in sync with the financial year, it’s also worth setting targets for the ‘real’ year that go beyond your immediate projects and take a more holistic look at how your company is running and performing.

Here are six aims to consider for 2021, whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or self-employed.

Develop your digital presence

There are very few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from more exposure online, barring a gaffe that goes viral, of course. Are you clear about which social media platforms you should be on, what people can expect to see there, and how often you are going to post? Are you quick to reply if someone messages you? Do your posts have a consistent tone of voice that lines up with your brand or product?

There’s more: do you have a professional-looking newsletter that gets sent out at regular intervals and creates leads? Do you need to create more content on your website to allow more people to find you? Is your website loading quickly enough, is your SEO effective enough and is the user experience intuitive? Can people find the contact information they need quickly?

Let 2021 be the time you work out the answers to all those questions.

Polish your physical presence

While it’s great to get your online business looking slick and creating opportunities, don’t forget the real world too. Little things can make a big difference, both to your morale and to project an image of professionalism. That means things like branded notebooks, pens and mugs that are handy for you and your team, but can also be used by or given out to potential clients.

Think about your business cards, too. While in the era of COVID-19, they might be gathering dust on your desk, but that won’t be the case forever. Is the design dated and in need of a refresh? Does everyone in your team have a consistent card? Does the contact information need updating? Is it finally time to take your fax number off?

Give your business the space it needs

You’ll soon realize if your business has outgrown the space you’re in. There’s only so long you can manage working from the confides of your living room or bedroom, before the piles of paperwork begin to tower over you and things start to feel just a little cramped.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to expand your business from home. If you’re looking to move into a bigger space, why not consider alternative options like hiring a shipping container? Normally, when you think shipping container, you might imagine a construction site or ferry, but these steel containers are actually a stylish alternative for businesses seeking out new storage, office or meeting areas. In these unusual times, why not try one out? It could be the answer to your problems.

Give back 

If you don’t already, why not make time to incorporate some charitable work into your business? This could be anything from a sponsored run to a team volunteering project. As well as doing good, it’s great for boosting morale and is also a nice thing to be able to share with your customers (like on those social media platforms or in those newsletters we were talking about).  You can post about your good deeds on your company’s Twitter account and maybe even turn it into a trend!

A good example of a business giving back to the community is Miss Macaroon, a patisserie which introduced the MacsMAD (Macaroons that Make A Difference) training programme for people who struggle to find employment. The programme includes training sessions, as well as mentoring and coaching to provide trainees with the necessary skills they need for employment. Doing something like this will put your business above your competitors by showing that you care about your community.

Keep networking

With restrictions in place on physical gatherings, online networking is more important than ever. LinkedIn is an obvious place to head for this. As well as ‘connecting’ with people by adding them, you should make time to actually connect with people on the platform by liking and commenting on their posts and messaging them if you think you have mutual interests or have news to share.

Depending on your business, there are other social platforms that might be excellent for networking, and they might not be the ones you expect. If you run a building or construction company, for instance, then Instagram might be a great way to show off your designs; or there may be a Facebook group where you can directly connect with your local community.

Another area to seriously look at, if you aren’t already, is online conferencing. Many events have moved online, which could give you the opportunity to network or even present to groups you never would have had access to before.

Remind yourself why you do this

When you run a business or are self-employed, it is easy to feel dispirited or be too hard on yourself. Journaling is a great way to keep track of and improve your mental health during a busy period. Buy a notebook for 2021 and start by writing down all the reasons you enjoy your work (even if you’re feeling down about it at the moment!) and what you hope to get from it on a personal level. Then set a time every week or month to revisit the journal, writing down as much as you can about how you’re feeling, what’s stressing you out, what you are going to do about it, and what you’re grateful for. Revisiting past entries will prove illuminating, while the writing part can provide a great emotional release.


Whether you’re leading a team or going it alone, running a business is a time-consuming passion project for any entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to meet your goals. As long as you take note of some of the above points and remember to keep your goals attainable, then there’s no telling what 2021 will hold.


‘Journaling for Mental Health’, University of Rochester Medical Center,

Homepage, Miss Macaroon,

‘How to design a business card: the ultimate guide’, 99designs,

‘Top 7 Benefits Of Web Conferencing Software For eLearning Professionals’, eLearning Industry,


Imogen Clarke is a freelance writer who specializes in entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she is not reading or writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with her dog, Charlie.

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