It is an understatement that COVID-19 has been a game-changer for small businesses across the country. Supply chain disruption, financial constraints, and other limitations of the pandemic forced many small businesses to develop innovative solutions to keep afloat.
Though vaccines are already available, the supply is still limited, and COVID-19 will continue to influence small businesses’ decisions in the unforeseeable future. With this in mind, there are 7 trends and challenges that small business enterprises will face this year.
#1 Digital Footprint
Having an excellent digital footprint is a must for small businesses this year. As everyone is on the internet most of the day, a great digital presence will help boost your brand, increase opportunities for partnerships and new projects. This also highlights your products or services, paving the way to build a community centered on your brand.
Consumers expect your business to be online as well. Having a website would not simply cut. It has to be mobile and user-friendly as well. Building a social media presence is also important. Post relevant content on your social networking pages, consider utilizing paid ads and reply to chats and comments.
As 2021 rolls in with the threats of the pandemic still lingering, businesses of different sizes and shapes would be heavily affected. Problems respecting supply chain, logistics, and restrictions would still be relevant, especially when cases would rise. Nonetheless, small and medium-sized enterprises have an advantage over big players.
Since these businesses are smaller, they can easily shift their focus to keep up with the drastic changes in trends: delivery, team structure, or marketing. Being able to quickly adapt amid the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial for any business’s survival.
#3 Building an “A” Team
Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19, it has been a consistent challenge for small businesses to keep talents within the organization. Having the right people work for your business is crucial to ensure that all aspects, such as production, marketing, sales, operations, and accounts, are delivered.
Being an entrepreneur, you need to hand out other tasks to your employees so that you can tend to the core matters of your business. Handling “extraneous” tasks sidetrack you from your day-to-day schedule.
To help keep valuable talents and turnover rates, businesses need to provide self and career development avenues to keep workers engaged long-term or create recruiting empires to address the high attrition number.
More than the products you sell or the services you offer, the company culture you portray is crucial for consumers to notice your business. A crystal clear business purpose helps build the values that your organization upholds. These key values include Integrity, Customer Service, Innovation, and Respect.
Reinforcing your chosen values helps define and strengthen the culture of your company. Make everyone aware of your organization’s values by holding regular appraisal and team meetings. With a strong culture, you can weather any challenges beyond the pandemic.
#5 Digital Strategies
Purchasing trends of consumers have significantly changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have shifted to eCommerce as consumers tend to buy almost everything online nowadays — may it be essentials or not. This trend continues even with a more relaxed quarantine regulation.
As utilizing digital solutions becomes imperative for businesses to increase their chances of long-term survival, those unfamiliar with this terrain are resorting to IT companies to help them navigate the digital world.
#6 Measuring Performance
Identification of the key metrics in your organization would lead to improved performance and efficiency in your business. Sales revenue and profit margins are good key performance indicators. However, it goes beyond that. The client retention rate and employee attendance are just as important.
Every business is different. Thus, figuring out the right measures would take several trials and errors before figuring out what really works for your company. Nonetheless, with perseverance, you can determine the right metrics that will lead to your business’s success.
#7 Local Community Networking
As said, every player, big or small, is turning to digital solutions to survive this COVID-ridden business landscape. As eCommerce becomes saturated, it will be hard for small businesses to compete with bigger brands. Thus, to thrive amid this pandemic, small businesses need to tap into the local community.
Be more proactive in social media and list your business on Google My Business for locals to easily locate your store. Your biggest market right now is your local community and nearby places as we are still limited on travel.
Slowly, businesses are adjusting to this “new normal” scheme. Though it is not apparent that everything will return to the usual pre-pandemic way, the future seems promising for small businesses as they continue to charter this new landscape.
With her double degree in English and History, and her MBA, Lena is Storm Hosts most prolific writers, tackling various tech issues and translating them for the layman. She has been writing about business and technology for over 10 years and actively participates in trade shows and tech expositions to keep her mind sharp. When she’s not writing, she helps run a non-profit organization that trains various Midwest SME’s in digital marketing.