Grow or sustain: is it possible to grow your business at the moment? Should you be planning for survival or development?
According to the IPA Bellwether report Q2 2021, businesses of all sizes are preparing for economic recovery. Marketing budgets are going up for the first time since Q4 2019 and prospects are positive. In the Yorkshire and Humber area, output has grown to a near-record rate (NatWest Yorkshire & Humber Business Activity Index July 2021). The same report shows that new orders for goods and services from private sector companies has risen sharply, and there was the largest uplift in pricing since they began recording it in 1999… So it’s good news across the region and beyond.
The pandemic pivot
If we’ve learned one thing from the past year and a half, it’s how important your digital presence is when the unexpected happens. So many companies had to pivot to keep afloat and many on the smaller side didn’t even have a website to fall back on.
Many restaurants were a great example of pivoting effectively. Think of all the local eateries who started offering takeaway and delivery services for the first time. The creativity was amazing, while it was being said that a fifth of all small businesses would close due to the pandemic. Just a few months later, Goldman Sachs reported that most small businesses were navigating the changes effectively, with 99% of small businesses expected to survive.
Not only are existing businesses considering growth, but smallbusiness.co.uk reported that over 835,000 new businesses were registered in the UK from February 2020-2021, “as the pandemic drove entrepreneurial spirit”. These companies born in the pandemic will equally be forced to adapt as we see if people’s purchasing habits remain as they are now or revert to pre-pandemic tendencies.
We’re now at a point where we’re holding our breath – government restrictions are (officially) being steadily lifted, while businesses independently bring in their own rules and cases are on the rise. We’re not out of the woods yet, lockdowns could potentially still be imposed, and self-isolations can still drastically impact small businesses.
How you can grow
Review and improve your digital presence, even if you’ve done it since March 2020. That encompasses your website, your social media channels, ads, emails, digital PR, all of it. Remaining nimble is how businesses have survived so far, and digital has the benefit of being quickly adapted – so use it. Make sure that your homepage is showing who you are now, not 20 months ago. Are you posting on the right social media channels? Has your target audience changed and are you appealing to them?
It’s an excellent time to review and strategise for business growth – and digital is a very effective place to start.
Don’t think that only big businesses can do this – even without the same resources, small businesses tend to be much more agile.
For growth opportunities in digital, think about:
- Your resources – what time do you have, what budget can you dedicate?
- Your strategy – what do you want to achieve and how will you get there? Set SMART goals.
- Improving your website – audit your website thoroughly to see what can be improved – like technical errors, content, SEO, user experience, conversion rate optimisation.
- Reaching new customers – where are they online, what benefit does your product or service have for them, how do you help them, what appeals to them?
- Expanding your presence – when you know where you are now, where you want to be, who you’re reaching and what resources you have to get there, you’ll know which digital channels to grow.
If you need any help with growing your business, Faire offers a free, no obligation initial consultation. Just get in touch.