As we wave goodbye to the first half of 2021, and thus the first half of our new lives in the new post-pandemic “new normal,” many are thinking carefully about how to really take advantage of this entirely unique period in our lives, and planning to make the most of business opportunities in 2021. With so many changes and shifts in need, perception and values, it’s important to carefully consider how you want to grow, and initiate the action that will take you there. Let’s explore a few of the ways businesses are enhancing the second half of 2021 for a more profitable and exciting future.
Focus on business culture of agility
One of the largest benefits of small and medium sized businesses is their ability to make fast and sweeping changes, while larger enterprise lumbers along slowly in their wake. If you see a need for a new product or service, develop and offer it for sale in 2021. If you find your customer base is shifting, track this shift and make adjustments accordingly – all while larger enterprises are still sitting in meetings to decide how to deal with the change. 2021 is a period of change, and we need to make sure we are in a position to not only ride the wave, but use it to our advantage.
Revamp your business model
Before the pandemic, it was easier to coast on auto-pilot, but as priorities shift, so must your business model. For example, staffing before the pandemic was vastly different. Post-pandemic, staff are looking for a different type of work environment. Consider making changes like an emphasis on safety culture. This type of change let’s employees know you are listening to their needs and value their safety, and signals to customers that you are willing to go the extra mile for your employees – and thus your customers.
Enhance social media strategy
Many consumers rely on social media to find new products and services, and take peer to peer reviews very seriously. Take a moment to revamp your social media strategy to include more responsive replies, SEO optimized content, or even new partnerships with social media influencers, who are proven to be a big draw for internet-connected customers. Also, remember to optimize for mobile usage to ensure your site and product is readily available for all users.
This period of flux and development won’t last forever, so it’s critical that your employees know how important productivity is in this period. Consider tapping your employees for ideas on how to enable more productivity within their department, and offer incentives for a job well done or for going above and beyond during this period.
Use strategic partnerships to become stronger
The partners you choose reflect on you and your business, so many are choosing to allocate all or part of their daily processes to customer-pleasers like the USPS shipping calculator. Partnership with a reputable company like USPS shows customers your commitment to longevity, and to quality in all stages of the eCommerce process.
Support your brand advocates
Did you know that 92% of consumers will reconsider purchasing a product with no customer reviews attached? Customers are much quicker to take to the internet to craft a poor review, meaning happy customers need to be thanked and promoted on your sites and pages. Take a particularly good review and use it in your marketing material, and be sure to respond to all positive comments on your social media sites or web page.
Automate time-consuming business processes
Technology is growing astronomically in 2021, making the automation you need easier and less expensive to get and deploy. It’s time to be more agile and smarter, and deploy technology to automate traditionally time-consuming business processes like invoicing, refunds or returns, manufacturing and shipping. For example, many businesses have outsourced their HR needs using software that streamlines the onboarding and daily management processes.
Customers see clearly when their opinion is valued and taken under advisement, and where it’s dismissed off-hand. It’s important to engage with reviewers and employees who are willing to give feedback, and use this data to enhance your business practices or products. Listening and communication will be deciding factors in 2021, when customers have so many different options at their fingertips.
The second half of 2021 promises to be bustling, exciting and very different from anything we’ve ever seen. With change comes opportunity, and smart business owners are using this change to their advantage. Take time today to consider how these tips can help boost profits, employee and customer satisfaction, and your own longevity on the global market.
Nick Andrew Rojas is a journalist and a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. His work often discusses marketing, business, and technology. He loves to connect so reach out on Twitter! @nickarojas.