The last few months have been difficult for everyone and in the business world, small businesses have been hit the hardest.

Firstly, well done for surviving the first lockdown. This shows you continued adapt to the ever-changing challenges that Covid-19 caused. The next business year is daunting and none of us know what will happen.

So, here are 9 steps that small business owners can take to ensure a successful 2021:

1. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Before technology it would have been near to impossible to survive lockdown. Adapting your business so it has a digital presence has become essential to reaching your profit goals.

Whether it’s scheduling business meetings virtually or enhancing your social media sites, technology has allowed businesses to improve productivity and performance remotely. Technology promises to remain a vital tool for businesses in the future.

2. RETHINKING WORKING REMOTELY

This year, many of us have become very familiar with the concept of ‘working from home’. The last few months have shown us that it is possible to be productive from home.

It has also been beneficial in terms of cutting overheads, travel time and costs for employees.

Although it is important to consider that the lack of face-to-face contact may prove to be negative for employees’ motivation, as well as reducing new ideas.

The pros and cons of working from home will differ from business to business, however it is worth weighing up what works best your business.

As a small business, spending money strategically is very important. There is no point paying for an office, when you might not need to…

3. REDUCTIONS IN TRAVEL

The majority of employees are working remotely, which means travel times are cut. If it takes an employee around 45 minutes to get to work, that person now has an extra hour and a half a day. Encourage your employees to start and finish earlier if they are working from home to optimise key productivity times.

4. SHIFT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL

By now, most of us are aware that this Pandemic isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Adaptations that businesses make now can be seen as investment into the future, due to the idea of the ‘new normal’.

Now may be the time to rethink services or products that are unlikely to be in demand in the foreseeable future. Products and services can be tweaked to suit the current climate by changing advertisement angles and rethinking products uses.

5. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR COMPETITION

Despite the last few months being hard for most businesses, some have flourished by adapting their businesses quickly and efficiently.

By keeping an eye on businesses who are shifting these strategies, you can make changes to your brand that will continue to attract customers in 2021. But, remember to be original! Use upcoming strategies as a template and adapt them to fit your businesses unique goals.

6. UNDERSTAND THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE

By researching what is popular in terms of product and services, you can optimise your businesses growth. Ensure your business is advertising products and services that are in demand and evolving as time goes on.

This will ensure your business is prepared for whatever changes will come in 2021.

7. SOCIAL MEDIA

It’s no secret that social media is one of the most important marketing tools for small businesses.

Social media profiles attract your target customers and raise awareness of your brand. Using sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote upcoming deals and offers, as well as new products, will increase interest and subsequently ROI (return on investment).

Before the new year, take time to polish up your social media sites. This may not seem like an important change, but by ensuring your social media sites are attractive and easily accessible, your business will flourish.

8. SELLING ONLINE

Due to high street shops being closed for several months, those of us who hadn’t already, ventured into the world of online shopping.

This shift meant online businesses have become increasingly popular.

We recommend selling online means to ensure your business won’t suffer any future lockdowns.

Selling online is an absolute necessity in these unprecedented times, and will mean your sales are largely unaffected by restrictions.

This will also be beneficial looking beyond the Coronavirus pandemic due to pre-existing decreasing high-street sales.

9. KEEP AN OPEN MIND

With everything that has happened this year, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. All businesses have struggled to adapt to the changes forced by Covid-19.

It is important to remember that there is no perfect way to get through the pandemic. Small businesses will achieve success if you are able to quickly change to suit the climate.

There is no universal way to deal with this, so take a deep breath and remember to do what is best for your business! It is a long road to go down until we get back to what we know as ‘normal’, with more challenges undoubtedly on their way.

By putting these steps into place and preparing for the coming year, you are giving your business the best chance to adapt, overcome and succeed.

CB Digital Design started with a passion to help small businesses succeed.

Our in-house team are dedicated to doing all we can to ensure your business profits are thriving this time next year and beyond!

For all marketing enquiries please email: enquiries@cbdigitaldesign.co.uk

Helena Shackleton

Helena Shackleton

Marketing Intern

CB Digital Nottingham Marketing Agency