What You Can Do To Prepare For Small Business In 2020
Do you remember what America was like in 1919? Probably not (unless you’re 100+ year-old business owner, which in that case, congratulations!), but you’ve heard stories from your grandparents and remember details from high school history class.
1919 was a big year for Americans. It was full of prohibition riots, a flu pandemic, race riots—there was a whole lot going on. Ruckus and shuffling filled people’s days as the country prepared for one of the most prosperous decades in American history—the Roaring Twenties.
The country was entering a glorious new era of mass production, a time when output per worker increased by 43% over the next decade. Production per product became cheaper than ever before and wages increased.
In many ways, we’re in a similar situation today—ready to leave 2019 in the dust and make way for our own Roaring Twenties. But are you ready for what the new decade will bring?
If you’re a small business, don’t get too ahead of yourself by rushing past these last 2 months of the year. Yes, you’re excited to see what growth is in your future, but there’s plenty of work to be done in preparation for what’s next in the new year, the new decade.
We’re here to help you out—to get your business ready to roar in the Twenties. So here’s a list of the critical things small businesses need to do to end this year on top and grow even more in the next.
Amp Up Your Digital Presence
It’s insane how many small businesses don’t have efficient websites, let alone any website at all. This year’s survey from Visual Objects found that 40% of small businesses don’t even have a website. Yes, you did, in fact, read that correctly—40%!
With eCommerce taking center stage and more people choosing to buy through Amazon over department stores, digital presence will be directly correlated to growth in the new decade. A well-working, eye-catching website is the first step to making your small business present online.
Customers are also constantly on the lookout for new and engaging content as they surf social media platforms. Whether you focus on posting ads, creating quality content through posts, or getting in front of the 500 million daily Facebook Story users, social media spells massive opportunities to connect with new and existing audiences for your brand.
Small businesses without proper social media management and website efficiency could find themselves missing the mark in 2020—don’t procrastinate on these. Get them running right before the year ends.
“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.”
– Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce
Organization, improved workflow, a happier team, more work with fewer people—cloud computing can be the answer. With remote work becoming increasingly popular, cloud computing can help your team be more flexible, efficient, and collaborate despite physical distance.
In addition, cloud computing houses all data in one central location, which improves security. Why is this important? Well, 60% of small businesses go out of business after experiencing a cyber attack, making cybersecurity another crucial thing to consider for business in 2020.
Grow Your Work Capacity with Freelancers
There’s a world full of talent right at your fingertips, one that doesn’t require long term commitments or pressure. According to UpWork, 40% of small businesses are hiring freelancers due to the fact that freelancers can be scaled to meet business needs. One time logo design? Find a freelancer. Does a 10-blog project need to be written? You’ll be able to find a freelancer for that too. So whether it’s writers, designers, or web developers, hiring and paying freelancers per project is a great way to go if that’s all you need.
Although vetting freelancers can be a full-time job in itself, it can also be worthwhile if you only need them once or on occasion. If, however, you find that your small business needs ongoing work and proven quality, you may want to go with an agency instead.
Don’t Put Email Marketing On The Back Burner
Email has been around for a long time now, but it looks like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future, so don’t let prioritizing email marketing slip away as the decade comes to an end.
Email marketing is one of the greatest ways to directly speak to your audience, and conversion rates are often higher in email than other forms of marketing. This is due to the fact that your email audience already knows and trusts your brand and is, therefore, more willing to purchase from you. We’re talking the difference between a 1.3% conversion rate from social media to a 25% conversion rate from email marketing. Yes, 25%—this is based on one of our clients. Email drives the highest ROI, end of story.
If you’re already an avid email marketer, come up with ways that you can improve what you’re already doing. For example, how’s your segmentation? Segmenting your audience and providing them with content that you know they’re interested in can increase your small business revenue by 760%.
The point: make email marketing a priority these last few months of the year and keep it up in the new decade, it’ll be good for business in 2020.
Related Articles to Learn More About Email Marketing
Be a Thought Leader To Increase Business In 2020
Consumers are all about thought leaders. That’s why we find ourselves following brands that are experts or advocates for the things we enjoy or believe in. Are you a socially conscious consumer? You’re probably following brands who advocate and provide information to others on how consumer behavior can impact the environment.
Are you an expert in your industry? Yes, you are, at least some degree. Are you sharing that expertise? You should be.
Being a thought leader goes along with maintaining a strong digital presence too. Make your expertise, your opinions, your passions known online, and educate and advocate for them. Speak up. People want to know that there is a visionary backing your brand, so present your case for expertise.
Brand Authenticity Above All
Saying you’re authentic and acting authentically are two very different things. There are plenty of brands out there that preach their authenticity, but are they actually showing that same authenticity through their practices?
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s authentic for your brand when you haven’t done the work to clearly define what your brand stands for and how you provide value to your customers. Do you know what you stand for? And are you showing that value to your audience?
One way to define your stance and value is to get your brand to check in with itself. Have you looked things over recently? Is everything in order? How are you standing out among your competition, if at all? Have an outsider comb through the elements of your brand to find what’s working, what falls in line with your values and what doesn’t, and check in on your brand with a Brand Scan. When you have clarity there, then operating authentically with your brand becomes much easier.
Related Articles to Learn More About Brand Authenticity
A New Decade For Small Businesses
Business in 2020 is going to be an exciting time, but don’t forget to be in the present and focus on what you can do right now to prepare your brand for its future. And if you’re not sure where your brand actually stands at the end of this decade, be sure to check in. Dive deep, look at what’s falling through the cracks, and what can be changed, amped up, or left behind in 2019.