2020 has been a hard year for everyone—families, teachers, big corporations, small businesses—the impacts of the pandemic have been felt across the board. Nearly seven months into the pandemic, small business owners have adjusted with agility and emerged with renewed resilience. From adopting new strategies to finding new ways to sell products and services, as a small business owner, you’ve likely adapted your business in more ways than one this year.
As we head towards the end of a tumultuous year, business owners are met with a new challenge: planning for 2021. As we round out 2020 and look towards the new year, it’s time to consider ways to grow your business, not just keep it above water. Growing your business during these challenging times is tough, but it is possible—and Beyond is here to help you every step of the way. Ready to dig in and grow your small business in 2021? Read on for three ways to get started.
Get Serious About Your Customers
Your customers are your key to success—that’s a no-brainer. But in a time when connecting face to face is harder than ever, how can you keep your customers engaged and loyal? We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again—get connected with your customers, and find new ones, online. Whether that be through your website, social media, email marketing, or another platform, staying top of mind and meeting your customers where they least expect is a simple—and often free—way to keep your clients engaged.
Social media is an important place to start. With impacted hours and closures, many people look for a business online or on social media for updates before they visit, and often want to know what others thought of your business and its safety measures. Make sure your information is accessible on a Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn page, as well as your website. 92 percent of customers will hesitate to complete a purchase or visit a business when there are no reviews available, proving the key to growing your business this year is leveraging customer testimonials and managing online reviews.
Even if you’re seeing your clientele in person less, strive to create genuine relationships with your customers online. Whether that be by having your house chef teach a virtual cooking class, or offering online personal styling classes from your boutique, there are many ways to keep your customers engaged, even while they are at home. Take this time to really focus on your product or service, why it matters, why you started, and share that with your online audience.
Take Your Business Online with an Online Storefront
With the colder months ahead and the potential for more in-person closures—your business simply has to be online. But just because you’ve got your social media and website up, doesn’t mean you’re ready to really grow in 2021. If you don’t have an online storefront, you need one. We know that creating a website and accepting payments online can be costly and complicated, which is why we developed our own online storefront to help get you there faster, at an affordable price. We make it fast and easy to open an e-commerce store—whether or not your business already has a website. With brand customization, easy online store management, and worry-free security, this is the easiest and safest way to help your business start growing its profits online.
In 2021, small business owners need to think about where they can skip costs, and how they can maximize profits. It might mean a little investment upfront, but in the long run, getting online is the key to success during the pandemic. If you’re restaurant is using a third-party delivery app, it’s time to switch. Skip all the clunky fees that third parties take, move your online ordering in-house, and get back to being your own boss.
Prepare for Whatever Might Come
If 2020 has taught small business owners anything, it’s that no matter how well you budget, plan, and prepare, you can never really be sure what will come. As we look to 2021, small business owners should be prepared for business interruptions. 2021 might not be the year for costly renovations or opening new locations, but your business still might need a little help with cash flow. Just because you aren’t opening that second location, doesn’t mean your oven won’t break or other unforeseen difficulties won’t arise. Finding a lending partner you trust—that can get your business some capital fast—should be part of your business planning for 2021. 75 percent of small business loan applicants are denied by large banks, so be prepared by finding a partner like Beyond before an issue arises.
2020 has been tough, we won’t sugar coat it, but the key to your small business’s success in 2021 is simple: planning. At Beyond, we’re committed to supporting our partners in every way we can—from thinking of new products that will help your business, to providing resources to keep you up-to-speed on all things small business, Beyond has your back in 2021.