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Advice For Small Businesses Right Now

Chris Dickins
Thursday June 18, 2020

In business, there will always be challenges and there will always be change. But none of us expected this. Seemingly overnight, the tragedy that swept the world following the COVID-19 outbreak rendered the world beyond recognition, where every nation faced great personal hardship, as well as professional.

Businesses rocked by the pandemic have been required to demonstrate more resilience than ever before. While certain lockdown measures are still in place, it’s hard to imagine what shopping at our favourite local outlets will be like in the months to come. 

But what about small businesses? What about startups? What about the entrepreneurs whose New Year’s resolution was to finally get the new company off the ground? 

2020 was the start of a new decade. For many, it was supposed to be the start of a new career in business. It still can be. 

Know Your Market 

You need to know your customer, and their needs. We recommend getting to know your customer as closely as possible, crafting customer personas that truly represent your audience. However, customers’ needs have changed. Dramatically, in some cases, in which case you need to adapt and be flexible: 

  • What does your customer need now, that they didn’t before? 
  • Have their expectations changed? 
  • Are they able to get out and about as much? 
  • How can you help address their new social boundaries?

The culture of increased focus on customer support has been steadily increasing in recent years, however this year’s pandemic has made good customer service a fundamental need.

Embrace Ecommerce

A positive revelation from the lockdown this year, is the widespread realisation that we can market ourselves, sell to customers and process transactions anywhere, any time. There’s no excuse anymore; if Ecommerce has taught us anything, it’s that everyone from the high street gift shop to Amazon themselves can process electronic transactions and sell digitally, opening your shop doors to thousands more potential customers a day. 

Get a CRM

Managing those customers requires a smart CRM that is simple to use, especially for the small business owner who is responsible for many roles in the company. Tools like HubSpot are there for businesses of all sizes to manage customer relationships like a boss, and it’s available for every budget. Get in touch with us to find out more about how HubSpot can support your small business growth plans.

"Sharing knowledge, skills, resources and responsibilities will not only boost your own professional growth, but it will help you run your business more effectively."

Optimise your Website

Your website isn’t just a digital presence anymore; to small businesses especially, it’s the front door to the shop. Get it working for you, as hard as possible with SEO, PPC or a combination of both to get you optimised. Tailor your web design to make sure mobile users are getting the same quality experience.

Get Social

We depend on social media more than ever before to stay connected with the world. Do the same for your customers. Be part of their community and get yourself visible. The Video Revolution goes hand-in-hand with this, and with YouTube being the second biggest search engine after Google, you can now use video to optimise your position online for curious potential shoppers.

Video tools have never been easier to use; Vidyard puts a face to every email and is making prospecting personal, in a time of social isolation. Get to know these tools and be the small business that prides itself on personal service, wherever the customer is in the world.

Share! 

You are not alone! Sharing knowledge, skills, resources and responsibilities will not only boost your own professional growth, but it will help you run your business more effectively.

Trust others; you can’t juggle everything yourself. Small business owners constantly feel the weight of everything on their shoulders, but it needn’t be that way. Be true to your team; Zoom and WhatsApp and Teamwork are just a few digital tools that are helping teams to engage, share and collaborate. 

Outside of your team, outside your front door, is a community. What can you contribute to local services, causes and events? How can you engage the local community to help spread a positive message? This is an excellent marketing strategy that’s too often overlooked and can really help to build a solid foundation for your new venture.

Stay Focused and Positive 

New business started during the great depression. Startups got going during the recession in 2008. Don’t let 2020 be any different. The story of COVID-19 is going to be written by the people who suffered great personal and economic losses, the many victims who tragically lost their lives, and the communities that showed resilience in uncertain times and stayed true to themselves. 

If you have a business plan, it’s because you identified a need in the market for the product or service that you provide. That need is still there; you may just need to adapt the way you provide it. 

Align your business goals with a detailed analysis of your customers, always refer back to your vision and brand purpose and most importantly, keep going.

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