2020 was a period of transition for many sectors of the economy, especially for small businesses. They make up 99% of private sector businesses while employing 60% of US workers. Now that 2021 has arrived, it is likely to become a period of evolution with many potential opportunities to take advantage of that will help small business owners adapt in the face of a pandemic. We will be talking about the business trends in 2020 that stay in 2021 and new trends that small businesses should watch out for.
What Is Staying the Same
Social Media Marketing
With people shifting to e-commerce to do their shopping, brands that don’t have a social media presence are bound to be left behind. Adapt to this shift in consumer spending by utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc., to promote your brand. Another effective way to bring your brand into the digital spotlight is through influencer marketing: a marketing tactic that uses product or brand mentions from individuals or influencers who have a large following. Successful marketing campaigns like these are sure to drive up sales for a business.
Importance of User Reviews
In the era of online shopping, consumers do their research before shopping online, making user reviews important for your brand. In fact, 92% of consumers are less likely to buy from a brand that doesn’t have customer reviews. These benefit your brand by giving you more visibility online, showing potential customers that you are trustworthy, and driving up sales. Interaction like a simple “thank you” can also increase customer traffic because more consumers expect companies to interact with their market.
Technology innovation is allowing people to get more side jobs or make freelancing a full-time business. Small businesses looking for employees can make use of freelancers and paying hourly or per-project. And with remote work becoming more prevalent, freelancers might not even need to come into the office, so business owners don’t have to worry about office space.
Low Interest Rates
Mortgage rates went through the roof in 2020, with interests being the lowest they’ve been in a long time. Since the economy has yet to recover from the effects the pandemic has brought across the country, interest rates will not be going up any time soon. Low interest rates accompanied by lenders and realtors, making the transition to digital channels allow customers to receive mortgage help online. So whether a potential customer wants to get a business mortgage or a VA home loan, lenders are available to provide real-time assistance with whatever they may need.
Alternative Payment Options
The pandemic has caused a shift that is doing businesses transition to contactless payments, especially with many working remotely. These payments get to the receiver faster, helps businesses conserve cash, and minimizes trips to the office or bank.
What Is Changing
Many small businesses have made the shift to part-time or full-time remote schedules. Depending on the type of business you have, it’s good to consider offering remote work options in the coming year and maybe even in the long run. You might have to invest in additional technology like laptops, especially for employees who might not have their own equipment. Still, these investments will ensure that you and your employees will run the business without any hiccups.
Priority on Virtual Services
Businesses that have increased in demand due to the pandemic will continue to be in the coming year. These businesses are related to technology and wellness, such as home security, food and medicine delivery, gaming, and fitness. If you want to branch out your business into new territory, these are the optimal choices to go for.
Brands that Show Empathy
The previous year has proved to be a difficult one for many and filled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. Thus, consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provide quality goods and services and show compassion and empathy to their customers. Consumers are more likely to recommend brands that have a strong purpose compared to those that don’t.
Making your core values and causes known will increase the trust between you and your customers and create brand loyalty. Connecting with your customers on a personal level will help your brand thrive.
Supporting Small Businesses
Many customers are shifting their priorities to supporting local businesses as they start to realize their effect on their local community and economy. With many small businesses closing down, people are also trying to make sure their favorite local shops don’t suffer the same fate. Most people support local restaurants in their areas by getting takeout or delivery and tipping in bigger amounts. 30% of people are showing their support by buying from local businesses online.
With these trends to go on, it’s critical to plan carefully for the rest of the year and set yourself up for success by studying your business strategies in 2020, seeing what worked and what didn’t, and crafting your new business model after these factors.