Are you ready for 2021 or will it be another 2020?

Updated: Jan 5

I am not a fan of waiting for things to go back to the normality as you

knew it, because I believe that the world of business has moved on and so should we. However, if this is your choice then I suggest these business development tips that I encourage my clients to use may help you.

How did you fare in 2020 - were you one of the lucky ones whose business got a real and unexpected boost? Perhaps you managed to pivot or change strategy that allowed you to survive and possibly thrive or were you one of the unlucky ones where survival was your only focus. As someone with more than 40 years of business experience I worked with all of the above during 2020 and I am delighted to say that each client achieved their objective.

Interestingly enough, the one client who focussed on survival rather than pivot had cash and a plan. They knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, managed their employees extremely well and used the time to develop new markets and sign up contracts for 2021. They also anticipated the first quarter of 2021 being a zero contributor and that sort of detailed planning which we worked on together will see them thrive as we go forward.

How are you going to use the first quarter of 2021, will you sit it out or will you use the time to explore all of the options open to you. You may be surprised to know that most businesses have more options open to them than they realise but are too close to the coalface to see them.

These resources include contacts that have been forgotten, referrals that have not been sought and collaborations that have not been explored. The first 2-3 weeks in January are a very important part of your year as it allows you to make contact with people that you lost contact with. Here are three reasons to do that;

  1. Go through the projects that you worked on over the last two years and identify the ones where the client was particularly happy. This suggests that you have a good relationship so why not call, have a conversation around how things are now and ask for that testimonial. Don't forget to ask them if they know of anyone who might have a similar project. More than likely they will be delighted to hear from you and you maybe surprised at what comes back to you.

  2. Call at least 5 people per day and ask them how they have been, how have they coped and just have a general conversation. This is a simple thing to do and please remember that this is not a sales call. Your generosity in calling them will at the very least remind them of you and will not go unappreciated.

  3. Have a look at projects you lost and use the time to find out why. Say that you were reviewing projects for 2019/2020 and in particular the ones where you were not successful. You would be delighted to know what you could have done to bring it over the line. Using phrases like 'do you mind if I ask you' usually get people to open up. Information like this is valuable and you reaching out like this will put you back in the right place for future work.

With everybody locked down people have more time on their hands and your proactive engagement will be remembered in a positive light. You are sowing the seeds for business after the lockdown and a small investment in time now could deliver big rewards.

If you feel uncomfortable or would like help please contact me and I will do my best for you.

If you liked this article please remember that there are other tips available here

P.S. if you would like to know more about the value of an experienced guide invest 3 minutes of your life to find out more HERE

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Alec Drew, KBE shares his passion and knowledge around productivity and communications in the professional services sector. A major part of his 40 years in business was spent as Managing Partner of a highly successful branding agency where he worked with a wide range of CEO’s across all sectors. His insightful questioning and straight talking opened up new conversations, giving them fresh insights into their own organisations and uncovering valuable revenue streams that were previously overlooked. One strategy helped his clients achieve €3.23 billion in additional sales over a 5 year period.

He demonstrates the positive effect on shareholder value when all levels of an organisation speak the same language.  


As an international speaker he shows very quickly how a simple shift in mindset can have such a positive impact on the bottom line. He hates waffle, verbose explanations and jargon and his talks get straight to the point in a no nonsense but entertaining way. ’Technology - The Time Thief’ is a fresh and honest look at the combined effects of technology and communications not just on business but on society as a whole.


He hosts a weekly radio show where business leaders from all sectors share seminal moments in their lives. Asking insightful questions he encourages guests to retrace their steps from the start of their career to where they are now and talk about key influencers that shaped their success. It gives listeners their weekly fix of encouragement to believe in themselves and demonstrates the abundance of resources that are available to help you complete your journey to destination SUCCESS.  


He is Past President of the Professional Speaking Association, Ireland, a member of the PSA and the Global Speaking Federation. 


'The concept of business is simple until you let a human being near it' - Alec Drew