2021 is here, and even though the new year brings a new and fresh perspective, there’s still a hint of uncertainty. However, if we learned anything from 2020 it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. Here are 5 of the best lessons small businesses learned in 2020 you can learn from to set your business for a successful 2021.
1. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Find the help that best suits your business, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Many small businesses turned to government programs or PPP loans for funding. And some others found support through organizations that provide advice and guidance like the National Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and SCORE, with over 10,000 volunteer business mentors who can assist you with nearly all aspects of your business.
2. Customer Data is Vital
Customer data is important for business success. It allows you to learn and take action based on what your customers like and their shopping habits. Email addresses and data like interests, demographics, and past behaviors are the perfect tools to look closer at what your customers expect from you or to reach them at the right time. Understanding and diving into reports will help you find new business opportunities.
3. Online Business is Good Business
In 2020, a well-designed website that’s optimized for all web browsers and mobile responsive became a must-have for business. Diversifying businesses and creating new revenue sources is possible with an online presence through online ordering and reservations for restaurants, online appointment booking for services, and e-commerce for retail.
4. Staying Connected Is Crucial
In 2020, businesses learned the importance of reaching customers directly—especially since the need to communicate operating changes and guidelines became an essential part of business during the pandemic. Using online marketing tools is the best option to keep up with customer data, send promotions, and prompt visits/online shopping. It’s also important to remember to use each available channel and develop a strategy for the kind of content that you offer to your customers.
- Social media channels
- Mobile notifications
5. Trust Technological Innovation
It might seem counterintuitive to be spending money, but investing in new technology, and opening new revenue streams helped many businesses. The key to trying new things is to start small. Start what you think your business needs immediately and partner with a company that can offer solutions tailored for you. New technology not only helps to improve efficiency with your business but also improves customer satisfaction. Some of this 2020’s top trends in innovation were:
- Reservation and remote waitlisting platforms
- Card-Not-Present transactions
- Multichannel marketing tools
- Cloud-native technologies
- Smart devices and automation of processes
Whatever 2021 has in store, we hope you can achieve your goals. Happy new year!