In these unprecedented times, maintaining a business can be a difficult and taxing endeavor. The market is more competitive than ever, and new innovations and unique business models are being developed and applied all the time – being on top of all these things is essential. Read on to find out how to get ahead of the curve and keep your business in tip-top shape.
Keep Yourself in The Know
Staying up to date with the latest market trends, no matter what your niche is, is very important in keeping your business running well. Look beyond typical market research data, and instead invest some time in really getting to know your target audience. Browse social media and investigate analytics there – where is your target audience primarily from, how old are they, what is their gender, and so on. All these key demographic factors are essential to ensuring that the core of your business is marketable and profitable and that you will ultimately turn over the highest amount of revenue possible. In today’s world, taking advantage of the plethora of free tools provided by companies such as Google Analytics is a great way of keeping on top of your online presence – and perhaps even extrapolating that to your offline performance.
As well as these analytical methods, you should try to keep reading business magazines, such as Forbes, to keep yourself updated in terms of the wider picture and what is going on around the world. This is particularly salient with regard to the Coronavirus – knowing how to adapt to unforeseen circumstances such as a pandemic, or any other sudden event, is a great way to keep your business afloat even in the most difficult conditions.
Finally, if you really want to get stuck in, a concentrated MBA would be good for a refresher or for learning new skills you may not have realized you were missing – deficiencies which could have well bottlenecked the performance of your business and held your advancement back. Of course, there are many specializations to choose from so do be mindful of which one would be best for you, especially if you already work full-time or have a family – click here to find out more.
Keep Your Social Media Channels Active
Perhaps one of the most important elements of any business looking to make it big in today’s interconnected world is its social media presence. From the smallest brick-and-mortar shops to the biggest corporations and conglomerates, every company has a social media presence of some kind. Sometimes that involves a simple page on Google Reviews, or perhaps they took it further and built their own website. Whatever the extent of their social media presence, the crux of the matter is that there always is some sort of media presence.
It’s important, no matter what platform you use, to post regularly and keep your audience updated. You want to appear on their news feed every single day is possible, so a steady stream of content is essential to keeping the algorithms satisfied and your presence active. Reply to comments, and interact with your consumer base – customers love this, and even the biggest companies have taken a laissez-faire approach to interact casually with their customers on platforms such as Twitter. Post about your products and services, especially those that sell well. You could also hold giveaways and competitions every once in a while, to keep your audience engaged and perhaps even expand it ever so slightly – who doesn’t love free stuff?
If you neglect your presence on social media, you will lose a lot of your audience – be mindful to not underestimate the role of this very important medium of marketing and communication. You can research SEO (search engine optimization) to really make yourself shine in terms of your popularity and be at the forefront of your domain on social media, whether it be Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Using social media to develop a solid customer base is the next big thing in business and marketing – and as always, it’s the early bird that gets the worm!
Review Your USP
A USP is your unique selling point – essentially, what makes you stand out amongst the sea of all the other businesses out there. You need to ensure that your business always has something unique about it – no matter how big or small this thing might be. You should also try to aim to review your USP every so often and ask yourself – is it still the same as when I started? In fact, what is my USP altogether? What is the glue that binds my business together?
Indeed, as times change, people also change, and your USP might end up becoming more or less relevant as time goes on. Think about the current global circumstances – companies such as Zoom, for example, have seen a gigantic increase in their market share compared to before the virus. Whilst their USP of free video calls for many people at once may not have been that great back then, it certainly is a very desirable selling point to have now. The key is to take advantage of any situation that presents itself to you and to see events such as these as opportunities and obstacles to traverse rather than dead ends. Always look for ways to improve your product or service and to make it stand out.
Keep in Touch with Your Audience
As with any other venture in life, you need to keep engaged. Very few businesses, if any at all, can run themselves. You should aim to have a positive growth mindset – any negative feedback should be taken as constructive criticism rather than a stab at your personhood, and any mistakes should be learned from and then moved on from, respectively.
Constantly ask for feedback and respond to it. Free survey websites such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms make it easier than ever before to ask your audience the questions that truly matter – and get the answers that you need. Running market research and researching your analytics is important – track the data and the trends and let them (and your audience) speak for themselves. The adage that “the customer is always right” should be taken to heart here.
More importantly, however, is to maintain not only good PR relations with your customers and audience but also to maintain an excellent customer support service. This is very often overlooked because many companies out there have the mindset that once something is purchased, then who cares – the money is in the bank, so to speak. However, maintaining reliable return customers is a very important strategy for keeping your business going well – you want a solid, reliable customer base, even if it is small. Furthermore, good customer service is really appreciated by essentially every consumer – and bad customer support can really get you done for, especially when posting to social media (and reaching an extensive audience) is so easy for anyone to do in this day and age. Keep your customers happy and they will come back!
Take Care of Staff
No matter how big or small a company you run, you need to take care of your staff. A happy employee is a productive employee. If your employees are happy, they will work not out of a desire for money but rather they will truly enjoy their work – this means less money wasted and more time spent improving your business. Value everyone as they are and try to boost the skills that are already there and, if possible, remediate any shortcomings via additional training. Reviewing your core values occasionally, is important, too – it is good to remind your staff about the foundational principles upon which your company is built on. A hard-working, positive team reflects on your customers, too. And remember – you are part of the staff too, so treat yourself with respect and occasionally, give yourself a break because everyone deserves one from time to time.
In conclusion, there are many things that you can do in order to improve your business and keep it afloat and running well in these unprecedented times. Most importantly, you should stay in the know about the key audience that your company should aim for, as well as any important analytics. But do not lose the forest for the trees – check online news for the bigger picture every day and keep yourself up to date regarding the latest world events. Who knows if they could be an opportunity for further gains?
Furthermore, take advantage of social media channels and keep interacting with your customers. Mind your unique selling point and regularly review the core values of your company – are you still sticking to them or have times changed so drastically that a major paradigm shift is required? Finally, if you have any staff, treat them with the dignity and respect that you would treat anyone else and see that they are only human – work on any shortcomings and encourage positive behavior.