If 2020 brought us anything good, it would be the focus it demanded from business owners. More than ever before, entrepreneurs and corporations were forced to examine their business models and processes. Now, it’s essential to focus on the future. From being generous with promotional products to adjusting your practices to fit the “new normal,” here are our top business survival tips for 2021:
1. Start with Gratitude
Now that you’ve survived the 2020 pandemic, it’s time to show your customers how grateful you are for their support. Everyone loves small tokens of appreciation and it’s a relatively inexpensive way to give back. If you send orders out to customers, include some branded gifts as bonus extras. If you welcome customers in-store, then you can hand them out in person. You’ll be keeping your brand front and center, and your customers will enjoy the gift.
2. Reinvest in Your Brand
It’s well known that investing in your brand has the highest potential for return-on-investment, but what does that look like? Start with your brand aesthetic, and then systematically work through every other aspect of your business.
Look for ways to reinvest in your business by addressing areas in which your branding might be lacking. This might mean hiring a web design agency for a rebrand or dedicating resources to training your team. It all depends on what you find when you examine the current state of affairs in your business.
3. Do More Business Online
COVID-19 forced us all to think differently about how we live, interact, and do business. With ongoing concerns about the health and general well-being of friends and family members, customers continue to look for safer ways to get the products and services they need.
This makes now the ideal time to ask yourself whether you can shift any of your in-person offerings online. Taking your business online doesn’t just preserve your ability to connect with existing customers. It also opens you up to new customers who may not have been reachable before.
Recruit a small team of one or two members to take care of your sales for you so that you can focus on other aspects of the business. Provide incentives if your budget allows them so that you will be able to retain great sellers.
4. Offer Contactless Alternatives
Even with millions of Americans getting vaccinated, scores of people remain concerned about their safety. Those feelings are not likely to evaporate soon. This makes contactless options a great addition to any business.
Be sure to list any contactless upgrades you make on your website and social media channels, including details about how they work. Providing such measures shows patrons you care about their safety.
5. Build Your Email List
The pandemic taught business owners just how important it is to be able to reach customers directly. Many business owners had to communicate changes daily, but only those with established email lists were able to do this effectively.
While having a large social media following is valuable, you can’t rely on it for communication. After all, you’re at the mercy of the platform’s algorithms. Email is a far more reliable way of reaching customers.
6. Prepare for Uncertainty
It might seem impossible to plan for the unexpected, but by examining your processes, you can ensure that you’re more prepared for anything that might come your way. From your accounting to your small business IT support, make sure everything is operating at peak efficiency. Don’t wait for another crisis to force you to innovate – do it now.
While the future is uncertain, and 2021 will not be an easy year, this adversity comes with an opportunity for small businesses to not only survive but thrive. Follow the tips above, steel yourself for the challenges that lie ahead, and get ready to come out on top.