Undoubtedly, many small businesses have had numerous challenges to tackle over the past several months. To say these are unprecedented times is now an enormous understatement. Rather than dwell on the impacts of COVID-19, however, it might be useful to look at what’s next for small businesses.
In business, as in life, planning ahead is always a good idea. Even as you tackle the current mountain in front of you, be sure you’re taking steps to manage any future disruptions to business.
Nobody can promise an easy road ahead. However, taking action is better than waiting around and hoping for a vaccine, a stimulus check or anything else that isn’t within your control. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t, and you’ll feel more prepared for any roadblocks ahead while preparing for what’s next in small business.
The Current Outlook
Businesses of all sizes have already had to pivot as a result of COVID-19. They’ve taken business outdoors, switched to online formats, and implemented stringent safety and cleaning protocols, all while trying to keep employees on payroll and keep their customers happy.
Unfortunately, not all businesses have survived these trying times. There will likely be others that don’t as well, in the months ahead. Yet at the same time, there will be many that will do whatever it takes to make it through to the other side. In many cases, doing “whatever it takes” will mean a complete upheaval in the way they do business.
“Many small businesses in the United States will need to make extreme changes to survive,” states business consulting firm McKinsey & Company. “The broad themes are, by now, familiar and generally the same as with most large businesses: protecting the health and safety of employees and customers, adapting business models, investing in talent and technology, and adjusting staffing models and labor practices.”
What’s In Your Control?
Smaller businesses that lack the deep pockets of well-funded companies will naturally have to make all these changes with less working capital. Faced with slim margins, many of these small businesses will be tempted to cut corners and slash budgets on anything that’s viewed as an unnecessary expenditure. They may be unwilling to invest in the proper resources required to survive the pandemic throughout 2020 and beyond.
Here at Rallio, we’ve seen firsthand what’s happened when businesses decide that marketing and technology aren’t worth the investment. Whereas they may have had a robust social media following and high levels of engagement on social media, their numbers quickly plummeted when they stopped investing in social media marketing.
On the flip side, the businesses that put marketing and technology at the top of their list of budgetary priorities have seen their numbers grow. We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep marketing yourself amid the pandemic. With social media usage at an all-time high, you can’t afford to hit “pause” on this area of your business.
While we can’t predict exactly what’s next for small business, we can say with certainty that social media and technology will continue to play important roles. If you make the necessary investments in those areas — along with other areas mentioned above — you’ll be better prepared and also feel like you’re taking back some control in your business.
Social media marketing and the technology used to manage your online presence are both within your reach as a small-business owner. While it might feel overwhelming to think about how to approach your social media marketing, fear not. We’ve got answers for you, straight from one of our Rallio Local experts, Eric Mitchell, who talks to small businesses and franchisees every day.
We filmed a short video with Eric to get his take on how small businesses can address the current challenges while planning ahead what’s next for small businesses.
A few key takeaways:
- The most pressing need for small business right now is the need for genuine content. Social media is the most powerful way to publish that genuine content and connect with your audience.
- Outsourcing your social media makes sense for small-business owners, who are often wearing many hats and lack the time needed to properly make an impact on social media.
- Now is the time to prepare for 2021. Your best bet? Stay engaged.
For more details on what’s next for small business, watch the full video below.