There is no shortage of evidence that the pandemic affected the business world and flipped it upside down. Many traditional practices and ways are now long gone. In the growing vacuum, adaptability, change and versatility are becoming the norm. Small businesses are leading the charge in this area as they are traditionally more easily adaptable to volatile market changes. Having your ear on the ground, listening and predicting customer needs is what separates small businesses from mega-corporations. This can be the deciding factor that will separate the future profitable entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack.
1. Customisation from data analysis
Data is king. Short and simple and, yet many fail to utilise it and to its full extent. Offering personalised service to each customer is now possible with comprehensive data analysis. Each person has its unique needs and quirks. They are all available and known from their online footprint. From that, you can derive crucial info and adapt it to your business practice.
Your marketing department can craft and deliver personalised ads, targeted a niche audience. With multiple layers of this, you can cast many specialised nets and cover more ground. Compared to big chain businesses that produce one homogenised service, small businesses have a competitive edge.
2. Opportunities lie in unexpected places
Recognising and early-adopting ideas and opportunities can make all the difference for your business. You may already have such areas that are just waiting for you. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the importance of having multiple income streams. For example, if your company has a YouTube channel it may just be lying dormant. Monetising it can bring you that extra stream of revenue, drive customer engagement and raise brand awareness. Is your company doing or associated with an area that can relieve or improve customer experience during the pandemic? Chances are that you can look at other companies that are struggling and offer your services to them.
3. Continuous services
It’s a privilege to operate something that’s needed every day, but that’s the catch in this situation. Having the means and capacities to provide a service that almost everyone needs can provide for a sure and stable future. Something that we all need at this moment. The food industry is a sure thing as an example, and it has adopted more than ever with home delivery and improved health and safety standards. Affordable and fast phone repairs are there to help you out when the worse happens and, in this day and age, that’s being without a mobile phone. Being online, connected and interacting, is crucial for every business, so any minute wasted, is driving up the opportunity costs.
4. Online presence
Standing outside your store with a megaphone is a nice way to make us all laugh, but if we are being serious, you need to make digital noise. The market may be oversaturated, and big corporations do have millions to burn here. Small businesses have an edge here, which is organic and personal marketing. Trends are being created, live and die off faster than ever. Meaning that a lean marketing strategy that most small businesses have to give them a competitive edge.
As people are expressing their opinions online, highlighting the good and bad business practices with links, news, hashtags etc. your business can always respond fast and with a personal message. In the battle for every customer, there are no shortcuts. Growing a stable customer base is a long-term project. One in which every penny invested in ever-growing online advertising and presence is returned multiplied.
5. VR, AI and other future buzz words
The future is now, or at least what we thought was going to be the future is becoming a reality. Seeing a billboard is not something that our mind remembers as we are conditioned to ignore it. Seeing a virtual image pop out of a billboard and start doing a full 3D animation is something that will get noticed and go viral. Augmented reality marketing is not a buss word but a rising trend or, better yet, a train that’s gaining more momentum by the day.
And the number of tickets available for it is limited, so early adopters are welcome. AI programs that can run predictions and, functions with full autonomy and precision are not something from a sci-fi movie. This is happening in business practices today. Re-evaluating what’s possible is important to start at this moment and, adapting to rising changes is what separates new and leading businesses from the stale and old.
6. Transparency is highly valued
Gaining trust and acceptance is a process that can take years and break in a second. Having brand recognition on which to rely has its weight in gold and more. Public trust is global corporations, their business practice and how they handled the pandemic is under intense scrutiny. Backlash, boycott and abandoning companies is an opportunity for small businesses to adopt all the dissatisfied customers. Having your every business move published and available for all to see creates trust and future customers. With information about anything available online, you must ensure that all of it regarding your business is spotless and something you can be proud of.
With vigilance and an open mind, miracles in the business world can happen. Small businesses can use their agility and customer base to grow and retain what made them great. Small businesses will have a bright future ahead by not forgetting their roots and building on them with modern practices.