Saying times are tough for small businesses is an understatement. The situation is dire. Many startups are closing shops because they can’t sustain themselves.
The few that are still running are holding on by a thread, hoping that the economy will revive soon. However, as it is, we can’t tell when the situation will change.
Despite that, all is not lost. If you are a startup owner wondering what you should do next amidst the negative reports, wonder no more.
There are several strategies you can implement to stay in business.
Here are three.
1. Conduct Market Research
The market needs are continuously changing as the world adapts to the new normal.
As a startup, you will only stay afloat if you understand the changes in the market and tweak your business to address those changes.
The key areas to look into include your industry, niche, and competitor.
Know Your Industry
Industry trends are ever-evolving. Most recently, many people shifted to online purchases because of the movement restrictions.
If you are still stuck in a brick and mortar store, you’ll most likely close shop soon.
Research into the industry trends will give you insights into the opportunities in your industry. Your job is to jump on these trends early enough.
Understand Your Niche
You can’t address all the needs in an industry. But if you identify a single need and focus all your efforts there, there are high chances that you’ll succeed.
Now, go against the grain and identify what’s trending. Research about new developments in your niche: what exactly does your market want at the moment? Once you find out, tailor your services to what the market is willing to pay for.
Sometimes the emerging trends in your industry might require you to take a professional certification in a particular field to increase your eligibility in the market. If you are in the fitness industry and take the step to study nsca, this can set you up for better opportunities in the health and fitness industry.
The above is just an example, but the right expertise and services tailored to the needs of your target customers, your clientele can trust you to produce the best products and services.
Analyze Your Competitor
There’s no better way to understand what’s happening in the market than analyzing your competitors. If they are doing better than you, it’s time for a change.
Therefore, it’s only right for you to find out what it is and produce a better version.
A side-by-side comparison helps you identify your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also identify the gaps in the market. You can use the information to enhance your business strategy.
2. Expand Your Network
Your network is your net worth.
As a startup, creating quality relationships with experts, business owners, investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs is your best shot at learning and increasing your business’ visibility.
To expand your network, you must keep tabs on networking events in your industry within your locality and beyond. You can also explore the networking opportunities on social media platforms.
Identify Networking Events
It’s important to be abreast with the industry developments in your area. Networking events are the best places to get started.
In these events, take time to interact with others and show genuine interest in what they do. Work towards creating rapport with industry leaders.
You can share your ideas and business story. Let others know about your startup because these are places where you can find investors, business partners or even suppliers.
Exchange business cards and make sure you reach out to your connection at the earliest opportunity. This way, your new connection will know that they are a valuable addition to your network.
Increase Your Presence on Social Media
Social media is budding with opportunities for startups.
Platforms like LinkedIn offer businesses an opportunity to interact with other businesses, industry leaders and consumers.
You only need to optimize your profile so that consumers looking for services in your industry can find you. Another pro tip is to join LinkedIn groups to interact with other like-minded individuals.
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are great for advertisement. You can also use the two platforms to showcase your products and services.
With the right caption and hashtags, you’ll have a wider reach. The more people see your brand, the more they become familiar with it.
If you have a consistent social media strategy, it won’t be long before you start seeing more people making inquiries. In no time, you’ll get more traffic, which will most likely translate to sales.
3. Provide Great Services
Great services always attract clientele.
Every time a customer’s need is met, there are high chances that they’ll come back or recommend others. If you provide great services, you stand a higher chance to outshine your competitors.
Great services also include responding to customers’ queries. Take time to analyze customers’ feedback. The feedback helps you know what you can do to deliver better services.
To provide great services, you’ll need to sacrifice your time and resources and be consistent every day of the year.
Prepare to Sacrifice
A business can’t succeed without sacrifice. You have to put in more hours and extra effort.
Now more than ever, you have to spend less time with friends and family and focus on delivering exceptional services.
Times are tough for everyone, so give your customers a reason to choose you over your competitors.
To build a loyal customer base, you’ll need to consistently produce the best services. Don’t give up even when you don’t see growth in the number of customers.
Create standard work procedures that every staff adheres to; thus, every customer gets the same treatment.
If you are persistent, your business will definitely attract and retain the right customers.
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