The current healthcare crisis caused the revenue of most businesses to plunge: many had to close, others were stalled, and many continue to operate, but at unfavorable financial thresholds. Entrepreneurs all over the globe continue to rethink, revamp, and rebuild their businesses to stay alive in their marketplaces.
When dealing with how a relentless pandemic affects your businesses, you should never give up: there are ways you can strengthen your business and keep succeeding. This post offers further help on how to do that.
If you think you’re ready to strengthen and rebuild your business, take our quiz to challenge your knowledge!
Market Trends Accelerated by COVID-19
Before actually taking steps to rebuild and strengthen your business, it’s crucial that you understand what has changed in the market. By understanding these changes, you can easily adapt to them and overcome any difficulties.
The following market trends directly impact small businesses in the U.S.:
1. Remote working
Remote working won’t completely go away, which will drive less office foot traffic impacting “lunch spots,” restaurants, and cafes in business districts. Yet, flexible workspaces such as WeWork will play a more important role in the business community.
An Upwork survey reported that 26.7% of Americans will work remotely in 2021.
Moreover, videoconferencing has had an upsurge as remote workers use Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams. For example, Zoom video conference minutes increased from 6 billion in 2016 to 3 trillion in 2020.
Consequently, business owners will save on renting or buying commercial office space.
2. Online food delivery
Online delivery will become a larger share of total sales.
Even before the pandemic, Deliveroo and Grubhub saw steady growth. But then, COVID-19 restrictions forced restaurant owners to find creative ways to reach diners and rebuild their foodservice models.
Bains Global Consumer Watch Group reported that 57% of consumers will dine out less than they did before the pandemic.
Restaurants can scale down their business operations and rebuild their menus to offer an abbreviated selection of top-quality foods and beverages.
This trend will also see the emergence of ghost kitchens that offer delivery-only meals.
Ghost Kitchens are facilities that prepare food for delivery, they never have dine-in options. Many times, ghost kitchens are used by different restaurants/brands.
3. E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces
By continuing to offer low prices and free shipping, online shopping is attractive to customers. To keep the buying market competitive, E-commerce platforms force retailers to invest heavily in offering better in-store experiences. Additionally, business owners will use their virtual shops to capitalize on their advertising budgets.
Many businesses believe that having an E-commerce store is here to stay as consumers enjoy the convenience of shopping from home.
Likewise, shopping venues such as Porch, Etsy, and Shopify give small businesses a great opportunity to expand their virtual and digital market reach!
Heavy growth in these online platforms is expected to continue. Since people are at home more, they find outlets to communicate, find new products, learn something new, and support businesses.
4. New competitors
In the past, the only competitors of small companies were large companies (like Walmart, Best Buy, etc.). But nowadays, because the digital world has more weight than ever, more competitors are arising: tech startups.
Start-up firms and corporate giants are potential competitors of small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs.
For example, Redfin, a discount brokerage firm, provides online tools to sellers and buyers and charges fewer fees than a real estate agent.
5. Marketing gains more importance
Businesses are rethinking the importance of marketing and using it in every aspect of their operations. By rebuilding a cohesive and flexible core marketing structure, a business can grow its core audience and profits. Business owners upgrade the consumer experience by:
- optimizing the brand’s influence
- developing a crisis communications team to strengthen the public opinion
- interact with consumers in real-time and getting feedback from shoppers
6. Brand adaptation
Consumers aren’t buying the same way they did before the COVID crisis.
In 2020, Verizon reported a 12% increase in video streaming as everyone socially distanced.
Businesses are resetting their brand image to meet consumer demands, pandemic challenges and instill trust.
Likewise, customers are concerned about their health and safety and expect businesses to adapt to these new needs.
3R Framework to Strengthen your Business
So, how can you actually adapt to all these changes and market trends? With the 3 Rs!
Let’s give a more in-depth review of each of these terms: what they mean and how you can use them to keep your business strong.
This is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
To have a resilient business:
- Get smart with books, podcasts, documentaries, and other online resources to edge out the competition
- Monitor your cash flows and balances closely to pinpoint potential financial deficiencies
- Take the time to build and strengthen your community and business relationships (e.g., with your lender, bank, landlord, supplier, etc.)
- Take advantage of all government relief capital and assistance programs (Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, etc.)
- Make building loyalty and engaging with your customers a priority
- Ensure your employees are happy and motivated. Keep in mind. Money isn’t everything!
- Tighten up your operations and cut wasteful spending: a must whether building or rebuilding your business!
- Get all your documentation and affairs in order. Meet with an attorney for a thorough evaluation of your business structure.
- Plan long-term and think creatively because business as usual may be a long way off. For instance, traditional retailers may need to move to online sales permanently.
This is working to return to a normal state of growth, strength, and finances.
To recover your business:
- Set clear goals and incentives for your team
- Be aware of new entrants in the market (new businesses will emerge)
- Invest in delivering excellence in your core product and service
- Ensure you always get referrals and reviews!
- Offer contactless payments using digital services.
- Consider applying for business loans from online lenders, banks, and credit unions to increase working capital
- Allocate funds for new spending
- Rebuild your finances by setting up an emergency savings account
This is the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.
To reinvent your business:
- Invest in your brand
- Participate in digital platforms that enable you to connect with new customers
- Publish content on multiple social media platforms. Use a cross-marketing tool like Cyfe or Agorapulse
- Remain open to fresh approaches to technology and innovation
- Invest in digitizing your business (e.g., Cash App, Quickbooks Online)
- Partner or hire people who can help transform your business (e.g., it’s time for your son or daughter to support you)
- Be willing to change or rebuild your business model completely to survive and thrive in a different market atmosphere
- Establish new company policies
- Set realistic sales goals
- Rebuild your business in phases. Realize your business is in flux and needs to stay on a steady path of growth and expansion
- Plan for long-term financial health
- Repurpose existing assets to create a new service or product
- Invest in fraud protection to keep your business and customers safe while shopping
Test your knowledge!
Rebuild your Business QUIZ
Wanna make sure you made the best of all this information?
Take this quiz to find out!
Implement the 3R Framework and Enjoy Profitable Results
COVID-19 hit the world like a giant tidal wave. Yet, millions of business owners continue to recover, reinvent, and stay resilient in the face of enormous adversity.
An age-old business motto is to “plan your work and work your plan.”
That’s good advice in these uncertain times, along with keeping up to date on market trends, shifting mindsets, and reinventing new ways of doing business. This post should inspire you to think about how to structure your business differently and more efficiently.
Camino Financial provides articles like this one to strengthen your business. We invite you to subscribe to the Camino Financial Newsletter to receive more business management tips. By doing so, you become a member of our community where we firmly believe in our motto, “No Business Left Behind.”