2020 was a challenging year with Covid-19 and Brexit causing a lot of uncertainty, concern and tough decisions for many business owners. This has, and will continue to, push many businesses to look for ways to successfully transition into the “new normal” – whatever that may be. One certainty is that if you want to survive it is important to strategise and look to grow – so if you want 2021 to be a year of business success, what should you be doing? In this article, we consider what can be done to help your business become a success in 2021.
Top Tips For Business Success In 2021
A trend that is apparent throughout history is that disruption sparks innovation and creates space for new ideas, new businesses and new strategies. UK SMEs make up 99.9% of private sector businesses and employ over 16 million people, so the growth of the sector, and supporting it, is key to the UK economy in the coming years following a turbulent 2020.
To help you begin your thought process towards business success – whether you have an existing business or want to start one, here are some of our top tips:
1. Improve your online presence and customer experience
For obvious reasons, online sales are on the increase. Depending on the size of your business, consider factors such as:
- Website functionalities – is your site up-to-date, easy to use and does it look professional?
- The speed of your site – can it cope with an added influx of orders?
- Do you have relevant customer touchpoints such as chatbots, contact forms and FAQs?
- Do you have a Google My Business Profile? As a local business, this can increase your visibility
- Do you have a company blog or newsletter? Show customers you are well informed and up to date with current industry news
- Do you have current and active social channels? Make it easy for your customers to contact you with queries as well as feedback
You always need to be able to market your company effectively to ensure that you create the right impression on prospective and existing customers.
2. Focus on customer retention
Your customers are key to your business’ success. Losing customers can cause profits to plunge – so businesses running on thin profit margins should make time focus on retaining and building their existing customer base.
There are two main reasons why customer retention is so important:
- Happy customers are more likely to return, reaching the brand advocacy stage in the buying cycle should be a key goal
- A high-quality reputation attracts new customers
With this in mind, it’s also worth mentioning that the cost of customer acquisition has risen more than 50% over the last five years. So for some businesses, perhaps instead of trying to onboard lots of new customers you should take extra care to focus on your existing, loyal ones whilst you get back on your feet.
3. Reinvent and reinvest in your brand
92% of small businesses reported that they had to “reinvent themselves” in order to adapt and move forward from the effects of Covid-19.
A significant part of investing in your business lies with branding, and by this, we are referring to the company’s name, image and reputation. If you ensure that how your business is represented following a crisis is appealing and valuable, you should see success come your way.
4. Focus on your target customer
There are so many brands out there competing for the attention of consumers for similar products in similar target markets. This means that it is crucial to really connect with your target customer – so you need to do your research, know who your core demographic is and focus your marketing efforts on them.
When you try to research to plan, consider these types of questions:
- What are their values?
- What are their spending attitudes?
- Would your product/service solve a problem for them?
- Will this market grow or shrink in the future?
- What other products and services are similar to ours?
- How do our competitors effectively attract customers?
- What is our USP?
5. Set Realistic Expectations
It is important to have an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year, but it is just as important to be realistic. There is no point trying to make up margins from lost time in 2020.
You need realistic expectations in terms of your business goals and financial projections in place so that your standards of success can be acknowledged by the likes of stakeholders and employees. This flexibility and adaptability will only be helpful and have a positive impact on how your business is run moving forward.
6. Get Your Goals Straight and Plan
Every business, existing or start-up, needs a business plan and strategy to achieve their goals, and in particular, to secure funding.
2021 will be the year of transition for most businesses, so this is the time to take a holistic look at your business’ goals and growth strategy. Put simply, aligning your goals and objectives and planning out what you want to achieve, based upon in-depth market research, is the key to post-pandemic success.
Do You Need To Consider Your Business Model?
The desire to grow and start new ventures has always persisted and now, with a Brexit deal in place and vaccines proving effective and being deployed, this sentiment will only continue to grow.
With this “new normal” in sight, you should be looking at how to successfully evolve your business model. Cbm creates professionally written, funding-ready business plans to maximise the chance of your existing businesses, or start-up, securing finance, freeing you to do what you do best; run your business.
This can all seem daunting, and support from our experienced consultants could go a long way. If you would like help with putting together your plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.