It’s hard to run a business at the best of times, and these are by no means the best of times. In the midst of a pandemic that has caused global disruption, many previously successful companies found themselves struggling to pay their employees or their taxes and going into liquidation as a result.
Try not to worry too much, though. If you run a small business, there are things you can do to avoid meeting a similarly unfortunate end. In order to survive as normal life gradually makes its welcome return, try following these five expert tips.
5 Expert Tips on Small Business Survival
1. Find More Ways To Be Flexible
The coronavirus lockdown restrictions introduced in 2020 forced businesses of all types to adapt to a never-before-seen landscape, virtually overnight. As such, the past twelve months have proved just how valuable flexibility is and will continue to be, particularly as a period of financial instability looms large.
Small businesses that have plans in place for all future eventualities will almost certainly fare better than those that don’t.
So, flexible working options should be factored into the future of the business, different budgets prepared for best and worst-case scenarios, and backup plans written up to help you adapt as you move forwards.
It might also be worth looking into new technologies that can help you improve the flexibility of your operations. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one such set of technologies, designed to carry out time-consuming processes automatically. Introduce RPA to your business, and you’ll be able to implement necessary changes quickly and efficiently.
2. Reach Out To Your Best Customers
Many small businesses rely on the loyalty of their best customers, particularly if their client base is fairly small. So, take note of who those customers are and do what you can to keep them on board.
You could try reaching out to people who have spent a lot of money with you or been particularly engaged with your business in the past.
Don’t let people forget who you are or what you do, and they’ll likely think of you when they want to do business again in the future.
3. Go The Extra Mile
Going the extra mile can go a long way, particularly if you’re a small fish in a big pond. So, prove to your customers that your business is best placed to meet their needs. Just try not to push a hard sell too much, or you risk putting people off.
Instead, you’d do better to offer deals that will catch peoples’ attention, such as referral incentives or loyalty schemes.
Or, if your customers are particularly strapped for cash, give them something they’ll love for free by posting engaging, valuable content to your social media.
4. Improve Your Marketing Strategy With Social Media
Social media can do far more for your small business than help you better connect with already-loyal customers. It can also help you reach whole new audiences that want to buy into what you’re selling.
Targeted social media advertising is the best way to go about finding these new audiences. And, the best part is that Facebook and Instagram algorithms will do a lot of the hard work for you.
Simply select whether you want to target by location, demographic, interests, or something similar, and Facebook will find the people from that group that are the best fit for your brand.
5. Know Your Competition
No matter how well your business is doing, it’s important to stay abreast of the competition.
You never know when a new business with your target audience will crop up, or a similar company will start offering additional services. In times like these, fierce competition has the potential to drastically undercut your income.
Once you know what you’re up against, you can start to think more about making yourself stand out. Ask yourself what your customers enjoy, how they might have been impacted by recent circumstances, and how your offers can help them get back on their feet. Show them that you understand what they want and offer them a deal they can’t refuse.
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Author: Luke Fitzpatrick