In 2020 the world changed. Though it was already becoming a more digital society, the pandemic of COVID – 19 forced us to leap fast and hard to the integration of technology into our lives, and businesses had to adapt to that. According to a survey by the International Trade Centre (ITC), almost 70% of small and medium businesses worldwide were affected due to the economic and social situation.
This without taking into account the companies that had to close the past eight months. Many of these were companies that relied on customers’ presence, such as beauty salons and restaurants, but the ones that prevailed have something in common: they adapted to the online world. Psychologists started to treat patients via zoom, and yoga instructors have online courses, for example.
The keys to success are the tools you implement and learn to use, and the best thing is that the digital world makes it accessible to most people. If you are looking to fund your business migration to the web but do not know-how, you can apply for specific programs like minority-owned business loans from CaminoFinancial to get the cash flow you need.
But, how to adapt your business and start?
To be competitive, first, you need to understand that your business will change course a bit. After all, you are entering a highly competitive world, and things work a little differently here. Also, it would be best if you kept up with trends and technological advances so, think about hiring someone who can take care of this new drive of your business.
1. Redefine your offer
Redefining your offer is easier for product sales because you might be coming in a little late to the e-commerce trend. But when it comes to services, you need to take a hard look at what you offer and start making some changes.
If you used to give massages, you could try to give meditation therapies online, using platforms like zoom, integrate exercises, and special music. You can even share a playlist for such sessions with your client. The idea is to use your core business but modify it to work online. You can use minority-owned business loans for migration and planning.
It is essential to find the right strategy for targeting people. You can use that by defining the different groups that can be your clients. The offers you present on your website should be different for younger generations than they are for older people because they don’t share the same views.
2. Using social media
They will become your shopping window; Social Media had an 87% boost just in India during the pandemic because companies started to share, promote and retain clients through these platforms. The integration of Facebook, WhatsApp Business, and Instagram allowed companies to be closer to their clients and comparable sales easily and fast.
This is one of the most valuable marketing strategies that you can implement in your business plan. It offers a very high return on investment and represents the most effective way to keep your potential clients informed about your products or services.
There are different approaches that you can use. For example, you can use FB and Twitter to share some statements and links, while Instagram is perfect for short videos and stories that will make people more interested in your brand.
Another advantage is that there is always a chance that some of your satisfied customers can decide to share your business over their profiles, which represents an excellent recommendation and a chance to reach even more people.
3. Find allies
If you have to make deliveries, there are platforms that you can use. Think of UberEats for a restaurant that can have customers on-site, Shopify if you offer products, even places like Coursera, where you can make money by uploading classes. Find the right marketplace for your offer and start making money.
Take your time to plan an online course or even take your class to create digital educational content. The online market is quite flexible, but you will need some creativity to compete with other companies. Making the right partnership might help you to step ahead of your competition.
4. E-commerce website
Websites are not new, but the integration of multiple services allows business owners to make sturdier and easier websites with security protocols, shopping carts, external payment gateways, and even chatbots to take care of your clients’ questions.
Use those minority-owned business loans to invest in a programmer and fixed staff to update and manage your e-commerce. The great thing is that getting a website is not complicated. There are some methods that you can choose and create a web store even if you don’t have much experience in this field.
You can use Magento, Woo Commerce, Shopify, and many other platforms with preinstalled features and a wide selection of plugins and presets that will help a beginner to start an online business.
5. Create an experience
As competitive as this digital world is, value offers have become essential, but not just on your product or service, as it’s expected in both the digital and analog world, and also expected in the experience of shopping.
Make sure you have a team to analyze your customers’ behavior and take steps to offer them the best online shopping journey; use big data to reach your clients and make them happy so they’ll return to buy from you.
Both e-commerce platforms and social networks are offering various analytics tools that you can use to check the performances. This will help you to improve your strategy over time.
6. Build a Brand
As an owner of an online business, you have to know that the biggest challenge can be the fact that there is huge competition in almost every branch. Even if you have something better to offer, you will need to find the right way to promote your business. The most efficient way is to build a brand so people can become more familiar with your company.
However, building a brand will require determination and consistency. It requires different strategies as well. The aim is to attract people and create a base of loyal customers. You can do that by making a good presentation, sharing the values your business is promoting, and finding the right way to communicate with potential clients.
In that matter, you should focus on delivering the services or products in the right time, making your clients satisfied, and be frequently present by reaching the audience with different methods like online promotion, social platforms, articles, and more.
Every area described here has to be set in motion with a single goal in mind, like increasing sales. Remember that once the pandemic passes, the world won’t return to what it was and, even though your brick-and-mortar business could bloom again, you’ll have online sales on the rise.
Make sure you look at minority-owned business loans in Camino Financial to see if you qualify and apply to take your business to the next level. Also, we expect that even more companies will implement these advanced methods and start operating online.
That will lead to an even higher competition. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on all of these factors and secure that your online business will reach more clients and a higher revenue in the end.