Article | March 21, 2020
Support for Small Businesses In a Time of Global CrisisBusinesses around the world, whether bricks and mortar or ecommerce stores on Shopify or other platforms, may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. However, to help ease the burden on businesses, Facebook has this week announced it is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this extraordinary time.
Article | June 24, 2021
The year 2020 saw the impact of a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 that had a significant impact on all facets of life: education, shopping, environment, health, jobs, and many more. But the effect that it had on businesses was prominent and was the most challenging years in the history of small businesses across the globe. However, 2021 came up with a few small business trends & forecasts that gave some relief to small business owners and allowed taking advantage of these trends to survive small businesses.
With everything turning digital, customer's behaviors changed, their preferences and values changed, markets turned volatile, and so did their expectations evolve. Hence, small businesses had to renew their focus on changed customers.
Even though the coronavirus outbreak has not yet ended, small businesses are optimistic and ready to be resilient, adapting their business model to changing conditions. This blog provides crucial small business trends that can smoothen the way you run your business.
Current Business Outlook
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NIFB) says small businesses in the United States are going through a rough patch ever in their business history. COVID-19 affected different industries differently.
The most common small business challenges faced during COVID-19 are:
Loss of revenue
Government restrictions are gradually easing with the increase in vaccine rollout taking place in full swing across the US in 2021. As everyone adjusts to the new normal, small businesses will be at the forefront of the economic recovery.
According to the Small Business Trends survey, 23% of respondents reported revenue loss during the pandemic, while 6% reported increased revenue. In addition, 11% of small business owners polled said they had cut their budgets, and another 11% said they had temporarily closed their doors. As more small business owners become optimistic about 2021, there is no doubt that this optimism should go with proper planning and preparation.
Find out few small business trends which are likely to dominate in 2021 and beyond and how to take advantage of the trends for your business growth:
Faster adaptability and flexibility to any crisis
With the change in consumer behavior resulting from the pandemic, the business operation also changed and adapted to the new normal of doing business. To stay afloat, many business owners spontaneously adapted and were able to identify innovative approaches to change how they operate. In addition, with the need to reduce in-person transactions, an increasing number of businesses emphasize the use of technology.
Few small businesses have achieved record sales even during the pandemic by implementing a new and renewed business model that allows them to operate even with few in-person transactions.
How are businesses innovating to survive the pandemic?
Because of the pandemic, 43% of small businesses began to rethink how they do business.
32% of small businesses discovered new ways to deliver existing service offerings.
22% of small businesses encouraged their employees to reinvent themselves to adapt to new business changes.
Rise in continuous remote work
For many companies and professions such as teachers, creatives, trainers, and more, where remote work culture was just a possibility, it became a reality because of the pandemic. As a result, COVID-19 played as a game-changer and proved to be the perfect time for businesses to create their online presence.
Remote work had existed even before the pandemic started, but COVID-19 accelerated this and turned into compulsive adoption. Remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic ends and might become a preferred way of working. Many businesses will transition to a distributed working model by 2021 and beyond. It makes perfect sense for small businesses to jump on board with this trend and go remote.
The 2021 State of Small Business Trends Report has been released by the Small Business Expo, America's most prominent business networking and educational event for business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. According to the report, three in ten respondents said they intend to keep their employees working from home after COVID-19, one in ten will return to the office, and six in ten said the Work from home policy did not apply to their business.
Implementation of contactless payment options
Cash-free or contactless payment was very helpful during the pandemic and has become a new norm. This pattern is expected to continue through 2021 and beyond. Small businesses have immensely benefited from electronic payments such as digital wallet payments, touchless debit cards, and credit card payments. These payment modes are easier to manage, more secure, ensure transparency, and saves time. When it comes to payment options, small businesses should consider being extremely flexible. As a result, selecting the right payment gateway platform is the first step in dealing with this trend. This is among one of the very encouraging small business trends for growth.
E-commerce Dominance and Social Commerce Growth
E-commerce was already flourishing before the pandemic, but its emergence just accelerated the e-commerce growth. According to the report, e-commerce will be the dominant force in 2021 and beyond. Thus, small businesses can capitalize on this boom by providing a seamless e-commerce experience for their customers by making their website mobile-friendly.
Improved emphasis on employee happiness and well-being
The pandemic followed by worldwide lockdown was complex for everyone, and one thing it made us realize was the significance of our physical health and, more importantly, mental health. Lockdown and remote work was mentally draining to most employees. For every organization employee, health and wellness became an utmost priority. Hence they had to come up with something to keep their employees engaged and happy during working hours.
You have the advantage of smaller teams as a small business, and you can foster close relationships among your co-workers. Even if you work from home, you can always plan a fun evening together via video call. Small gestures can go a long way toward bringing your team together and increasing employee morale. You must go above and beyond by identifying ways to increase employee happiness.
Embark on Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is like celebrity endorsement, which is common in the age of mass media. Social media has grabbed a large chunk of marketing in today’s world and stays in contact with the world. Influencer marketing is a subtle form of marketing that has emerged as a viable strategy for various brands. Because of their low cost and broad market reach, influencers are used by 25% of small businesses for social media marketing. The influencer marketing industry is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and expected to expand further in the coming years to become the biggest future small business trends 2020/2021.
Leveraging Digital Technologies
Small businesses adopted technologies before the pandemic, which improved their bottom lines. Small business owners discovered that leveraging digital technologies and the internet enabled them to operate smoothly in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions while also ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. It allowed them to identify new revenue streams and reinvent their business models.
5G network and AI have become a big part of digital technologies for small businesses. Small business owners should invest in digital technologies and systems that will allow them to provide personalized customer service. In addition, using digital technologies can automate business processes and manage employees who work remotely.
Digital tools have the potential to boost productivity and efficiency. They make you more agile. According to the survey, 77 percent of US small-business owners use technology for personal reasons, such as online shopping or media consumption.
The 5G Network and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
5G network rollout and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a big part of the business plan. The 5G network is a larger and better version of our 4G LTE network. The 5G network provides lightning-fast internet speeds, which expands the possibilities for using AI across industries. As a result, this combination opens new possibilities for IoT.
Experts predict that by 2024, 5G networks will have a global penetration of 40%, handling 25% of all mobile data. In addition, 5G networks provide a much simpler setup process.
AI can assist small businesses that are typically short on staff in automating processes and improving efficiency. AI can learn from data sets, analyze new information from various sources, and adapt as needed. This decision can help small businesses compete with larger competitors and prove the best small business trends and forecasts for 2021 and beyond.
The Gig Economy
As small businesses embrace the gig economy, owners and managers can hire freelancers to complete specific tasks within specific timeframes. When you allot a short-term project to your contracted worker, it eases the stress, and your staff workload brings flexibility and agility to your budgeting. You can hire as per your need of the time. By phasing out some employment setups for your small business, you can save resources and time by outsourcing expertise and equipment. Starting a side gig can help you create a business without losing an essential source of income from your current job.
The gig economy in the United States grew to around 77 million people in 2020 and is expected to grow even more in 2021. In the United States, 57.3 million people work for themselves. Furthermore, freelancers account for approximately 36% of the total workforce. Thus, the gig economy is only going to get bigger. As a result, you must stay current on marketing trends affecting small businesses.
Millennial Small Business Owners
Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, account for a quarter of the American population. This generation is most likely the most researched. Millennials are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology, from computers to smartphones and tablets. With all this knowledge, this generation is transforming the world of small businesses. They adapt to the changing technology fast.
This generation has altered the way we conduct business, from pressuring companies to improve their business practices to simply responding quickly to customers via digital channels. In addition, they are more aware of the current social climate because they are collective movers and shakers. As a result, millennial Small Business Owners are in favor of small business trends for 2021 and beyond.
What trends do you foresee in small businesses?
The trends in small business that will continue in 2021 and beyond are remote work will be the new standard, contactless payment options, 5G and AI technology, digitization will accelerate, businesses will continue prioritizing e-commerce.
How new technology helps small business to grow?
Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?
The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping.
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"text": "Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace."
"name": "Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?",
"text": "The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping."
Article | July 6, 2021
With the emergence of COVID-19, social media became a powerful platform for small businesses to connect directly with an audience and thus, build brand awareness, direct sales, reaching the target audience, and cultivate customer relationships. As a result, social media strategy for small businesses is in high demand.
According to the most recent data, there will be 4.33 billion social media users worldwide at the start of 2021, accounting for more than 55% of the total global population. With more than 70% of the US population having a social media account, these platforms and services have risen to prominence as some of the most popular online activities in recent decades. As a result, the number of social network users in the United States will reach 243 million by 2025. Furthermore, the world spends more than 10 billion hours per day on social media platforms, equating nearly 1.2 million years of human existence.
The statistics states that maximum people spend most of their time on social media apps; thus it is a powerful platform of marketing for small businesses.
What is a social media strategy for small businesses?
A social media strategy enlists everything you want to do and achieve on your preferred social media platform. It contains information about your goals, what you intend to post, and how you intend to measure the success of your goals. Social media strategy requires setting social media goals and objectives.
A smart social media strategy helps you build brand awareness, connect directly with customers, increase revenue, and build relationships with your audience. The more detailed your social media plan, the more effective it will be.
The primary goal of social media strategy is to create a systematic plan for maximizing engagement and interactions across social media platforms to achieve a company's goals.
Why do you need a social media strategy for your small business?
Trying to build a strong brand on social media is not a piece of cake. It demands a well-defined strategy that will help you to build a strong and organic presence online. Having a well-built social media strategy helps you save time. Social media is a crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy and requires a lot of effort. At one point in time, social media was just an option for small businesses, but 2020 has made it essential. Social media strategy enables targeting your audience more effectively and will also help you stay ahead of the competition.
To taste success, small businesses should have a social media strategy in place. According to the study, 53% of customers who follow a company on social media are more likely to be loyal to them specifically.
There are several social media channels available such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. From a social media marketing perspective, Facebook is the most used social platform and can be one of the best social media channels for small businesses. However, having a dynamic social media strategy for small businesses is extremely beneficial for its success.
Set social SMART goals
It is easy to start using social media for business, but before that, it is important to create a social media plan that ensures all social efforts support specific business goals. Be clear on your goals for making social media plan. Hence, create smart goals with a SMART framework.
A SMART goal is defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You can keep your efforts focused and effective by setting these goals for social media marketing tips.
Specific: Be specific with your goals and objectives to set your strategies and determine which channel will assist you in achieving them. The goals of each business owner differ; some want to connect with customers, while others want to increase conversations or traffic to their website.
Measurable: Your goals need to be measurable to determine the effectiveness of your strategies. Each social media network has a set of metrics that businesses can use to gauge their efforts. However, few tools like Google Analytics help to track engagement and conversion metrics.
Achievable: Your goals need to be achievable by your business.
Relevant: Your goals need to be relevant to the objectives of your business.
Time-bound: Your objective must be time-bound. But determining the best time frame can be difficult. Set a quarterly goal to ensure you don't waste time on ineffective strategies for too long. Evaluation will be simpler and more frequent.
Setting a SMART goal is an essential social media strategy for small businesses. For 2021 and beyond, SMART goals are the most popular and long-lasting goal-setting frameworks in the industry.
Hand-pick the right social media platforms
Choosing the right social media platforms among over 100 platforms available is a bit tricky. How do you know which is the right one for your business? If you try to use multiple channels at the same time, your chances of success will decrease, and it will be difficult to deliver a consistent experience across all platforms, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages; you must be cautious when choosing the right network, keeping in mind your target audience and where your current customers are most active. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for the nature of your business.
Pay attention to trends of social media
It is a good practice to pay attention to trends in social media because they change all the time, so you will be aware of what people are looking for in social media platforms when they are active. As a result, you will be able to create content that is relevant to the search. It is critical to monitor social media trends and keep your social media strategy up to date to achieve your business goals.
Keep in mind your current audience’s needs so that you can change your strategy accordingly. Customer’s tastes, behavior, and likings are dynamic, and you will know it only when you keep track of social media trends. If small business owners want to take advantage of social media platforms, they will have to pay attention to the social media trends.
Track and measure your social media goals
Tracking and measuring the performance and progress of your social media goals is important once you implement your social media strategies. Consistency is essential for the success of social media strategy for small businesses.
There are analytic tools such as Google Analytics that give you information about the metrics. Social media goals determine your metrics. Social media metrics give you a clear picture of how well your social media strategy is performing.
Once you know how your strategy is working, you can find ways to improve it further. When you have determined your goals and social media metrics, you can choose the right social media tools to help you manage your accounts, monitor engagement, and advertise on social platforms. To track and measure your social media goals is one of the important social media marketing tips.
Schedule social media calendar for small business
A small business owner needs to be consistent in their presence on social media. Now the question is, how do you do this? When you have a long list of things-to-do, you can schedule posts in advance by making use of technology and tools. By using tools, schedule a social media calendar for small businesses to post them automatically at the right time.
This will give you consistency as well as save time. It is of utmost importance that your social media plan for small businesses include certain fixed days every month or a fixed few hours every week to schedule your social posts. It gives you ample time to concentrate on other aspects on different platforms for real-time engagement when you plan it well. This is an effortless social media strategy for small businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which social media is best for small businesses?
The most common social media platforms used by small businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Social media is easy for small business owners because it is cost-effective. Among all these, LinkedIn is considered best for small businesses to connect with other businesses and professionals.
Why is social media good for small businesses?
Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers.
What are the five benefits of social media?
The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings.
"name": "Which social media is best for small businesses?",
"text": "The most common social media platforms used by small businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Social media is easy for small business owners because it is cost-effective. Among all these, LinkedIn is considered best for small businesses to connect with other businesses and professionals."
"name": "Why is social media good for small businesses?",
"text": "Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers."
"name": "What are the five benefits of social media?",
"text": "The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings."
Article | May 12, 2021
Successful businesses recognize the importance of customer acquisition. They utilize the most relevant customer acquisition channels and employ effective strategies to get in front of prospective customers. One way you can do this is through micromarketing.
In this guide, I will look at micromarketing. I’ll cover some of the basic things you should know about micromarketing. I’ll then discuss how to run an effective micromarketing campaign. With that in mind, let’s dive in!