A study by Kabbage reported that 57 percent of small businesses in the country are now fully open. According to a recent survey by Bill.com, small and medium-sized businesses across the country are more optimistic this year than they were last year.
A survey by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in March and April 2020 showed that small and medium-sized businesses at that time were focusing on cutting costs and laying off employees, with 43 percent temporarily closing shop.
Bill.com CEO and founder René Lacerte stated that, in contrast, small and medium-sized businesses this year are not just focused on surviving but are also taking action to grow during the pandemic. Even if 82 percent stated that the economic uncertainties of the pandemic thwarted their business progress, 47 percent believe that they will achieve growth this year.
Seventy-seven percent of the respondents to the Kabbage survey said they are now more receptive toward using new technologies for more efficiency in their business. A third of them said they are now operating fully online or have a hybrid of online and in-person operations.
Small business owners (SBOs) who responded to the Bill.com survey said they are eager to generate higher revenue through various means. Fifty-one percent are adjusting prices and giving discounts, 30 percent are reaching out to new customers, 26 percent are introducing new products and services, 23 percent are negotiating payment terms with customers and suppliers, and 19 percent are pivoting to new business models.
As a small business owner, you can learn much from these measures and consider applying them to your company. If you are still afloat by now, you must already have an active online business presence. You must therefore focus on digital marketing strategies.
Keeping Loyal Customers
While it is important to widen your market by reaching out to new customers, it is equally important to keep all your old and loyal customers.
It is common knowledge in marketing that it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one. Furthermore, your old customers also act as part of your marketing as they spread goodwill about your products or services through word of mouth.
You can use a voice-of-the-customer (VoC) survey to learn what your current customers like about your brand, and what else you can offer to keep them coming. You can also find out if there is anything you need to improve or change. By keeping up to date with your customer feedback, you can respond immediately to their needs and wants before your competitors lure them away. Customers appreciate companies that listen to them and act on their concerns.
There are many ways to do your online survey. You can do this by email, a pop-up form on your website, or your social media. You can offer an incentive for completing the anonymous survey.
Reaching out to New Customers
Your social media and your website are also potent tools for reaching new customers. You can ask your loyal customers for reviews that you can post on all your sites. The more positive reviews you have, the higher the possibility that a consumer will try your product or services.
Make sure that your presence on social media is strong, with regular posts aimed at your target audience. You must have a social media expert to monitor all your social media sites and engage with visitors. Respond quickly to queries and comments.
Link your social media sites to your website so that a visitor can become a customer in a few easy clicks.
Maximizing New Technology
Your website must have the full functionality of an online store or office where a visitor can buy your product and service and pay online in one smooth transaction. This must link directly to your delivery system so that the customer receives the product or service as soon as possible.
To make all these happen you need to hire professional information technology (IT) services. Current practices no longer require you to purchase expensive equipment or employ an IT team to maintain them. You can rent whatever you need, from software to hardware to cloud storage.
Explain your business to your IT consultant so that you can both agree on your customized IT needs. You can scale your IT services to fit your company’s size and budget.
Grow with Confidence
As more and more small and medium-sized businesses are reopening and going online, you will be encountering stiffer competition in the digital marketplace.
Make sure you are ready to be in the frontlines and not lagging with tired business tools and practices. Make the most of online marketing strategies and use the latest information technology systems appropriate to your company.
Be among the business owners who are confident about growth in 2021 and beyond.