1). Remote work will keep on growing
Working from home is now part of our everyday life. Whatever happens to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, you can rest assured remote working won’t go away.
This could have positive implications to your business. Do you have salespeople hitting the road for meetings? Are you paying rent on office space that you may no longer need?
You could save considerable sums of money by embracing remote working. There are a range of remote working tools that can help you conference with clients, chat with employees and run checklists.
Nine-to-five is no longer as widespread as it used to be. Think about how you target your customers. Look at what times they use social media, for example, and create adverts and content for those times.
If you’re not familiar with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype, now is the time.
2). Careful customers
One of the more unfortunate small business trends is that customers just aren’t spending as much money as they were before.
2020 has not been a kind year. The UK fell spectacularly into recession, with the GDP plunging by over 20 percent in Q2 – the first time in over ten years. It’s fair to say that the West Midlands region is facing unprecedented times.
All of these factors means the British public will be unwilling to spend on non-essential items. So how are you going to keep the orders coming in during this difficult time?
If you’ve yet to create your buyer personas, now is the time. Think about how your customers feel when they buy your products and, conversely, the emotions they go through when your product is serving its purpose.
The more you know about your customers’ attitudes, the better you can connect with them. This could shape your whole strategy for 2021.
3). Focus on your user reviews
This has been an emerging trend for a while now. People pay considerable attention to user reviews – in fact, 92 percent of people hesitate in purchasing a product if there’s no customer reviews. Imagine the stats when the reviews are bad!
Reviews should be one of the main strategies for SMEs. After all, small businesses won’t have massive marketing budgets. This is a way to flaunt your qualities for free.
By focusing on user reviews, you receive feedback from real customers, showing to new clients that you are a trustworthy source.
In 2020, it has been revealed that user reviews have influenced 95 percent of online customers before they decide to purchase. It’s now time to incorporate user reviews into your strategy.
4). More reliance on big data
Many businesses across the West Midlands are using big data – along with 83 percent of global companies – but expect the numbers to skyrocket in 2021.
As technology continues to advance, your business could look at incorporating big data in both your short and long-term strategies.
Big data helps companies determine how products are used in the real world. With such knowledge, it becomes easier to create new services and design future products.
The stats are impressive. 60 percent of companies say big data analytics decrease expenses, while 79 percent of executives believe that failing to embrace big data will lead to bankruptcy.
5). Businesses thinking local
Remote working has meant more people are spending time in their local area. In fact, groceries stores and coffee shops have seen a 63 percent rise in trade during the pandemic.
In 2021, this looks set to continue. You may already trade to customers mostly in the West Midlands. However, if not, there may be consumers or suppliers in your local area that could use your help.
6). Extensive use of Google Trends
One of the best strategies for SMEs is to take advantage of Google Trends. If your business hasn’t yet taken the plunge, now’s certainly the time.
On average, Google receives over 40,000 searches per second. Just think of all that informative data going through…and how it could positively impact your business.
With Google Trends, the clue is in the name. You can see what people are searching for in any particular region, giving you an idea of the emerging trends your business can look to capitalise upon.
The software also informs you of the longevity of these trends, helping you to decide whether or not it is worthwhile.
Google Trends also allows you to compare your business against the competition, assessing locations where your rival companies are outperforming you. This could all prove very useful when it comes to deciding a plan of action.
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