2020 has not been an easy year for small businesses. Many have had to shut down completely, especially the newer ones with less cash to ride out the storm. Even older small businesses in most industries have been starved of profits. Those who could have had to adopt the remote working model. This means workers had to make frantic calls to the Spectrum call number (1-855-837-6837) to ensure they had enough bandwidth and speed for their remote work capability.
Even now, nobody is sure when the COVID-19 outbreak will end. But many are beginning to adapt to the new normal. 2020 may have been difficult, but it could be an opportunity for small businesses to adapt and overcome. Explore how.
5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Improve Small Businesses in 2020
There are likely very few people alive who have seen the equivalent of 2020 in the past. People often draw comparisons with the Spanish Flu of 1920. But the world has changed massively since then, which meant that COVID-19 spread much faster and much wider. Let’s just agree that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented in living memory.
Change isn’t always as sudden as COVID-19, but it has many similar characteristics. It transforms the workplace and encourages innovation to find new and better ways to execute tasks. It presents businesses the choice between adapting or being swept away by the tide. COVID-19 is no different. While its fallout has been tragic, the pandemic presents an opportunity for small businesses to adapt and thrive. This blog explores the 5 following ways you can use to improve business performance and growth in these challenging times:
- Measure the Success of Your Marketing Spend
- Optimize Your Sales Funnel for More Conversions
- Build a Stronger Online Brand Presence
- Focus on Building Stronger Customer Relationships
- Evaluate Your Current Financial Capabilities
Let’s examine these in more detail below.
Measure the Success of Your Marketing Spend
This might seem like a tall order. After all, there is a large number of marketing metrics that measure different aspects of your spending. Then there are all the different ways to analyze and interpret these metrics for actionable information. But don’t worry. You don’t need to educate yourself on understanding marketing and ROI holistically. What you do need to focus on is measuring the ROI on the marketing efforts that take up a significant portion of your spending.
This can be different for every business. For example, you may want to understand how new users end up on your website. There could be several parallel efforts running to this effect. You could have a referral program, you could be advertising on search engines, or your content is ranking high on the search engine results page. You could even have all three. But without understanding which of the three are yielding the best results, you’re spending inefficiently. Once you have identified the best method, you can prioritize is for the most ROI on your spending. This helps you not only optimize your marketing spend, but also ensure your limited budget is going into the right channels.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel for More Conversions
Your sales funnel is the step-by-step process through which a prospective customer converts into a paying customer. Depending on the nature of your business and the model it follows, your sales funnel could have more or fewer steps than other businesses. But the intended outcome is the same: to convert as many prospects into customers as possible.
One way to go about this is to analyze and optimize your sales funnel, ensuring the maximum possible conversions. There are several avenues you can focus on. For example, you could leverage your website to start generating more leads. By offering customers something in return for their information, such as a discount, or a gift card, or even a free trial, you can move them one step further along your sales funnel. From that point on, you can use that information to target them with personalized promotions and special offers, further increasing their chances of converting into customers. Over time, you will learn to optimize your sales funnel to make it as easy as possible for a prospect to convert into a customer.
Build a Stronger Online Brand Presence
Building a brand was a difficult enough job before the Digital Age. Brands competed fiercely for advertising space on radio, TV, and even billboards. There was limited space and larger brands like Coca Cola or Philips were able to get a strong foothold on it. This helped them stay above the competition and build lasting, well-known brands. It was much tougher for smaller brands just starting out. But then the advent of the internet changed everything.
Suddenly, the playing field was much more level. Small businesses could advertise on websites, social media platforms, and even apps. What’s more, they could do so on an even footing with much larger corporations, something that wasn’t possible on national TV or radio. Of course, today, this means there are dozens, if not hundreds of brands in your niche, all competing for the same target market. This makes it crucial to invest in your online brand building.
Remember, while there is no cookie-cutter recipe for online branding success, there are some common factors. Your brand visuals should be consistent across all channels, such as having the same color schemes, fonts, logos, and other design elements. At the same time, your brand message needs to be carefully worded to resonate with your target audience. Of course, you may also need to invest more in social media and search engine marketing to increase your online brand visibility. If you’re maintaining a lackluster online brand image, you can count on operating at a disadvantage.
Focus on Building Stronger Customer Relationships
Retaining customers is just as important as acquiring new ones. That means working on building a lasting relationship with your customer base, to ensure they keep returning to you. This ensures a better return for you over the customer lifecycle. One way to build stronger relationships is to make your customers feel valued. There are several routes to this end that you can explore for your business. For example, requesting feedback and suggestions from your customers, and then acting on it constructively can help your customers feel heard and appreciated. Listening to their problems and identifying pain points that you can solve will always attract them to your product/service. That’s not to mention how a strong solution-oriented customer service function can build a great within your client base.
Evaluate Your Current Financial Capabilities
You likely have a lot of great ideas you want to explore in these uncertain times. Unfortunately, even the best of ideas can be nipped in the bud by a limited budget. Budgetary constraints will play a huge part in how your business performs and grows. If you are serious about surviving and improving in the pandemic, you need to gain a solid understanding of your current business finances.
Many small businesses often have a haphazard way of maintaining records. Sales invoices get misplaced, prompting frantic calls to customers. Bills get lost, resulting in even more frantic conversations like I recently had on the Spectrum Waco Texas phone number when services got suspended. However, with a structured understanding of your finances, you are in a better position to judge your options and limitations. This will play a huge part in what directions you want to explore to maximize your business revenues and growth.