For the world of small businesses this has been one of the most testing years on record and those who have survived must learn the lessons from the past. Business analyst William West Seegmiller has been a supportive voice during the last 7 months, helping with advice for small businesses on how to survive. William has been speaking of late about the importance of businesses learning those lessons from the past, so let’s take a deeper look into exactly what those lessons are, and how small businesses should move in the coming months and years.
Many of those businesses which weren’t able to survive this storm were those who were greatly exposed financially, and this is a very important lesson to learn. Whilst small businesses are never going to be robust enough to deal with a massive crisis, they should always ensure that they are in a solid enough position to look after themselves for a short while. Sadly there are many businesses which are like a house of cards, and if one card falters, the whole thing falls down.
Importance of Loyal Customers
It can be tough for businesses which are trying to get new customers, because there is often a risk that in doing so you forget about the loyal customers which you have had for years. This year more than ever has shown us the great importance of loyalty, as these have been the customers which have helped so many to maintain their business. It is important going forward that we understand how to both reward loyalty whilst still looking for new customers.
Ability to Shift Focus
Another key component of those business which have fared well this year have been those who were able to quickly recognize at which point they had to change their focus. Some businesses were able to use the tools and the machinery which they had to completely change their business in order to keep up with the current trends. This speed of decision making has been the reason why so many businesses were able to survive this year.
Smelling What Sells
Another core principle of any business is that it is able to recognize which is the best selling products and market them intensely. For example if you had a clothing store online, marketing a little black dress or party shoes would not have been a smart move during the lockdown as nobody was going out. In such a situation a far smarter move would be to market slippers and nightwear. This is business 101, understanding your market and what that market needs, and then selling it to them.
Finally this has been a year of tough decisions where so many business owners have had to put their business first. It has been a tough lesson to learn, but ultimately the health of the business will always take precedent over the feelings of a member of your team or a client who you have been working with for a long time. Be sure to remember these lessons for the future.
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