The pandemic surely stirred the economic pot beyond what seasoned market analysts could speculate. Consumers’ increasing keenness on their health, the environment, and social movements serve as catalysts for a big change in the world of business. In part, this shifts the polarization of market power in favor of the underdogs.
This is not the case for all small businesses, but day by day, we witness more of them rise to popularity. One thing for sure is that if you have an idea that you feel would fulfill a current need, don’t hesitate and take out a small business loan. There is no better time than now. It is difficult to get your brand out there, but those who did kept these things in mind and got themselves an equal shot to success:
Finding the Perfect Niche
We can’t count how many businesses, large and small alike, were quick to transition to mask and PPE production in the early stages of COVID no matter how far out their original market is, apparel, for instance. Small businesses or simply entrepreneurial individuals, baking enthusiasts for instance, particularly had the upper hand when shelter-in-place orders were first imposed because they could fill in the demand of freshly baked goods, for instance, in their locality.
This agile approach to strategy guarantees businesses their survival in any economic downturn. Moreover, zeroing in a super-specific market or locality, if anything, turned into the most effective anchor when building an organic brand community. That is why, from a small geographic and demographic circle and with the help of word-of-mouth testimonials, exponential growth became easy for these small businesses.
Many businesses such as restaurants and retail outlets also quickly adapted to online deliveries and curbside pickups. Business owners made these minor but impactful changes possible while many big retailers wasted precious time to decide on major stakes, including factory downtime, staff deployment, and delayed material imports, among others. It took a bold call to knock onto the hearts of disappointed patrons of big brands, but not getting intimidated with competing side-by-side corporate giants paid off.
Retail businesses enhanced their websites and online services to allow customers to better specify their needs through customizable menus, virtual try-on features, and subscription-based purchases. Earning client trust was further enhanced with the help of responsive customer service, more so those who take time to dissect an inquiry and provide specific solutions. Building a website, even at the early stages of one’s business, has never been so important now that we are increasingly connected through digital platforms. It could instantly build a professional impression and, in turn, invite traffic.
The Power of Social Media
Early on, small businesses realized the lower barriers to entry of advertising their products and services on social media. It was just as easy to pattern their marketing campaigns to those of established brands. Today, it is basic for any business to maintain Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and, at times, TikTok accounts, and they tend to focus on one platform where their audience is more active.
Likewise, sticking to branding collaterals like logos, font styles, graphics, and color palettes is considered rudimentary. With the help of free or affordable photo and other media editing tools online, businesses can do without expensive photography setups to showcase their products. Business tools just like those offered by Facebook and Instagram are also easy to navigate and pay for that business owners can independently launch and manage their campaigns or outsource a social media manager, saving them a lot of advertising fees.
Many hobbyists were able to channel their creative side more since the pandemic’s onset and treated social media as an outlet for their work. Although they didn’t originally intend to sell their crafts, they were able to amass significant traction, on TikTok for instance, and surprisingly found that many were willing to pay for their craft.
The Society of Human Resource Management sites a small family-owned jewelry business’s pandemic success story with the help of live stream selling. Such success is mainly attributed to how well viewers appreciated the seller’s deep product knowledge. Moreover, this particular example emphasized the importance of brand storytelling when explaining how and where gems are sourced and the culture behind these prized stones. Overall, the more approachable vibe small businesses strive to give out wins customers’ hearts.
Unusual circumstances like the pandemic reveal that how long a business has been in the game or how big it has become matters less if it cannot immediately pivot to the changing world. Such a big change incentivizes the newcomers, but only with an effort to obtain a good market insight can David beat or at least be on a par with Goliath.
Meta title: Reasons Small Businesses Succeed in the New Normal
meta desc: Many businesses had to downsize or close down, but some small ones managed to survive almost two years into the pandemic. Here’s what set them apart.