Despite many small businesses having faced some of their biggest challenges this year, many have also learnt how to re-engage with their customers and adapt to new demands in the marketplace.
As a result, business owners are beginning to explore more of their industry’s trends to assist them in planning for the future and creating new opportunities, from making a website that meets customers’ needs better, to utilizing remote workspaces.
These are some of the top trends setting small businesses up for success in 2021.
Personalizing Customer Service
It’s more important than ever to clearly define your target market and know more about your audience. Through understanding your customers’ behaviour you’ll be better equipped to market your business or brand directly to them. Personalized customer service is about adapting services to the specific needs and wants of each of your clients.
People today do not want to be bombarded with too many options and prefer a personal touch instead, expecting more businesses to know precisely what they want. By taking a couple of simple steps, your business can offer personalized service, thus strengthening your customer engagement.
By learning more about your customers’ past purchasing behaviour, you’ll then be able to recommend other merchandise or services that they might like.
You can also take it up a notch and create a Members Area, where you’d be offering a dedicated space for your most loyal customers. Here, site visitors can log into their personal account to manage their order status or appointments, chat with other members and access other types of gated, exclusive content.
Shifting toward eCommerce
In the past years, there’s been a steady shift of brick and mortar stores taking their businesses and services online and launching successful eCommerce websites. Under the current climate, most small businesses are looking to eCommerce to create new opportunities through selling their merchandise online, either as their main source of income or in conjunction with additional practices.
If you’re a business owner and want to bring your traditional line of work online, you may find that opening an eCommerce store can actually improve your operations in ways you hadn’t thought were possible.
Rise of remote work
Another important small business trend is the surge in remote work and freelancing. While these provide unique benefits such as flexible scheduling and forgoing a long commute, many who are operating outside of a traditional office space may face additional challenges, such as maintaining a work-life balance.
If you're a small business that depends on freelancers and remote workers, there are several ways to keep the work environment professional while making your staff feel supported from afar.
Remember that you can still foster a strong sense of team motivation without sharing a physical space. Be sure to check in on your employees regularly using communication platforms.
Other ways to support your employees while working remotely include taking the time to socialize virtually with your team, preserving your unique company culture and expressing your appreciation for their hard work with meaningful gestures or perks.
Using tech to optimise cashflow
Digitising and optimising internal processes so businesses can capitalise on the bump in online trade is another key trend coming through in 2021. Working capital gives business owners greater freedom in their strategic decision-making. In the next few years, e-invoicing and open banking will increasingly help them to understand and unlock more of it.
Making better-informed decisions, can help you use existing tech to give you better forward visibility and make sure your capital isn’t tied up unnecessarily in inventory, maximising your cashflow.
The team at Morris Finance can assist you with all types of business finance, and our dedicated team can facilitate financial solutions that allow you to grow your business. Give us a call today on (03) 5223 3453 to see how we can help you improve your cash flow.
Whether you’re looking to get a new business off the ground or looking to expand your existing business into new areas, you’ll have to consider working capital.Read More