In the last year, many of us have changed the way we spend our money. The impact of the pandemic on jobs and the economy has made people more conscientious about their finances, with priorities shifting dramatically from where they were two years ago.
While the country is starting to reopen and prospects looking up, there is likely to be some lasting change to how we choose where our money goes. In order to respond to this shift, businesses must be ready.
As a small business owner, you may have already incorporated new strategies to help get through the past 12 months. If so, you may need to make some updates so that you’re ready for when restrictions ease and people start spending again. Here are some ideas to help you respond to your all-new customer base.
Review your current business offering
What is your current offering? Where you were a year ago may not tally with where you are now. To work out what updates you might need or products that you might want to sell, it’s worth taking the time to review where you are right now.
Begin by looking at your finances. This will help you see the numbers on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Chart where your business is financially now so that you can see if there are any patterns to be aware of or issues to pick up on.
Also, create a checklist of what your business offers customers. What do you have in stock, for example? Or what services does your business provide? Are these still relevant in 2021? This checklist allows you to have an idea of the stage you’re at.
Research your consumers
Knowing your customer base is crucial. You might have carried out some market research when you first launched your SME, but people’s priorities have shifted in the last year.
So, if you run a small DIY business, for example, you may have noticed a surge in sales and this means that your former business model will need updating to accommodate new customers. Likewise, if you’ve run a homewares shop for a few years, you might have had to adapt to selling products online.
Knowing what your customers are interested in and the products and services they’re looking for requires research. Use social media to run polls, email surveys to your clients, and look at what’s happening in the sector you work in to see what people are looking for.
Expand your business
You don’t need to make huge changes to make a difference. It might be that you simply introduce a new range of products to meet demand.
You might also have spotted a gap in the market. Perhaps you’ve had several customers asking if you stock certain items. If this is the case, you could expand your business by diversifying. This might mean that you need some funding initially to introduce a garden furniture section, for instance, but as you know the demand is there, you’ll soon make money back on the initial outlay.
Market your new offering
Marketing is a great way to get your business’ name out there. Where once you might have just relied on word of mouth, now is the time to let people know about your updated offering.
You might not have gone for a full rebrand, but even if you’ve just added a new product line, use social media channels, your business website, and traditional print methods to get this information out there. You could do a giveaway on Instagram or run a discount offer on Facebook to the first 20 customers to come into your store. There are plenty of ways to attract attention with the right marketing channels.
These tips are ideal not just for these coming months, but in the coming years. Always take the time to review and update your offering to keep clients and customers engaged.