After the year known as 2020, businesses are looking to the future of when work and life may return to a comfortable sense of normalcy, while still grooving in their not-so-new pandemic business strategy. As businesses were able to adapt to virtual services or limited in-person engagement, many will emerge through 2021 with new ideas and perceptions – a lot of which are here to stay.
To make the most of a brighter year ahead – take heed of the industry trends that can help all small businesses thrive.
- eCommerce redefined
Before Covid-19, eCommerce was a term preserved for retail. Not any more. Everything is eCommerce now, and that is number one here to say. Many small businesses have had to get themselves online in the last 12 months, redefining eCommerce to include the selling and booking of group classes and 1:1 sessions of services, health, wellness, education, and more.
- More personalization
A silver lining to the past year is that businesses and customers have started to connect more personally. There’s more patience and understanding towards the human on the other side of the email, social post or Zoom call. Keep the human connection going, no matter your business. There’s always room and reward for providing a unique and personable experience.
- Remote everything
Teachers, trainers, creatives, consultants, and more, those whose livelihoods thrive on in-person relationships and community building all learned the ways of working remotely in order to stay in business. The perks of running an online business range from opening the door to work with clients in other places, to cutting costs of renting an external space.
- Thriving online community
Online marketing and community building on social media has always been an on-the-up trend, and with that, Covid-19 has been the perfect opportunity to go ham on creating your brand’s online audience. So lean in and continue to crank out that content.
- Social responsible
In 2020, social justice and injustice was put into the spotlight in many aspects of our lives and day to day. Businesses pledged support to change for the better and displayed their voices against systemic oppression. Keep these conversations continued amidst your local community, business leaders, and with the customers you serve.
- Reviews and referrals
Enhance your business’s social media account by sharing reviews from your existing customers. Referrals are the key to unlocking your next customers, so be sure to leverage your current customers through posts and stories so that they share on their profiles too, enticing all of their network to check you out.
- Expectation clarity
When you’re not working with customers in-person, communication cues can get lost without body language. Engaging online helps a lot of businesses communicate more clearly and set expectations up front and ongoing. This is a great tactic to always embrace, as being clear on your services and checking in regularly with your customers will create an important rapport.
- More local support
Many businesses rallied together to create hashtags trend like #smallbusinessaturday, #supportlocalbusinesses #shoplocal, #shopsmall – and for a good reason! Businesses are stronger in number, and there’s a lot of amazing partnerships and support that can come from buddying up with your local community.
- Technology tools
From using Zoom to deliver services or Bounce House for payments and scheduling, businesses that moved their services online had to learn technology quickly. These tools made it easy for customers to sell their services online, accept payments, and continue to meet customers. Helpful software not only allowed businesses to serve existing customers, but also be available to a wider clientele outside of their local regions too.
- Post-pandemic goal setting
If your business has survived through Covid-19, or if you started a business during the pandemic, allow yourself the opportunity to set future goals and make a plan. Will you continue with remote or hybrid meetings? Will you stay local or keep customers from other places? Will you invest in marketing on a specific social media platform?
Feel some relief as we move forward with the year. No doubt businesses have had to adjust their revenue models, offerings, and forecasting to stay open – these are hard but valuable lessons to learn.
If you want to take advantage of number 1, 3 and 9 – by easily selling your group classes and 1:1 sessions online, Bounce House can help! In 5 minutes, create a web page for your service type, for customers to pay and book for your time.