When the lockdowns first began last year, every entrepreneur had to learn how to adapt to a new society where social distancing was the norm and most business was conducted online. Although many businesses were able to thrive during the pandemic, some, understandably, did not. 2020 saw the highest number of filed bankruptcies since 2012 and we witnessed the worst unemployment rate in U.S. history since the Great Depression. So if 2020 taught us all how to adapt, then 2021 will teach us how to bounce back. The best way to keep moving forward is by staying up to date with the business trends 2021 has in store. Our GREY Cohort came together to share their ups and downs with us and offer advice on how you can overcome the obstacles headed our way in the new year.

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Alexa Carlin
David Franklin
Kyle Lintner
Brad Mallet
Martin Martinez
Michelle Martinez
Jared McKenzie
George Chunkau Mui
Laura Orrico
Adi Redzic
Jon S. Rennie
Odile Roujol

Odile Roujol, FAB Ventures

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“In 2021, take care of yourself, build your tribe, your community. It’s the best way to move forward.”

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in 2021?

“In the past couple months, every time I have been a bit anxious, I focused my attention on what made me grateful these last few years and what could make me joyful and optimistic about the future. Three years ago, I learned a lot in my mentorship hours, and I decided to found a community about Fashion and Beauty, helping founders meet other founders, and to connect with investors sharing the same passion. Sharing learnings, being smarter together, raising our voice. As a female VC in seed stage, I’ve always believed that we are stronger together and that the ‘pay it forward’ culture (dear to the Silicon Valley) is a great culture.”

SEE ODILE’S STORY

Brad Mallett, Coastal Coffee Roasters

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Be prepared to continue to pivot quickly. Stay positive and remember you can only control your reaction.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“Best: How well our community supported us as well as how great our team responded to events. Worst: Managing the stress of being responsible for the livelihoods of our team members.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

One word: Perseverance!

SEE BRAD’S STORY

Alexa Carlin, Women Empower X

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“2021 will be the hybrid year. Plan on looking at your business in a new perspective focused on bridging the two normals (pre-COVID and post-COVID) together to create a successful business strategy. Also focus on serving your community in an individual level vs. a broad level. The more individual attention you can give to your clients the more they will become lifetime ambassadors for your brand.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“My best advice is to focus on the things you do have control over. Don’t waste any ounce of your energy on things you cannot do anything about. Work on what you can control and always be focused on future-proofing your business.”

Alexa Carlin Founder Women Empower X
SEE ALEXA’S STORY

Jon S. Rennie, Peak Demand

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Consider the priorities of the incoming administration. How will this affect your business? How can you take advantage of those changes?”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“We were able to grow 35% in 2020, but I wonder what would have been possible if it wasn’t for the pandemic and the election.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“It will need twice as much money as you think and it will will take twice as long as your current plan.”

SEE JON’S STORY

Martín Martinez, A-Player Media

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Hybrid events, future of remote work, tech exodus to Texas (Texodus).

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“Staying lean throughout times of world-altering crisis will only serve to improve your chances of success and build resolve for the next time you face one.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“Worst: Being Zoom-bombed in an early virtual event.
“Best: Hosting Grammy-nominated The Black Pumas for a performance for another virtual event.”

SEE MARTIN’S STORY

Laura Orrico, Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Stay current and stay fresh by constantly educating yourself on what’s current in your business. Know your craft well. Although it helps with productivity to delegate work, never lose sight of your craft.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“Don’t sit around and wait for opportunities. Work everyday to build what you have worked so hard for and it will happen. Keep learning, working, and believing. And, most importantly, never give up.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“The best moment for me has been hiring a rep in L.A. to have feet on the ground for Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC.”

SEE LAURA’S STORY

DAVID FRANKLIN, KNOWRX

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“You have to meet the client/consumer where their needs are and not design to give them more than their basic requirements first.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“The problems exist. Listen and you’ll hear the solution to go build.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“I had to pitch to two companies while having COVID and active symptoms. These were grueling 20 minutes sessions that extended my exhaustion, but the outcome was very favorable and helped us move forward on one of the deals.”

SEE DAVID’S STORY

KYLE LINTNER, K-RATIO

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“A tight lending environment if economic conditions do not improve.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“When Covid first hit, it basically eliminated an entire business unit. Instead of folding, we created a new unit with an entirely new product, specifically designed for the pandemic. Not only did it save the company, but we now expect significant growth for the product in 2021.”

SEE KYLE’S STORY

ADI REDZIC, THINK CHANGE

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Innovate, innovate, innovate! Obstacles are the way, and 2020 was a huge one, but this is where entrepreneurs can thrive. There’s no such a thing as going back to ‘normal’; industries have been disrupted in a major way—hell, our way of life has been completely hijacked. This is a huge opportunity, and we’ll be seeing innovation skyrocket. The most successful entrepreneurs and innovators will seriously work on their own blind spots in order to facilitate breakthroughs, limit repetition, leverage creativity, and execute best ideas.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“It’s a brave new world and given the impacts of COVID-19, including psychological, learn how to thrive in uncertainty, manage yourself (not only time, but emotions and energy), and don’t get distracted. Figure out what’s truly most important for your startup and focus on that.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“End of March when I watched my business get decimated by COVID-19, followed by inept government response to it. Then, in September 2020, my dog almost died. Thankfully, I’m wrapping up 2020 on a high note having realized a long-awaited dream: moving to the beach.”

SEE ADI’S STORY

MICHELLE MARTINEZ, HERO COFFEE BAR

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Keep a close eye on information coming out of social media channels and make sure to follow channels that inspire you.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“Listen to your gut and surround yourself with people who care about your wellbeing. A support system is critical for long-term success.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“Best moments in 2021 include the collective positivity that was given to my staff. Opportunities also came from many people who wanted to help in creative ways, which led to my collaboration with Keurig! Check out Keurig.com/loveblend for more info.”

SEE MICHELLE’S STORY

GEORGE CHUNKAU MUI, GLOBAL CONSULTANTS UNITED

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Online and virtual service and product delivery is the key to success, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“Need to develop a product and service marketing strategy that is consistent with the reality of the global market impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“All our international business travel plans have been postponed indefinitely, but going virtual is starting to redefine our service delivery.”

SEE GEORGE’S STORY

JARED MCKENZIE, HEADLINE SOLAR

What are some business trends entrepreneurs should follow in 2021?

“Automation.”

What advice do you have for startup founders in 2021?

“When times get tough, work harder. The person that works 100 hour weeks will accomplish in 6 months what the person who works 40 hour weeks will accomplish in 15 months.”

What was your best/worst moment in 2021?

“Seeing our company culture and workforce come together throughout the worst pandemic in history. There is nothing like watching everyone take care of each other without any direction given. Truly motivating.”

SEE JARED’S STORY

Thank you to our GREY Cohort for all your advice! May this year be your most productive and informative yet. For more insights on how 2020 affected entrepreneurs and the business world, check out our 5 Key Takeaways From The GREY Cohort Survey.

What other 2021 business trends should we be on the lookout for? Let us know in the comments down below.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.