Businesses all over have experienced the effects of Covid-19. The Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index reports that in a national survey of 1253 small businesses, two-thirds of these SMEs are bound to restructure. This move comes with the coronavirus pandemic forcing their hand – an attempt to invest in their own growth and recover from the recession.
Road to Recovery: A Positive Outlook
For companies and organisations looking to get back on their feet, here are some ways to grow your business amidst today’s challenges.
- Partnerships with logistics providers, warehousing equipment such as forklifts and storage facilities are just examples of cost-effective investments that are trending for many businesses across the world.
- Omni-channel marketing and deploying online platforms like an e-commerce website is another business trend in 2021 that organizations can use to move forward.
- Lastly, the rise of automation tools and smart manufacturing as business solutions is enabling many organisations to focus on their business goals. Here, data is key.
Many industries, at the moment, are requesting for government support and assistance to make it through to the other side. The economic implications of a lockdown has had adverse effects on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but a handful of these businesses remain realistic, but hopeful.
The research from ScotPac shows that 65 per cent of the surveyed Australian SMEs are looking at new ways to inject cash into their businesses. Meanwhile, around a third are considering either selling the business or outright closure as options, provided that there are no impactful improvements in the market. A quarter remains unsure about survival in the coming months, while a fifth and sixth of the surveyed SMEs will be making tax arrangements and refinancing options, respectively.
Gearing Towards Customer-centric Operations
Upon diving into the business trends of 2021 that help ensure growth and survival during these dire times, one will realise that at the core of these strategies is providing additional value or a better shopping experience for the customer. Here are some ways to leverage on the aforementioned business trends:
1. Utilising second-hand forklifts for sale
Businesses and organisations that deal with goods and products in bulk will benefit from having their own equipment, such as forklifts, pallet stackers, and lift trucks. The real estate industry is seeing an increasing demand for infrastructure, such as warehouses and storage facilities for retailers, manufacturers, and distributors.
With online shopping rates rising by 70 per cent from October 2019 to 2020, the greater need for a logistics partner will warrant a reevaluation of a business’ operational expenses. That being said, there are used forklifts out in the market with various heights and capacities for specific uses. Why not invest in practical, yet cost-effective solutions, such as equipment and property? Doing so can save on costs while allowing for faster turnaround times.
2. Determining your target audience through the buyer’s journey
It is crucial for any marketing campaign to correctly identify a client’s target audience. This is one of omni-channel marketing’s many offers. It enables an organisation or business to determine their buyer persona and provide a seamless and integrated shopping experience throughout the customer journey.
Among the many marketing trends to implement in 2021, there is no better time to thread your traditional and digital strategies together than today. Review last year’s marketing campaigns and reevaluate if your target buyer is still the same buyer pre-pandemic. It is likely that his or her needs have changed in the past year.
3. Social media management as a CRX tool
As earlier mentioned, the rapid rise in the digitization of many businesses alongside the demand for online services have allowed customers to build relationships with brands. This is where marketing strategies, such as the use of social media as a communications platform, can be made more effective.
Per Sprout Social, 40 per cent of consumers expect a business to respond to their messages via social media in an hour. Utilising social media tools, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter as a brand’s primary communications platform can help build better customer relationship experience (CRX). Leverage on responsiveness and optimize the brand voice to encourage loyalty.
Using automated chatbots, for example, can also help address your customer’s messages at the soonest time possible – it’s almost like having a social media or customer support specialist on standby.
Wrapping Up: To Better, Healthier Days
Going back to the ScotPac Growth Index, 19 per cent of the businesses looking to restructure in 2021 felt more positive about recovering from the pandemic and recession. While it continues to be a struggle, SMEs with the agility to make shifts in their operations are placing themselves in better positions for growth and survival.
Companies and organisations are incentivised for being adaptable during these unprecedented circumstances. Whether it’s addressing a straightforward need, such as buying second hand forklifts for storage or warehouse facilities, or something much more intricate as planning for the different stages in the sales funnel, the crux – at the end of the day – is delivering. In the event of an organisational restructure, these trends are but a few ways to grow your business in 2021.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops