The community quarantine caused by the coronavirus pandemic limits the operations of many businesses. Especially for businesses in the non-essential sector, cash comes in more and more infrequently. In worst-case scenarios, the entire operations stop — leaving many individuals jobless.
In the face of this pandemic, is it possible to survive and even grow?
With determination and some innovation, perhaps it is. To help you get started, we’ve listed some strategies for small business growth you can apply in your venture during the coronavirus lockdown.
Having versatile employees means they get to do more than one job but serve your reduced number of employees. While this is not the best scenario, with the coronavirus lockdown, this is your best bet. Virtual assistants, for instance, can perform different jobs ranging from administrative to creative tasks.
Even though the demand to buy is low, it does not mean no one wants to buy. This is the reason why your sales team needs to come in stronger. Employ a proactive sales team in your business who can help you introduce your products and services to the market. Having a strong sales team will help you not only in increasing your revenue but also in building a good brand reputation, long-term customer relationships, and a positive ROI.
With the pandemic happening, people are spending more time in their homes than ever. This means consumer spending is up while the cost of advertising is low. But this will be temporary, consumers will only feel the pinch of the recession after the 3rd month.
Whether you’re operating a traditional business or an e-commerce store, investing in your online presence is one of the best ways to reach your target market.
How is this possible? Here are more stats.
As of January 2020, there were around 4.54 billion active internet users worldwide. When you have a good online visibility, you can likely increase the number of people who are familiar with your brand. The question is, how are you going to attract your target audience?
You can begin in different ways:
You can either hire your online marketing team or outsource this service from a reliable company.
A market penetration strategy allows you to have higher market shares. It is possible by trying to surpass the products and benefits offered by your competitors. With a pandemic on hand, this is easier said than done. But let’s stick to the basics. Here are some strategies you can use in penetrating the market:
Branding creates trust and improves recognition among your target market. Moreover, it is essential in maintaining your business since it encourages word-of-mouth marketing. If your product has a distinct characteristic that sets you apart from your competitors, it is easier for your customers to remember and find you in case they want to purchase it again.
Practice this tip with caution. This strategy is about expanding your potential market by offering your existing products or services to new users. It can also be increasing your sales by introducing new uses for your product. Market expansion can be done within your geographical region or outside it.
The most important consideration when choosing this strategy is competition. It is easier to introduce your products to a market with low competition. However, you still need to determine if the market is ready for your product or not. As long as they can find your product useful and within their means, there’s a high chance of getting a positive ROI.
Because you’re targeting new customers, this strategy can give you an edge over other businesses.
If you’re planning to employ this strategy in growing your business, these are some pointers you need to remember:
Once you’ve established your products and customer base, it is time to implement the diversification strategy.
This strategy entails the development of your company by adding new products or targeting new markets to your core business.
Diversification is a good way to move forward from the plateau phase of your business growth.
It has four types:
It is typical for small business owners to target anyone when marketing a product. This misconception often comes from the belief, “everyone can use my product so why do I need to limit my marketing efforts to only a few groups of people?” While there is a truth to this statement, it limits your ability to create targeted messages for your potential buyers.
Marketing and selling your products to different groups of people requires a unique approach. Through this, you can determine your high ROI customers and the least potential buyers. Focus on the ones who can bring in the most revenue to your company so your efforts won’t go to waste.
It is not enough to have a physical store. To extend your market reach, you need to open alternative stores where your customers can reach you easily. Going online is one way of doing so. You can either have your website or have your products listed in e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Alibaba, or Shopify. You can also offer membership or subscription programs to attract new consumers and give the existing ones more reasons to stay with your business.
If your business has gone online before, it’s time to look for other channels. There’s plenty of choices like email marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, or just plain old pay-per-click advertising in search engines like Google, Bing, and Youtube.
Partnerships are not only limited to big companies; even small businesses can benefit from this business activity.
Especially in the face of a pandemic, engaging in partnerships can bring in more income to your business. Both of you can use each other’s strengths to achieve your goal. For instance, if you are good at branding, you can teach it to your partner/s. If your partner/s benefit from it, you can also get what is due to your business.
Find one or more partners who can bring in expertise or help you reduce costs. Though you are entrusting some of your functions such as sales, customer service, human resources, or technology development, it doesn’t mean you won’t have control over those areas anymore. Instead, it will help you increase your experience and expertise as a small business. You can also focus more on your expertise.
Growth doesn’t happen by chance; you have to work for it. While determination and hard work can lay the ground for you, you will still need tools to achieve the goals you want to reap. It is not an overnight success either. Even the huge corporations you are looking up to started from small beginnings.
Along the way, you will make mistakes alongside every right decision. Instead of rushing growth, you should focus on the lessons you can learn from the steps you make. Invest in your people. Be willing to take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail and stand up again. The seed to the success you’ve been craving for is in your hands.
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