Last year was a difficult year for many businesses as they tried to navigate the harsh pangs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses were forced to modify their day-to-day operations and adapt to digitizing most parts of their businesses and who an forget the new normal, Working from Home? Each and every industry was affected in one way or another.
Even with the vaccinations and our hopes towards something resembling normal business operations being regained, it is clear now more than ever that businesses that will thrive in the transformed marketplace are those that find a place in the digital sphere.
Having worked with several small businesses over time here are the few emerging business lessons small businesses can learn as they adapt to the new business landscape of 2021.
This is one of the great emerging business lessons that can not be emphasized enough. can never insist enough on the importance of data to any business! They say data is the new oil! and “the money is in the list,”.
The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 highlighted the importance of being able to reach your customers directly especially as many business owners found themselves needing to communicate changes made to day-to-day operations.
This went to show clearly, that customer data plays a key role in your company’s success. Those businesses that had email addresses, for example, were able to get updates to their customers without worrying about algorithms on social media platforms limiting their reach.
Also, using data like interests, demographics, and past behaviors allowed them to dig deeper to highlight existing products and the availability of new offerings to the right people at the right time. As you continue through 2021 and beyond, you’ll want to continue your focus on collecting contact information
Here are a few steps to help you with customer data
When you think about great branding, companies like Safaricom’s Green colour, Coca Cola’s distinctive red and white lettering or ‘Taste The Feeling’ Tag line, Nike’s ‘Just Do it’ tag line and Adidas’s three stripes likely come to mind.
But as a small business, imagining the level of investment that is gone into these iconic images can make the thought of undertaking your own branding initiative seem overwhelming.
However, when it comes to Brand storytelling, small businesses have a bigger advantage over big retailers. That’s because consumers want to shop small, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and brought to light just how important it is to support your local community and small businesses.
When we talk about “brand,” we simply mean your reputation the impression that your business gives others through online communication, as well as in-person interactions. Your brand story goes a little further and speaks to your identity as a small business.
As a small business, your main advantage when it comes to competing with the major retailers is your identity as a small business, which should be a prominent aspect of your brand. However, most brands find it hard because they make some mistakes when it comes to brand storytelling as shared in a previous webinar by Michelle Ayuma.
You can capitalize on consumers’ existing desire to shop small by leaning into your own story and your identity as a small business in your branding.
The first step in using your brand’s story to find more customers is defining it. In general, your brand story is who you are. It’s a combination of:
Ensure that these identity points come together to form your brand story, which should play out in all your communications, from the About page on your website to every email you send.
Below are a few points that can help you improve on your brand story
As part of the emerging business lessons, always prepare for the uncertainties by putting together finances for the dry days to ensure you do not make any drastic deisions. If there is one thing that 2020 taught us was that we can never know what tomorrow holds but with the right preparation we can survive the tides.
As a businessperson always take time to assess, reorganize, re-prioritize and re-imagine critical business infrastructure, crisis plans, and resources to ensure you’re set up for success, whatever comes next.
How can you achieve this?
Always remember as a business after uncertainty comes even bigger opportunities. Tap into your unwavering resilience and resourcefulness to power on in.
In 2020, the pandemic took away the option of staying in familiar routines that had been working in the past. Adapting to changes in health and safety protocols became a necessary part of life and everyone was forced out of their comfort zone. This resulted in small business owners around the world becoming more creative and inventive in how they did business.
For many, this “forced restructuring” resulted in finding new ways to conduct business that will benefit them outside of the pandemic situation.
So, while you’re getting used to how things have changed, be aware that they’re still changing, and don’t settle into a “new” routine. Instead, keep exploring new ideas, trying new things, and innovating creative ways that you can do business.
Take a look at what is Infront of you and start small. Seek customer feedback and let the knowledge of your shift in business You do not want to lose the on the way.
You would want to consider the following steps:
The pandemic changed businesses’ dynamics. Small businesses had to come up with ways to sustain their companies. With the right tools and devices, businesses implemented working from home to allow social distancing while continuing business.
They adapted to the situation by meeting on Zoom, coordinating on Asana, and communicating on Slack. The effects of the pandemic were unexpected and businesses who were not digitally prepared suffered and will still suffer if something like this comes up again.
As a business owner make use of digital platforms and technologies that are available. Leverage technology as it will always be a primary contributor to business now.
Omnichannel marketing is the seamless integration of branding, messaging, and online and offline touchpoints as consumers move down the sales funnel, enabling a more impactful customer experience.
As a business diversify on the marketing channels for your products or services. Most businesses rely on Google Ads and Facebook Ads only. while those channels undoubtedly work, small businesses can also generate sales by trying out some of the less used marketing channels such as Microsoft Ads, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp, Yahoo Ads, or even Quora. These platforms ould also be slightly affordable to many small businesses
They may not have the same audience scale as Google or Facebook, but they are sizeable in their own right. Squeezing a few more sales from these channels can sometimes make the difference between money-making or money-losing business
Businesses should understand that omnichannel marketing takes a consumer-centric view of marketing tactics. Consumers can now interact with brands on innumerable channels, from social media to customer service hotlines. An omnichannel approach ensures that the consumer has a positive, consistent experience on each channel, by offering a few key elements:
Here are a few tips to consider;
With the pandemic’s sudden start, the way of working was changed. From new shifts like working from home (WFH) and now Working Near Hoe (WNE) has become our new normal.
The collaboration that seemed impossible to have unless meeting face-to-face suddenly could happen via video calls and remote collaboration tools. The business landscape will continue hanging and more emerging business lessons will still oe up
From a consumer’s perspective, it’s also been a lesson in how a sudden demand or drop in demand can reshape entire tech niches.