Congratulations on making it through 2020, a year that was easy for very few businesses. Now for 2021. While New Year’s Eve arrived with less fanfare than usual, the opening days of 2021 are prime time for reflection and resolutions.
Insider put together a list of advice and guides entrepreneurs can use to accomplish their business resolutions. Whether you want to build an online following, make a big hire, get organized, open a franchise, or simply become a more ethical businessperson, the list below will help you reach your goals.
Although vaccines represent a light at the end of the tunnel, it will be a while until business can resume as usual. Until then, there are a few things you can do to make the best of it. That could mean getting organized using pens and paper, which research shows is superior in some ways to electronic methods. It could also mean making a commitment to become more conscientiousness by diversifying your network or buying from more Black-owned businesses.
Lay plans for the new year: The 3-part goal-setting strategy the founder of a 7-figure company uses to plan for the new year
Set deadlines and meet them: Use this goal-setting spreadsheet to organize your work and meet deadlines — it had a 95% success rate among 80 Miami entrepreneurs
Write it down: Entrepreneurs swear by Bullet Journals and other paper notebooks to organize their lives — here’s how they use them
Diversify your network: Your company’s diversity initiatives are probably failing and costing your business money. Black entrepreneurs explain how you can change that
Balance work and family life: The founder making home coronavirus tests manages her work day with a 2-minute email rule and open time for ‘serendipity’ while scaling a company and parenting a 14-month-old
Make your business recession-proof: 3 steps to recession-proof your business, from the founders of a Miami coworking, event, and retail pop-up space
Write a vaccination policy for your employees: You can fire employees who refuse to get the vaccine with 2 exceptions, but that doesn’t mean you should
Take your startup to the next level
The startup world is filled with incredible highs and crushing lows. For every unicorn IPO, there are many more failures. Getting your startup from conception to acquisition or stock market debut will require taking tough question from investors, finding advisors, and hiring the right people.
Knock an investor meeting out of the park: Investors ask founders 2 types of questions. Here’s how to turn the tough ones into an opportunity to promote your startup
Get into a startup accelerator: 6 tips for getting into a startup accelerator from the CEO of Techstars
Fund your small business without venture capital: 12 ways to fund your small business that don’t involve venture capital
Hire a head of business development: 6 steps to hiring a head of business development for your startup
Pick the perfect hires: The 4 interview questions all startup founders should ask job candidates to test their personalities and measure if they’ll be rock star employees
Find business advisors: A founder’s biggest asset in 2021 could be a board of advisors. Take 9 steps to find the right people to help you grow your business
Get media coverage: The 2-part PR and content strategy a founder uses to build brand loyalty for her sex wellness startup that just raised $3.7 million
Leave a big digital footprint
Social media has become a standard part of how businesses reach consumers, especially as people retreat into their homes and onto social networks. There are many ways to exploit the digital world for your business— You can work with influencers, market through Instagram, or turn your already sizable following into a legitimate business.
Set up a digital storefront: A step-by-step guide to creating a Shopify store so you can finally launch your business and start selling
Write the perfect Instagram caption: 2 years after quitting her corporate job, an entrepreneur built a 7-figure business. Here’s her method for writing Instagram captions that generate sales
Boost sales by working with influencers: The millennial cofounders of a phone-case startup reveal how they contact and work with ‘micro-influencers’ on Instagram to hype their products and boost annual sales to $10 million
Run a crowdfunding campaign: How businesses are raising money on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo to cover expenses
Reach customers in the pandemic era: Small businesses are seeing the biggest shift in how we shop since the Great Depression. Here’s how entrepreneurs can reach the morally minded, Instagram-oriented customer.
Make it big: The Fat Jewish is a true internet success story. Here are the 3 fundamentals Josh Ostrovsky used to pave a path for influencers to gain social media fame, 10 million followers, and grow a legitimate business
Open a franchise
Owning a franchise is a quietly lucrative form of entrepreneurship. In fact, owners make an average of $1 million per location annually. These guides will take you step-by-step through picking a brand, figuring out finances, and expanding your empire.
Decide whether to open a franchise: Franchise owners make an average of $1 million in annual profits per location. Use this checklist to decide if buying into one is right for you
Figure out how to pay for your franchise: It costs an average of $2.3 million to open a franchise business. Use this checklist to make a funding plan to pay for it
Build a franchise empire: A woman in the Midwest got her start answering phones at Domino’s — now she owns 11 locations. Here’s how she built and runs her multi-state empire
Go off the beaten path
If you don’t want to go down a conventional career path, there are plenty of unique options for you. Consider starting a newsletter, getting into the cannabis industry, or even starting an OnlyFans.
Get a lucrative side-hustle: The 19 best side hustles to start that will earn you 6 figures or more, and how to get them off the ground quickly from experts who have done it
Start a newsletter: HOW TO START A NEWSLETTER: Everything you need to know about building an audience and making money off your writing
Get into the psychedelics business: 4 opportunities for entrepreneurs in the newly decriminalized psychedelics industry, which drug companies and investors are flooding with money
Or the cannabis industry: New Jersey just legalized recreational marijuana. The biggest business opportunities may never touch the plant
Build a business around something unusual : Sex, death, and even poop: Entrepreneurs reveal how they built thriving brands around taboo topics
Set up an OnlyFans: How top influencers on OnlyFans are using social media to build massive followings and earn 6 figures on the ‘paywall of porn’