For small businesses, this is a very scary time as we are all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has forced many businesses to close, while others have lost a higher percentage of their customers, with most reduced to either a 100% remote workforce and/or skeleton crews.
It is a complete nightmare!
So that is the bad news.
However, let’s discuss the good news as well.
The good news here is this is a unique opportunity as well that only comes around once in our lifetimes. Think of this as an opportunity for investing in Facebook or Google when no one had ever heard of these companies. Knowing what you know today, it would have been obvious to invest in either Facebook or Google. However, it was scary when they initially launched since they were in uncharted territory.
I believe we are in a similar situation today. A lot can be gained by staying focused on the future rather than getting caught up too much in all of the negative that the media is circulating.
The pandemic for many small businesses could be the end for them – literally. However, if your business is not immediately at risk of having to shut down for good, then this could be a chance that you don’t want to let slip by– getting to know the different marketing strategies for your small business.
The following are some useful marketing tips to help you succeed during this global pandemic.
Tip 1: Reallocate and Reassess Your Marketing Budget
Small business growth specialists at Max Funding say, “trade shows are obviously not an option during the COVID-19 pandemic.” They suggest, “if you had plans to invest a certain amount of money into trade shows or other types of in-person events, divert this money elsewhere, like into digital marketing efforts.”
For example, some clients have reduced or paused their Google Ads or other online advertising and moved their money to search engine optimisation. That way, they can improve their organic rankings that can help them pass the competition after the pandemic is over. So if you have shut down your ads but you can afford to keep investing in marketing, I strongly recommend that you reallocate your funds to making improvements to your search rankings. That investment can provide you with a very strong return after business has returned to normal.
Tip 2: If Possible, Invest In Marketing
A lot of your competitors are easing up on the marketing pedal right now. That means you might be able to pass them by! View this as the hare resting while leading the race which allows the tortoise to put in consistent effort and ultimately win. Keep your foot on that pedal!
I do understand that many businesses cannot afford to invest after losing so much revenue recently, so just skip this tip if that is the case. However, this could be the most important takeaway in this article for everyone else. This is the time to invest more money into your marketing and not less. That is how you can achieve a competitive advantage during the months and years ahead.
Tip 3: Focus on Your Current Customers
Ask yourself: Is it good to focus on customer retention marketing or customer acquisition marketing?
During this pandemic, however, it is still a good reminder that marketing to existing customers is much less expensive and easier compared to trying to acquire new customers.You need to consider what you can do to help your current customers. Could you offer additional services or products? Could you speed your delivery up for an extra fee? Could you sell more by offering bulk discounts? Could you enhance your service or product by partnering with another business?
Tip 4: Make Changes To Your Delivery Method
If you own a brick-and-mortar business and cannot see patients or customers in-person right now, then you need to see if you can find other ways to set appointments, generate leads, and generate revenue.
The following are some ways that you might be able to changes to your delivery methods during the time of the pandemic:
Orthodontists and dentists can offer to give virtual consultations rather than in-person ones. The same is true for other kinds of professionals such as financial advisors.
Local retailers could offer to deliver their products to customers rather than people needing to shop at their stores.
Spas could promote their products rather than their services since they cannot see clients in-person right now.
Other businesses could offer discounts for up-front payments. For instance, restaurants in my area are offering “bonds.” Customers are able to pay $75 to receive $100 worth of food after the restaurant has reopened. Businesses could offer discounted gift certificates and other similar discounts or deals.
Finally, Try Your Best to Enjoy the Ride!
As previously mentioned, being a small business right now is scary. However, you can still believe that your business will be healthier and stronger than ever after this is over. Try every day to enjoy the ride as much as possible. This is definitely a unique time in our history. Take the time to take this in. In the meantime, stay at home and stay safe!
Tips For Small Business Owners
This article talks about the tips for small business owners. Here you will find advice from successful business owners like how to adapt to adversaries, getting a Contract Management System, and delegation.
Their tales of triumph would always begin with, “It all started with a dream.” Blah blah blah. I am sure that you have heard of all those cliched stuff that makes for a great inspirational story. However, what they do not tell is that it is not a black-and-white story. There are multiple factors that affected their success.
Here we have compiled a list of advice from business owners that have achieved success. Take note that there is no perfect formula and these are just advice that majorly helped these companies.
Set a Clear Mission and Vision Statement
Before you set forth with creating your company, one important thing that you have to do is to set a clear mission and vision statement. The vision and mission statements of a company has a lot of uses. The purpose of your organization and its future endeavours are all dependent on the goals that you’ve set.
First of all, it will provide you with the purpose that your company will need when it faces adversary. Your Mission and Vision statement would also play a crucial role for your decision making.
As a business owner, your main task will be to make the big decisions. Use your Mission and Vision statement to help you decide which avenue to take. Always ask yourself as to which action would help you accomplish your goal better.
Research Existing Competition
Go around your local area and check whether you have any competition. Take note of what they are doing and ensure that you do something better. There is nothing wrong with getting ideas from your competition as long as you don’t exactly plagiarise their tactics. Just get the general gist and tweak it to your advantage.
Most of the companies in the Fortune 500 list achieved their success because their products/services were able to fill a void in the market. They re-invented the wheel so to speak. You don’t necessarily have to come up with an entirely new and original idea. You can take existing ideas and then give it a dash of creativity.
One thing that you have to know is that the market is very volatile. It will experience a lot of changes. You don’t necessarily have to keep up with all of the shifts but you do have to know how to adapt to these market changes.
Perhaps the best example of this would be Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster used to be a mega-company that dominated the Video Rental agency. For a small fee, you can watch any video that you want. It was the norm for anyone to pass by a Blockbuster store to borrow a film to watch for that night. However, the rise of popularity of the Internet and streaming sites spelt out its demise. Without adapting to the market, it has become a warning sign to businesses that adaptability is key to staying on top.
Netflix, on the other hand, went the other way of Blockbuster by changing its business format and became a streaming site. Today, the annual gross income of Netflix is a whopping 16 Billion Dollars.
Invest In A Contract Management Software
You need organization in your life. No matter how small or huge your business is, you need to organize your systems. One important aspect that you have to take care of are your contracts. It is an important asset for your company.
When you have a Contract Management Software in place, you will have a full visual of your contracts and their performance. This means that you will most likely have a better grasp of how to manage your company. It will also allow you to mitigate the risks that you might otherwise take.
Learn To Delegate
You can’t do it on your own. You need to trust your employees with some of the key processes of your company. One mistake that new business owners often make is that they do not give specific tasks to each person which leads to chaos and miscommunication. Having a proper organizational structure will allow you to improve the accountability of everyone in the office. You will also be able to pinpoint any non-performing members of your organization and make the appropriate action.
Trends You Need to Know About in Business Education
Business is a fast-changing world, with quantum leaps in technology and globalization making yesterday’s “next big thing” rapidly obsolete.
There are few fields in which educators need to remain so informed of the latest trends and technologies, in order to provide their students with an education that is up to date and relevant to the constantly moving target that is today’s business world.
Here are five top trends in business education that are happening now.
1) The Workplace Of Tomorrow Will Need Soft Skills Like Creativity, Communication And Problem Solving.
Advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and computing will replace many workers in the near future. Yet they will also create a demand for skills unique to humans, including creativity, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, innovation, collaboration and adaptability.
Technical skills will always be needed and shouldn’t be overlooked by any business student, but the coming trend in business is big thinkers with the skills to harness the powers of human creation.
2) Digital Learning Platforms, Online Education And Hybrid Formats Will Become The New Normal.
The days of getting a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree followed by a two-year MBA at a brick-and-mortar university are in decline. While there is undeniable value in a broad-based foundation in business education, rising costs have burdened students with enormous student debts and led many to question whether the return on this investment makes it worthwhile.
Also, the rapidly changing business climate has raised many doubts about whether a one-time education is adequate to equip business grads for the changes sure to come in the years ahead. Online education, continuing education, digital learning platforms and hybrid formats that include both classroom and remote education are widely seen as the wave of the future.
3) Expect To See More One-year Mba Degrees — And More Hiring With No Degree At All.
Fast-track MBAs for working professionals are another growing trend, in which people with a given amount of professional experience can attend courses for one year and emerge as certified business management professionals.
In addition, more forward-looking companies are abandoning the requirement for any college degree at all, recognizing that targeted alternative training and real-world job experience can be more valuable than a college diploma.
4) Entrepreneurship Is And Will Remain A Growing Field.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook are the five most valuable companies in the world — all of them tech companies and all founded by entrepreneurs (several of whom were college dropouts).
The chances are good that all of these companies have affected your life in a personal way. They employ hundreds of thousands of people and have a combined market capitalization of around $5 trillion. And each of them was founded by a small handful of forward-looking people harnessing new, disruptive technologies.
Machines and robots cannot replace this kind of uniquely human innovation. Business schools will and must increasingly teach the skills needed to start new enterprises that can literally change the world, in big ways and small.
5) If You’re Betting On The Future, Think Ai, Stem And Big Data.
Having said all of the above about human innovation, let’s not forget that the machine-based “thinking” behind artificial intelligence (AI) — like the driverless cars that our grandchildren will someday take for granted — are a supremely important component of future business development. And someone will have to create, hone and perfect these technologies.
Studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are among the surest ways to climb aboard this inevitable wave.
The same is true of “big data” — the hyper-explosion of information that is available to us all, but is too much to grasp without intelligent analytics and insightful processing. Talented professionals will be needed in the years to come to turn millions of data points into actionable business plans that will work in the real world.
Starting A Tech Company? 5 Clever Ways To Afford All the Tech You Need For Your Business
Permit fees, employee expenses, equipment, and advertising are only some of the business startup costs you should keep in mind when building your business. However, these costs may vary on an industry basis.
Don’t know how to fund a tech business? We’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you everything about your options. Read on for your guide to choose the best funding to start building your tech startup today.
Can You Get Funding You Need When Starting a Tech Company?
Most technology entrepreneurs think twice about building their startup due to lack of funding. However, affording the basic startup costs is easier than you think. Today, founders can even secure funding that won’t cost them a thing.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? Here are the top 5 funding options you should consider to start a tech company.
1. Small Business Loan
Small business loans are one of the most popular funding options for companies big and small. Before applying for a loan for a small business, you should search for lenders who specialize in funding companies in your industry. Choosing a financial institution that understands your business model will allow you to secure more funding at better terms.
2. Equipment Loan
Equipment can be one of the biggest costs tech startups face. Certain lenders offer equipment loans to cover these assets. It will depend on the type of machinery you need and your company financials.
3. Small Business Grants
Small business grants are given to startups and business owners by private companies, the Federal and State government. While it may take some time to receive a grant, these funds come with no strings attached. You won’t have to repay the institution.
4. Inventory Backed Loan
So you bought the inventory to fulfill your orders, but you need to buy equipment or other supplies to produce the items. You can request an inventory backed loan to cover these additional costs.
The lender will use your inventory as collateral on the loan. Typically, financial institutions offer 75% of the inventory appraised value or 50% of its cost.
5. Account Receivable Loan
Maybe your startup idea was a hit and you don’t have enough capital to fulfill all the orders coming in. You don’t want to turn these customers away. An account receivable loan can allow you to secure the funding you need.
Lenders offer early payment of an outstanding invoice in exchange for a fee. In this loan, your invoice will be the collateral on the loan.
The Bottom Line
Starting a tech company can be the best decision you’ll ever make. It will all come down to developing the right business plan to turn your vision into reality. While lack of funding may be holding you back, there are many funding options available.
It’s vital to do your research and choose the type of funding that fits your business plan. You may consider consulting with an expert to get a clear idea of the best approach depending on your business financials.
Want to learn more ways to turn your business idea into a reality? Check out our Business section to find more insightful articles.
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