2020 threw us all for a loop. Businesses big and small were hit with challenges from the growing pandemic that no one anticipated. Many larger corporations had financial reserves to weather the storm, small and mid-sized businesses continue to be the hardest hit. While we don’t anticipate an end to the challenges caused by the pandemic at least at the start of the New Year, we are confident small and mid-sized businesses can succeed by taking advantage of opportunities illuminated this past year:
Opportunities for Business Growth in 2021
- Optimize your e-commerce presence. Online sales continue to be on an upward trajectory. While non-essential in-store retail sales declined by as much as 75% in Q2, consumers are showing greater confidence in online purchases. In 2011, online sales represented only about 4.5% of total retail sales. In 2020, that number reached a peak of 16.1% in Q2 and then 14.3% in Q3.
- Provide consumers with alternative payment options. Amidst our focus on sanitary practices to avoid the spread of the virus, the use of cash declined this year to a level where we’ve experienced coin shortages. In fact, many consumers have become reluctant to even hand over their cards or insert them into a reader much less touch a keypad. Today’s consumers are excited about touchless payments such as contactless credit and debit cards as well as mobile wallets. The Small Business Administration estimated a 69% increase in contactless payments in 2020 and expects it to increase to 94% in the next 18 months.
- Find ways for employees to work from home. Prior to 2020, a slow move towards remote working opportunities was growing, but pandemic conditions put those changes into high gear with most computer-related jobs operating from home. In December 2020, Google announced it would not plan to return workers to the office until at least September 2021. While working from home doesn’t work for every employee, many employers are achieving success both in terms of reaching operational goals and receiving high employee satisfaction results by being flexible and finding ways for employees to work remotely.
- Pivot your service model. In 2020, creativity paved the road to success. Businesses that developed online methods for delivering service—whether medical offices or gym classes—have continued to serve their customers well. Online services also operate sans traditional constraints such as driving distance, making the opportunity of gaining more customers significantly broader.
Come fly with us in 2021.
We are excited about opportunities for business growth in 2021! No matter what your specific goals are, our team at Paradux Media Group is ready to help you strategize plans to achieve success. We can work with you to increase your online presence, introduce e-commerce to your business, spread the message of your unique product offering, and help bring customers to your door (even if it’s a virtual door!) Contact us today to see how easy it is to get started.