Every savvy business owner knows that success requires keeping up with trends. You have to understand what your customers like, what they’ll want in the future and what they need now. The answers to those questions looked very different before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
People around the world have adjusted their lives to learn how to live a new version of normal. Small-business owners have especially felt the economic and financial changes, which may have altered the vision you had for your future.
Here are a few of the small-business trends that are already dominating 2020 because they take the coronavirus into account. Figuring out how to implement these shifts in your business model could be what saves your brand because they meet current consumer needs while keeping the future in mind.
1. More Green Efforts
Even while people practice social distancing and work from home, they still care about the environment. They don’t want to sacrifice their sustainable lifestyles while the coronavirus remains a threat. Businesses can help by advertising their new green efforts.
Restaurants are a great example of how to do this easily. Instead of printing menus for guests, post them online and copy them on a sign in your restaurant. People can look up their preferences ahead of time and never worry about handling something someone else just touched. They’ll appreciate the extra health precaution and the lack of resources used to print and laminate menus.
2. Inclusion of the Gig Economy
The gig economy has quickly become an essential business in its own right. More people need jobs than ever before, and contract work helps them pay their bills during this difficult time. Small businesses can partner with gig services, like ride-sharing companies or freelance job posting sites, to keep revenue flowing.
A family-owned bed and breakfast could offer guests an exclusive discount with a partnered ride-sharing app where a driver could take them to local restaurants open for takeout. You’d help employ more people and keep your doors open.
3. Increased Remote Positions
Remote positions have become more of a necessity since people began to shelter in place at home. Small businesses can experience more success by creating and increasing these kinds of job roles. Hire freelance writers, graphic design artists or social media managers. More people are looking for online work now than ever before, so consider how to implement these skills to bolster your business.
4. Greater Social Media Presence
People scroll through their social media to check up on the state of the world and their loved ones. Given that they have more time on their hands because they don’t commute to work or have traditional social requirements, they’re more likely to see and act on product posts.
Build your business’s social media presence by posting more frequently, writing personal captions and reminding your followers that your services are available to help.
5. New Grocery Delivery Services
Businesses in the food and beverage industry have also begun to think outside the box. Consumers struggle to get groceries at standard stores because of panic buying and industry shortages. Now, non-grocery businesses offer online food orders that ship straight to their customers’ front doors. It’s a simple solution that helps feed more people and prevent layoffs.
6. Management of User Reviews
Before the pandemic, people had more money, which gave them the freedom to try new restaurants or products on a whim. Now they have to think through every purchase because of their limited budgets. Nearly 97% of consumers read online reviews before spending money, so manage your business’s reviews during this pandemic.
Email surveys, poll recent customers and respond to any negative reviews online so there’s more information for potential buyers to access that demonstrates your trustworthy brand.
Try New Strategies
While the gig economy and grocery delivery services may not have been in your business plan before COVID-19, it’s time to try new strategies. As you adapt to the market, your brand will experience more success and weather this challenging time.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, Hotel Online, SevenRooms, Point 2 Home and more!