16 Small Business Tips for 2021: Take Your Business To The Next Level
2020 is gone. 2021 is officially underway. And you know what that means, right? New opportunities! For your small business! Yay!
The next few months are going to be important. The steps you take during this time will set the stage for the entire year. Take the time to reflect on what was and how you might improve your business in the year ahead.
To help you get off to a flying start, we’ve compiled a list of small business tips based on emerging trends and untapped markets. Business owners everywhere can apply these tips and come out stronger than ever.
- How To Make a Small Business Successful
- 1. Redesign Your Website
- 2. Buy Wholesale
- 3. Use Personalized Pricing
- 4. Eliminate Barriers To Purchase
- 5. Double Down on Networking
- 6. Update Your Blog
- 7. Get Comfortable With SEO
- 8. Host Interactive Live Events
- 9. Create More Snackable Content
- 10. Don’t Shy Away From Seeking Help
- 11. Build an Email List
- 12. Offer Live Chats
- 13. Solve a Burning Problem
- 14. Keep Tabs on Your Competitors
- 15. Target a Hyper-Niche
- 16. Automate, Automate, Automate
- Apply These Small Business Tips To Make This Year Count
How To Make a Small Business Successful
Not everyone is born with business smarts. But don’t let this stop you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. Here are 16 small business tips that will help you get more customers and ultimately grow your business.
1. Redesign Your Website
Building a great website is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses.
With unlimited design options and elements, it’s easy to go overboard with details and overwhelm the visitors.
Fortunately, you can always redesign your site to achieve a modern, clutter-free look. Here are some small business website tips for creating a better online presence
- Use plenty of whitespace
- Add high-quality images
- Limit menus and text
- Make it responsive (aka mobile-friendly)
- Keep forms short and easy to fill out
2. Buy Wholesale
If you’re looking for small business advice on how to keep costs low, here’s a straightforward one: find a wholesale distributor for your business.
Contrary to popular belief, buying wholesale for small business is possible. It starts with finding a wholesale supplier with fewer minimum purchase requirements and prices low enough to make you a profit.
This used to take a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, marketplaces like Handshake have made it easy for small businesses to find wholesalers for different items. You can register on the platform to discover thousands of exciting, on-trend products from distinctive suppliers to buy wholesale.
3. Use Personalized Pricing
A special price just for you!
Imagine the impact this line could have on a customer’s perception of your business.
With dynamic pricing, you can change the price of items as per the profiles and needs of individual customers. For instance, you can offer discounted prices to students and charge the full price to other businesses.
Ecommerce stores were one of the first businesses to implement this pricing strategy. And it’s not difficult to see why. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify integrate with apps that make it easy to charge different customers different prices.
4. Eliminate Barriers To Purchase
Consumers are insanely busy people, so you must do everything in your power to make them want your stuff.
This means removing any barriers to buying like low-res images, long and boring descriptions, or not displaying the shipping price.
You need to make your product or service pages concise, clear, and easy on the eye. Try not just to be another business – make your website attractive to encourage people to check you out.
5. Double Down on Networking
Networking is crucial for building a successful business.
It helps you learn from what’s working for others and identify best practices. Plus, the contacts you make when you strike up conversations can open doors for new opportunities.
Start by joining online networking forums and groups directly relevant to your industry. Once you become a member, participate in conversations by commenting on other people’s threads. Or, start your own thread in areas that are a good fit for your skills and interests.
It’s worth remembering that networking is a two-way street, so offer something valuable to people when they have a conversation with you – for instance, your best prediction on how Facebook Ads will play out for your business sector this year.
6. Update Your Blog
Looking to strengthen your online presence? Publishing regular posts on your company blog can help you get there.
The posts can range from company updates to tips and tricks related to your products – diversity is the key to keep your audience interested.
If you really want to up the ante, consider following these small business blogging tips:
- Offer a fresh perspective on a popular topic
- Answer customer questions through your blog
- Mix it up with case studies, infographics, video content, etc.
- Include a “Table of Contents’’ at the start of your posts
- Use bullets, subheadings, and other types of formatting to improve readability
7. Get Comfortable With SEO
SEO tips for small businesses are a dime a dozen.
Unfortunately, though, only a handful of them prioritize or implement these tips. That’s no good because SEO gets you plenty of free eyeballs and its basics are quite easy to learn.
You can start building your SEO knowledge by learning how to optimize your website’s content for search engines. Some good resources for understanding the fundamentals are Mangools and WordStream. YouTube also has plenty of videos that may help you with this.
8. Host Interactive Live Events
The ongoing pandemic has forced the event marketing scene to undergo some rapid changes. Now, businesses are pivoting from in-person gatherings to virtual ones.
Fortunately, interactive broadcasting has never been easier with tools like Facebook Live. You can host a digital event to celebrate loyal customers and attract new ones.
Get creative and make them exciting to attend – contests always get the audience going.
9. Create More Snackable Content
Shared a few memes last year that were a hit with your social media audiences? You should do that again this year, but more regularly.
That’s because one of the best social media marketing tips for small business owners is to create snackable or short-form content pieces to educate their audience.
Last year’s rise of Instagram Reels and TikTok indicates that snackable content is gaining steam, with several users preferring bite-sized content over the conventional written text.
Here are snackable content ideas you can leverage:
- Convert your favorite quotes into interesting designs
- Make 15-second videos for Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook
- Use GIFs to tell a more interesting, lively story
- Share memes around the trends in your industry
10. Don’t Shy Away From Seeking Help
One of the best tips for running a small business is to get help where you need it.
Are you struggling to answer emails? Do you need a helping hand in accounting? Take help from people who specialize in these areas.
You could ask a family member or friend to help you at times. But if the work keeps piling up, it’s better to hire a freelancer or a virtual assistant. Sites like Upwork and PeoplePerHour will connect you with thousands of professionals with expertise geared towards helping small businesses.
While it may seem daunting and unnecessary to pay for help at first, remember this: The energy you spend on the things you don’t know could be better spent on the things you do know well. Smart entrepreneurs delegate, period.
11. Build an Email List
Did you know that email marketing offers one of the highest ROIs among all the marketing strategies to small businesses? An average return of $42 for every $1 you spend. That’s nuts!
Of course, you can’t leverage it until you have a list of people to send emails to, so start gathering those addresses from day one.
You’ll need a sign-up form for your email list. See if your website’s theme allows you to add one without using a third-party app. Alternatively, you can use a plugin or app that sends subscribers to your favorite email client.
12. Offer Live Chats
In a fast-paced world where people expect results instantly, live chats can be the tool to up your customer service game.
With live chats, you can serve your customers around the clock and gain valuable context from the conversations to gain a clear understanding of their issues. This allows you to better position yourself to address those problems.
Plus, you can use the insights to set up a comprehensive FAQ page. Answer the queries people have all the time in one centralized location. Once done, use your live chat’s welcome screen to point customers towards the resource.
Here are some live chat software options:
- Purechat lets you customize the chat box to match your business’s branding.
- Chatbot sets up an AI-powered bot that serves customers 24/7 on your behalf.
- Tidio creates canned responses in multiple languages for global customers.
13. Solve a Burning Problem
Another piece of advice for small business owners is to target issues that people feel very strongly about.
For example, shipping delays during the holiday season are a frustrating experience for most consumers. When packages fail to arrive on time, they’re left with no choice but to wait in anger and disappointment.
If you can think of a solution to address their pain points, you’ll gain long-term customers who keep coming back and spread the word about your business.
If your customers are facing delivery delays, you can set up local delivery or local pickup – two options that put more control in their hands and less in the hands of the third-party logistics company.
14. Keep Tabs on Your Competitors
No matter the nature of your business, you will have competitors.
To be successful, you need to research their practices and find out as much as possible what consumers like about their products.
The benefit is that over time, you will be able to develop strategies that will allow you to stand out from other businesses.
To discover your competitors, see which companies are offering similar products or services in your market. Then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to theirs. This will enable you to identify any shortcomings effectively.
15. Target a Hyper-Niche
Large companies like Walmart and Amazon can sell in multiple niches. The reason being they have a great deal of capital and experience. As a small business owner, you don’t. So it’s best to be hyper-focused if you stand a strong chance of being successful.
For example, if you’re interested in selling women’s shoes, explore the hyper-niches or segments you could target. For example, shoes for plus-sized women, shoes for pregnant women, shoes for athletic women, and shoes for businesswomen are all micro-niches with the broader niche of women’s shoes.
If you manage to carve out space and personalize it (for example, by educating your customers with free samples and demonstrations), you can gain an edge over big companies who have so much on their plate that they can’t personalize for every market.
16. Automate, Automate, Automate
There’s a surprising number of tasks that can now be put on autopilot.
With many high-tech solutions for business automation, small businesses can streamline everything from accounting to sales to office management to some degree.
Ideally, you want to automate tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive. These are things like:
– Publishing social media content at specific times
– Onboarding new employees on your team
– Following up with customers to get feedback
– Paying business bills each month
– Tracking and reimbursing employee expenses
Apply These Small Business Tips To Make This Year Count
The current business landscape has exposed us to the need for out-of-the-box thinking and adopting new strategies regardless of the age or nature of our business.
Hopefully, these small business tips will give you ideas on setting up for the coming opportunities, challenges, and trials.
Owning a business is an incredible thing and if you’re struggling to gain traction, 2021 should be the year this changes.
Do you have any small business tips and advice to share? Let us and your fellow business owners know in the comments below.