If you’re a small business owner that survived the last few years, pause for a second and give yourself a nice, big pat on the back. About 20% of businesses like yours close shop in their first year, and a whopping 50% don’t make it to year five. But you've managed to navigate the ordinary perils along with a global crisis. You and your company might not look quite the same, but you’re still here and that’s worth celebrating.
After giving yourself a bit of recognition, it’s time to focus on the future. Now is the perfect time to dig back into that business plan you created for yourself, make some revisions, and give your business that jumpstart it deserves. Flashlight Marketing has some suggestions for doing just that.
Revamp Your Shopping Experience
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store or entirely online, it’s time to give your shopping experience a refresh.
For physical stores, your first step is to adjust your floor. Now, this doesn’t mean you should get rid of social distancing in your design. While mask mandates were largely lifted, it’s always possible they’ll be brought back. By ensuring social distancing is still part of the plan, you are ready for any space-related requirements that may also come your way.
Instead, it’s simply time to make adjustments. If you made fast changes to support social distancing, determine if they’re an ideal setup. Spend time assessing customer flow to identify bottlenecks, double-backs, or other moves that indicate poor flow. Then, make adjustments to address those issues and make moving through your space intuitive.
Usually, updating your floor is something you can do yourself. Just make one key change at a time, allowing you to see how each adjustment impacts flow as you work toward optimization.
Have business cards on hand as a way to encourage, word-of-mouth marketing. Your customers can simply grab a few by the cash register and hand them out to their friends and family.
For small e-commerce businesses, it’s time to analyze your website. Fifty-three percent of online shoppers expect e-commerce site pages to load in 3 seconds or less, so optimize your site for fast loading.
One way you can enhance your website is by designing an infographic that walks your customers through your services or offerings. You can make an infographic in minutes by using predesigned templates with customization options.
Another great way to improve the online shopping experience is taking advantage of built-in shopping tools, like those available on Instagram. It lets people buy without having to leave their favorite apps, essentially integrating the purchase experience into their everyday. Plus, this is normally a step anyone can take on their own.
Update Your Digital Marketing
During the pandemic, people went digital. Online shopping boomed, leading global e-commerce to reach $26.7 trillion. While shopping in stores is allowed in most areas today, 81 percent of customers research products and services online before making purchases. By updating your digital marketing, you can catch their attention.
While creating something like Ford’s AR TikTok campaign might not be an option, take cues from the approach to craft content that generates attention. Focus on short-form videos and issue users a fun TikTok challenge. You could even create sweepstakes for participants that include your hashtag, mention your company, and otherwise, spread the word.
If marketing isn’t your strong suit, bring in some professionals. Marketing experts can help guide you in directions that will make the biggest impact for your specific business, and then work with you through the campaign.
File Your Annual Report
As a business owner, you understand the importance of staying compliant with state and federal regulations. One way to do this is by filing an annual report. Annual reports help businesses stay on the radar of government agencies and regulators. They also help to keep shareholders and investors up-to-date on the latest developments within the company. In addition, annual reports can provide valuable insights into the financial health of your business.
By regularly reviewing your annual report, you can catch signs of financial trouble early and take steps to correct your course. For all these reasons, it's important to make sure that your business files an annual report every year. Completing these reports is much easier when you have good accounting software. Check out payroll software online and look for one that includes tax features and expert support. It’s best to be prepared.