The Covid Business Collapse
Globally, the pandemic had a devastating impact on businesses cutting across all industries. The majority of the leading revenue-earning industries experienced substantial drops in earnings, and some faced total shutdowns.
Considering that the pandemic was sudden, and a majority of the countries were not prepared to handle the impact, the reactionary restrictions had far-reaching effects on many economies, leading to shut down of leading revenue earners like airlines, hotels, and schools many others. In addition, other essential industries cut down on staff numbers to minimize the costs. Consequently, many people lost their jobs, or the significant pay cuts were not tenable to their being.
The Rise of the Covid Small Business Trend
This period, however, saw the mushrooming of many small and medium enterprises. Most of these businesses were established by previous workers who experienced job losses or existing entrepreneurs committed to filling the new opportunity gaps created by the pandemic.
2020 and 2021 saw the birth of new entrepreneurs, albeit with minimal or no business operations and marketing experience in their trade lines. Expectedly, the management of growth and the strains related to it have taken a toll on some of them. The large organizations are getting back up and are posing direct competition for the small businesses.
In order to stay afloat, small enterprises will need to put proactive measures to stay competitive or even earn much more. One of the most important steps involves developing a sustainable market strategy that goes beyond spending $20/week in social media ads and posts that generate low engagements and lower customer conversion. Here are some of the most universally important marketing steps that will provide the greatest ROI.
Researching you market involves the systematic observation and collection of information about your clients and potential clients to understand them better. Small businesses need to understand the preferences, dislikes, and purchasing capacities of their customers. Only then can you design a product or service that will satisfy their needs.
Research helps a business stay in touch with developing trends, emerging gaps, and getting feedback on the existing solutions. What is the most cost-effective way to research your demographic? Ask them questions. Ask for reviews. Read reviews. Read reviews from similar market products. Make notes and find solutions for negative review trends. Don’t let your ego get in the way.
Optimizing Your Website
Your customers can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is just a fancy way of saying that Google ranks your website higher that most other websites with similar products or services. Why does Google decide to rank one website higher than another? It all comes down to having a website that Google can read and understand.
Effective optimization usually takes an SEO marketing person who understands the ins and outs of how a website works and what in terms of content layout and metadata optimization – cue head scratches. Bottom line, it is an investment, but it is an important one if you have lots of competition in your marketspace.
Knowing your market and the intention of your target users is also critical when doing SEO for your website. SEO strategies vary drastically from niche to niche. How an Etsy shop markets themselves will be much different than how a law markets themselves.
Networking, Networking, Networking
A reliable and robust network is a sure avenue of opening new frontiers for businesses running a business. Through membership in strategic organizations, like the Chambers of Commerce and other networking groups, a business stands to create relationships with partners in the industry or complementary industries.
As with anything in business, you get out what you put in. It isn’t enough to just sign up for a chamber of commerce. You need to attend the events, socials, ribbon cuttings, and actually go meet people so that you can build a strategic alliance.
Showcasing through Video
Using video in marketing is a compelling means of capturing the attention of potential customers. Videos are known to create long-lasting impressions. Small enterprises are encouraged to create videos to promote their businesses and products. The advancement of the mobile telephony industry has placed the video on the palms of many potential customers and, equally so, placed powerful tools of creating video advertisements in the palms of entrepreneurs. It is no longer expensive to create essential and yet impactful videos for marketing purposes.
Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to easily keep up to date with the latest trends. With so many free podcasts for Entrepreneurs accessible through apps, you can easily incorporate a 15-minute podcast into your morning routine. Many of these podcasts have been developed by business coaches, industry leaders, and motivational speakers to share their professional experiences.
Since advertising is an essential means of marketing a business and its products to customers, it also comes at a cost. Therefore, depending on the expected impact and results, a business will have to decide which advertising strategy to use to promote its products or goods.
For example, some products sell remarkably well through Facebook ads and other social media outlets while others fall flat. Other services must rely more heavily on TV, radio, or billboard advertising.
Factors that can influence your advertising strategy are:
- Target demographic
- Type of product or service
- Location of product or service
- Competition in the market
A successful marketing campaign can be make or break for small businesses trying to emerge in crowded marketspaces. Unfortunately, marketing is not one size fits all for every business, or even every similar product available. A balanced plan that incorporate several marketing and business development techniques is generally the best approach as you learn which strategies work best for your brand.