As a small Business owner, you’re used to being in control of your own destiny. You call the shots; you make the plans—you can run your business in whatever way works best for you. From operations to employee management, business owners not only get to wear many hats, but get to decide how to manage, change, and develop their businesses.
The coronavirus—and the difficult year that 2020 was—disrupted many things, threatening to take control out of business owners’ hands. And yet, small business owners embraced those disruptions, pivoting their businesses and finding new ways to operate. In challenging and dynamic times, local business owners have a way of rising to the occasion, acting with resiliency and creativity to get the job done.
At Beyond, we’re no stranger to entrepreneurship. In fact, we embrace it. We know that local, independently-owned businesses are the backbones of our communities and deserve services tailored to their unique needs. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help main street America get the extra love we think they deserve, and bounce back better than before.
For many operators, that means finding new ways to grow their business on a budget—without losing sight of who they are. Whoever built your business—you, your grandparent, your neighbor, a friend—staying true to your way of doing things is likely a top priority. Read on for three ways to keep control of your business and grow your business your way.
1. Get Online
We’ve said it once, and well, we’ll probably say it 50 more times: get 👏 your 👏 business 👏 online. Getting online is the single easiest way to grow your business—and keep control of it too. Gone are the days of offering your customers one way to connect with you. In today’s digital economy, consumers want (no, expect) to engage with brands online. Whether you operate a store, a restaurant, a gas station, or a dentist’s office, having a website is simply table stakes.
Did you know 43 percent of all purchases are now made online? As the 2021 holiday shopping season approaches, consider how you can leverage the busy season and expand your revenue streams. More consumers are shopping online than ever before, pushing every kind of business to enter the digital realm—even traditional, local businesses.
And while so many consumers are shifting to buying online—88 percent of the adult US market shops online—46 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. We get it, building a website is no small feat, and for many small businesses, it’s a low priority that will just take too much time. For retailers, creating an online store is challenging, and for restaurants, shelling out commissions to a third-party like UberEATS means that you lose a cut of the pie. The good news is, we’ve got a simpler solution altogether.
Our online storefront is an easy and affordable solution for your online ordering and e-commerce shopping cart needs—no developer needed. Beyond Storefront is a simple, secure, and stylish solution for your online essentials—and totally customizable, so you can keep control of your business and 100% of the sale. Think of this as an easy way for you to open another brick-and-mortar store, except, you know, online. Your business, your way. Wherever your business is at on its digital journey, getting online ASAP is the first step to grow your business.
2. Start Marketing
Whether you’re a seasoned small business owner or a newbie, Marketing should be at the top of your priority list this year—and every year for that matter. We know you’re busy, and marketing probably seems like a silly waste of time…but hear us out. Marketing, especially online marketing, is crucial to increasing awareness of your business and attracting new customers. Since consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else, it’s critical to make sure your business has an online presence.
Did you know 14 percent of small businesses fail due to poor marketing? Marketing is one of the easiest ways to get new customers through your doors, so don’t overlook it. You don’t have to be a marketing connoisseur either, just a few small marketing hacks can help you attract new customers and keep your current customers coming back. Here are 3 simple marketing initiatives you can consider today to help grow your business:
- Get social: If your business doesn’t have a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google location set up, get on it today. It’s easy, free, and a must-have for keeping current and potential customers updated on the happenings at your business.
- Leverage email: Stay connected with your customers via email to keep them engaged and gather emails of potential customers to increase your reach. Consider leaving a sign near your checkout station asking customers to enroll in email and receive 5% off.
- Offer holiday promotions: Everybody wants to shop small; consumers just sometimes forget. Incentivize your customers to shop small this holiday season by offering exclusive promos, giveaways, and more. If you’ve gotten your social media up and running, exclusive promos are a great way to engage with your community and make them feel special.
Not sure what to post on social media? Or simply don’t have time to create new content? Download our complimentary 2021 holiday season social media kit. Fill out the form to receive the kit in your inbox.
3. Make Your In-Person and Digital Experience Seamless
At the end of the day, one of the best ways you can grow your business is simply by offering your customers options. From ways to shop to ways to pay, consumers expect frictionless, multi-channel experiences—make sure you’re giving it to them.
For small businesses with loyal followings, creating seamless online and in-store experiences can be challenging, but also a huge opportunity. What local businesses have that the big box stores don’t, is a sense of community, familiarity, and often nostalgia. Whatever your business’s story is, lean into that, and build that same narrative into your online presence. Let your customers experience that same feeling they get when visiting your store or restaurant in-person, online too.
Due to closures, the 2020 holiday season brought more online shopping. However, for many, online/offline hybrid solutions like buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup brought consumers new and even more convenient shopping experiences that are here to stay. Blend the in-person and digital experience to give your customers the hybrid shopping and dining options they want, while staying true to your business.
Change can be hard. But with Beyond, you can grow your business the way that works for you. Take your business online, get social, and pivot your business for whatever lies ahead.