We don’t need to tell you that 2020 was not an easy year for many small and medium-sized businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic put the safety of our employees and customers at risk. The lack of funding meant some businesses had to shut down permanently, and changes in consumer behavior made panning your business costly and risky for some. So 2020 was enough to send every business owner up the hills. and unfortunately, every problem business owners have faced over the past year is not going to go away anytime soon.
To help combat these issues as best as possible, here are a few ways you can plan a more successful and future-oriented business this year.
Top tip: Bookmark this page and come back to it later when you may need a little more inspiration / motivation to relax, wipe yourself, and keep your business moving.
Update your website
This post here gives you an insight into the changes you can make to your website after COVID-19. The point is to make sure your users are informed and have a sense of authority from your website.
Need help updating your website for a post-COVID-19 world?
Every website should add a COVID-19 statement to the homepage, header or footer of their website, regardless of whether they are affected by the pandemic. If you’re an ecommerce website or have a physical store, now is the time to spend some time building your inventory online, updating images, and creating enticing product descriptions.
Social media profiles can sometimes fall by the wayside if you are a busy independent business owner, and updating them can feel like a chore. However, in the months ahead, it will be vitally important to allow some time to ensure that your social accounts are up to date, noticeable, and that a reasonable amount of content is planned.
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Optimize your profiles so that they appear in search results and try to drive traffic to your website at every opportunity. If you need help developing a content strategy for your social media accounts, click here for some ideas.
Reviews and testimonials
Building a positive online presence is much easier when your business receives regular reviews and testimonials. Ask your customers and customers to rate their experience online, either on Google or on another company website like Yelp.
You need to respond in a friendly and professional manner to every comment, regardless of whether the rating is positive or negative. Add a page of testimonials to your website to encourage users to build trust with you and ultimately convert.
It’s not just about beating your competition. Small and medium-sized companies always benefit from the cooperation. Hence, forming strong alliances with others in your industry is a great way to take your business to the next level.
Now we will forgive you that collaborations are just a social media giveaway or an online competition. They’re so much more than that. Top Tip: Freebies don’t work, so don’t waste your time.
Reach out to some of the other organizations in your niche for an online event or joint sale. It pays to dig into your ideal audiences and audiences, understand what they need, and the rest will follow. For example, if you are a local wine merchant, consider working with a local cheese maker or butcher. You could go from a company selling wine to a company offering the experience of a fabulous night in.
Integrate Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the reporting tool for ending all business owner reporting tools. It’s simple, easy to use, and gives you stats that you didn’t even know could be tracked.
To install Google Analytics on your website, create a Google account, fill in all your business information, and add the code to your HTML. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy and aren’t afraid, we can set all of this up for you, keep track of your data, and even put together comprehensive reports with detailed action points that show what these numbers mean and how you can improve them.
With Google Analytics, you can keep track of how many people are visiting your website, how long they have been there, what they are doing there and if they are converting.
Not to mention keeping track of who came from where, your ecommerce transaction rate, and which visitors viewed products that were added to their cart but not checked out. I could sit here all day singing the praises of Google Analytics and explaining why it is so incredibly important to running your business online. However, it may be easier for you to proceed with the installation.
Keep your ear to the ground
Our last tip is to keep yourself informed of the latest industry news in your industry. Your company needs to keep an eye on the big players in your area, who your current customers are and why they are buying from you.
Consumer trends have taken unprecedented turns in the past 12 months, with hand sanitiser and toilet paper makers rubbing their hands together – not just to keep them clean. Small businesses that have rushed into home delivery and the clicking and collecting of belt cars have maximized their profits in this regard. Keep your business practices flexible enough to swivel when needed and you could beat the competition in 2021.
Last year was no walk in the park for independent companies. Even if you’ve noticed an increase in sales, an emerging trend, or an increase in customer satisfaction, chances are you will struggle to adjust.
We hope these tips are valuable to you and will continue to be available in the months to come. If your business is seeing a drop in sales, visitors, or social media engagement, contact us today. We will provide strategy, direction and expertise to help your business succeed in 2021.