If there is one thing that is consistent in life, it is that things are always changing. As the owner of a small business, you cannot afford to be behind the times regarding the ongoings of the business world. The pandemic has brought many changes to the way we do things in our day-to-day life; it must not go under the radar that the pandemic presented opportunities that can be beneficial for your business. Today, my goal is to take you through some of the common trends that small businesses can capitalize on.
Working from home
Although many organizations are implementing hybrid work environments where employees alternate between working from home and in the office, the fact of the matter is that working from home is here to stay. Great! But how does that benefit me as a small business owner? First of all, as a small business owner, you can now work remotely, giving you the option to make your store fully online rather than simultaneously managing both a physical store and an online one. Remote work will save both time and money. More importantly, from a business standpoint, you know that more and more people are spending more time at home than ever before; this is very valuable information. At the start of the pandemic, there was uncertainty about people returning to work. Any business plans that revolved around working from home were built on a shaky foundation. Now that working from home is here to stay, you can tailor an aspect of your customer acquisition to target such people. This is a relatively new demographic, and there are lots of opportunities worth exploring. An example of this is coming up with a product that makes people’s home office more comfortable for them; since you already know your target audience, it is a lot easier to advertise and plan your marketing strategy.
You probably are already familiar with using video conferencing technologies such as zoom or google meets. That’s a good first step, and your small business should be capitalizing on this trend. These tools are not only great for giving your customers a personal touch, but they are also crucial to networking. A few years ago, if you wanted to attend a conference or a trade show, you would have to drive for hours or perhaps even take a plane. With the emergence of these technologies, you can attend multiple events in one day, essentially networking with an exponentially greater amount of people in a shorter amount of time. The great thing about this is that these events are almost always free to attend. So you are getting maximum value at a minimum cost. It simply doesn’t get any better than this for a small business.
A lasting effect of the pandemic is the increasing support of local businesses by consumers. The reality of the situation is that the supply chains were disrupted, and people were forced to investigate other options and then discovered the amazing local shopping phenomenon. An interesting observation I must tell you is that being indoors made people become more environmentally conscious. There is a logical correlation that can be observed and explained. Unwillingly being indoors for an extended period makes a person long to be outdoors. When the lockdowns were lifted, people developed a greater sense of appreciation for the outdoors. In fact, there was a noticeable increase in nature-based activities (camping, birdwatching, outdoor walks etc.) after the lock down.
It might seem redundant that current information is being mentioned in a separate category since the whole essence of this blog is to provide you with current trends. The unprecedented times we live in serve as a counter argument to this redundancy; some things are unpredictable, and we must rely on current information to navigate uncharted territories.
For example, as a small business owner, you invest resources to expand your business to a new location. You already conducted in-depth research, and it seems like the perfect choice; however, because of the ongoing pandemic, new legislations are constantly being passed, and what might be allowed in one part of the country is not permitted in another part of the country. If a law gets passed that ends up restricting the day-to-day flow of your business, then you are potentially facing a decline in your investment. These unwanted consequences can be mitigated if you keep yourself abreast by being informed of the current happenings relative to you and your business.
Now I am not saying you should be glued to the news all the time, but you should be aware of the ongoing legislation and the proposed legislation to see how they can potentially affect your situation. I must point out that it is not every time that the legislations work against your favor, sometimes they can also work in your favor and can lead to you making astronomical profits that you never expected. That is why it is imperative for you to be acquainted with news relative to your situation.
Great! Learning that you don’t have to do all the demanding work of researching, filtering, and analyzing the information, rather you get someone else to do it, preferably an expert. The only downside to this is that such people are usually expensive to hire. If you do your due diligence and take your time to find the right person, it will make all the difference for your business and take your business to the next level. The key is just finding the right person that meets your budget needs. This is where you just have to do a little work of your own and find them on places like LinkedIn or google search results.
An alternative and often cheaper way is to work with a company who specializes in this field. This is my personal recommendation as such companies have dedicated their entire business model to providing people like you with affordable solutions.