Needless to say, 2020 has been challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way almost everyone does business. Unfortunately, it has also caused a lot of businesses to shutter permanently. In the U.S. alone, 60% of the businesses that were forced to close due to the pandemic will remain so indefinitely.
Instead, this is the perfect time to make positive upgrades that will not only keep your company going but allow you to grow through this year and beyond.
Fortunately, you don’t have to blow your budget in order to make a big difference in how your business operates. With that in mind, here are five simple upgrades you can put into place now to move your business through the rest of the year.
1. Home In On Your Sales Funnel
Now, more than ever, you’re probably trying to put your best, most responsive marketing efforts forward. One way to do that is to make updates to your sales funnel. The best place to start is your website.
Website activity is easy to track with great detail. You can see who is visiting your site (or at least have a pretty good idea), the pages they’re looking at, how long they’re staying, etc..
Your site should have multiple ways and reasons for for visitors to fill out their contact information (Contact Us, subscribe to our blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar, etc.). Once you have a visitor’s email address (because they’ve opted in), you can send them special offers, deals, and incentives to revisit to your site, engage further, or buy something from your business.
2. Back Up Your Data
No doubt you understand the importance of backing up your data. Cybersecurity is a huge threat. Even the biggest corporations in the world aren’t immune to cyber attacks. While having strong network security is an important first line of defense, bad things can still happen.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, effort, or expense to ensure all of your data is stored somewhere safely. You may even want to consider something like AWS migration services to store your business’ information on the Amazon cloud, or back it up using Google’s cloud.
3. Give Your Digital Presence a Boost
Presuming one of your major goals for the rest of this year and into the first quarter of 2021 is boosting your sales, that means boosting your online presence.
Take a look at your website to make sure it:
- Serves as a trusted resource
- Is SEO-friendly
- Features relevant content
- Is easy to navigate
- Is updated frequently
- Has your contact information easily visible
From a marketing standpoint, things have changed when it comes to how to get your website noticed. While keywords are still important, the focus should be on the content itself and how your prospective customer is going to consume it. Don’t be afraid to use a casual tone in your content, while still remaining informative and professional.
4. Connect With People
In response to working from home, mask wearing, social distancing, and limited travel, people are craving connection more than ever before. That includes from the companies they do business with.
The average person will see anywhere from 5,000-10,000 advertisements each day. Ad blockers, caller ID, and email spam filters, as well as plain old banner blindness, make it easy for people to tune out most commercialism. So, if all your business is doing is throwing money at outdated marketing techniques and ad campaigns, you could be missing out on what your target audience really wants.
Instead of concentrating so much on traditional advertising, focus on making connections and forming relationships with your customers and clients through social media. Make sure your accounts on each platform are easy to find. From there, don’t be afraid to let your creative side show.
Feature behind-the-scenes photos of your employees at work on Instagram. Or host a livestream Q&A session on Facebook and YouTube. Make sure to post updates that will spark conversation, and answer questions and comments as often—and as promptly—as possible. Monitor your brand across the web to make sure you don’t miss a compliment, question, or complaint.
When you make the effort to humanize your business and brand, people are more likely to trust you, and to become loyal customers.
5. Make Sure Your Employees Are Motivated
These are uncertain times for everyone. Even if your business has managed to stay afloat through 2020, that doesn’t mean your employees aren’t nervous or unsure. Maybe you’ve adopted a remote work policy, or you have safety measures in place to keep everyone healthy. Maybe you have had to let some people go in order to remain in business.
Whatever the case, your employees should be one of your top priorities—arguably your top priority. Do whatever you can to keep them happy and motivated, and create a safe and encouraging environment.
Make your workplace more fun, encourage breaks, offer more flexible hours, and recognize those who are doing a great job. This year has been hard on everyone, and people deserve a pat on the back as often as possible. When your employees feel both safe and valued, they’re more likely to remain loyal to your business. They’re also more likely to stay productive.
Stay On Trend and Stay Ahead
As a bit of a “bonus tip,” one of the easiest things you can do to make changes in your business is to keep track of what is trending within your industry. What’s popular right now, where are the trends going, and what are your competitors doing?
While you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) copy everything your competitors are doing, you can use those trends as inspiration. Put your own spin on popular topics in your industry, and people will take notice.
As a business leader or marketer, your goal should always be to fulfill the needs of your audience. Whether that means creating a new product, adding a different service, or simply appealing to a wider crowd, you should always be forward-thinking when it comes to what’s happening in your industry.
The most important thing, as pretty much everyone has figured out this year, is to be willing to make changes. It’s not just about getting through this year and its challenges, it’s about using this time wisely to grow your business for the future. By being adaptable, flexible, and open to change, you can adopt a growth mindset that will carry your business forward.