Keys to Success in 2021

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How do you balance a strategic plan and flexibility?

How can you plan for a year that already seems like it’ll be unpredictable?

In this episode, Jessica Scanlon and Kevin Ring discuss how to win in business in 2021. They talk about how to take the lessons learned from the wild ride that was 2020 and apply them to have a successful year in business, even when things don’t turn out like you expected (or wanted).

Business owners and decision-makers that lead teams and companies through 2020 probably saw many projects that weren’t finished and deadlines that weren’t met. When those projects are near and dear to our hearts, this can be a very emotional experience. 

Jessica discusses a project at Hot Dog Marketing that she was excited to launch, but ended up missing its initial launch date. Initially, she was disappointed, but she knew that project was just one avenue of serving that intended audience, and the other channels were still working to achieve the big goal.

Business leaders may even find themselves reassessing their business’s direction due to diminished demand (e.g. event venues), or even a disappearing audience (e.g. office workers). Coping with unmet expectations around projects and metrics is difficult, and often a losing battle.

Focus on the Goal, be Flexible on the Method

Instead of attaching your personal and career value to delivering projects, Kevin posits that business leaders should focus on the value they provide to their audience. Although the means and methods might change, being solidly rooted in the end goal of meeting customers’ needs will be a much more worthwhile perspective. This mindset will help business leaders reach their goals without being disappointed when particular “darling” projects don’t work out.

Don’t Put It Off – Act Now

Assessing all the relevant data and deciding what moves to make can be exhausting for business leaders. Often, this is why it’s hard for them to take any action at all. However, disengaging with audiences won’t put “things on hold” until the business gets “back to usual.” Ceasing marketing and communication efforts will disconnect businesses from their target audiences, losing points with them in the long-term. These audiences will be much more difficult to win back if and when we get back to some semblance of normal.

Bottom Line for Winning in 2021

This year may not have as many sweeping changes as 2020, but it will certainly be different than the years beforehand. Expecting the unexpected and embracing the new environment we all live in will be essential to having a successful year in business.

Key takeaways for surviving and thriving in 2021:

  • Stay alive
  • Understand the value that you provide
  • Don’t hold too fast to your plans to deliver value
  • Remain flexible
  • Give yourself a break
  • Plan for success

Remember to focus on the big goal-the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t get overwhelmed by projects and initiatives that didn’t (or won’t) make it off the ground. Chances are that 2021 will have more unmet expectations and deadlines. Instead, remember to focus on how to continue providing value that your audience wants and needs.


Hot Dog Marketing is a digital marketing agency in Round Rock, TX serving small and medium-sized businesses. We excel in delivering marketing strategy, digital marketing, website design and development, and outstanding customer service.

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