2020 has been a tough year for most businesses and the hard times have not spared either small businesses or big.
Many businesses have collapsed and for those still in business, operations have not been the same. Most businesses have gone back to the drawing board and made many changes to survive and adapt.
Business and economic gurus have for the longest time been warning that the economic and social impacts of Covid-19 are not short term. The pandemic has changed consumer behavior and the market in general and this has had a greater impact on businesses in Kenya.
Many small businesses in Kenya have reopened during the last months of the year. Most of them are still trying to get back on track and get their profits back in line. This has called for a change in business strategies and changed many aspects that affect business operations.
Business growth is essential for business survival during uncertainty and even times without uncertainty. If your business is not growing, you are losing your competitiveness and relevancy in the market.
Many businesses are not sure of how they can grow especially after trying to barely get through 11 months of business distress.
Realistically, many entrepreneurs are not sure of the future 2021 might bring. It’s hard to plan for your business’s growth during uncertainty.
However, having a plan that gives your business a sense of preparedness and direction can help you come up with achievable goals for your business in 2021.
First, Figure out what you can do.
There are obvious things you can do in your business that will help you grow. These are things you can actually do and figure them out within minutes.
For instance, when most businesses reopened they adapted to making door-to-door deliveries to their customers. This was an adapting tactic for most businesses due to the need for social distance and the fear of many customers.
A delivery add-on to a business calls for an ordering system either through calls or a website.
Look at what you can do to make your business adapt to the pandemic and the consumer behavior change.
Observe what other businesses in your industry have done during the uncertainty as a way to adapt that you have not done.
Knowing what you can do is the first step to growing your business in 2021. When you know what you can do, you can easily come up with achievable goals for 2021.
Focus on making improvements.
Look at 2021 as a clean slate giving your business a new opportunity to enhance. There is so much that you can improve on in your business.
That includes plans you have probably had shelved for months or even years and have never implemented. Maybe you have wanted to take your business online but you haven’t. Or, you have probably been planning to launch a new product or service to your business.
Take this time to work on your plans and prepare for the transition. Work on making the product you want to launch better.
Look for ways to make your bookkeeping, inventory management, etc. better. Focus on making these areas digital and automatic.
These improvements enhance your business operations.
Have an all areas plan/strategy.
Business success takes an all-round ground. As you plan for growth
For your business to grow in 2021, you need a plan that is a multi-plan. Your growth strategy should accommodate all the areas of your business that boost growth. Think of your finances, marketing, product or service delivery, etc.
Moreover, with the uncertainty, you need to think of possible scenarios that you might face. That means you need to prepare your business for anything.
With these scenarios in mind, you can also come up with several plans in place in preparation for the possible scenarios.
For example, think of a scenario where the business is slow. A plan to expand your customer base might work at boosting your business and bringing more profits.
Think of other possible scenarios and come up with plans and strategies for such.
Also, a good way to come up with these tactics is to benchmark from other businesses that seem to be thriving during the uncertainty. If your business is struggling to thrive, some of these tactics might help you grow.
Add value to what you deliver to your Customers.
One great way to grow a business is to improve your product or service. How can you make your product better and your service delivery better?
Your answer might be your key to your business growth in 2021. Look for ways to add value to what your customers need. Adding value to what you deliver can also help you achieve your revenue goals.
Give customers important information, for example, information on your cashless payment systems. Or, information on your several payment methods services that accommodate even small cash payments.
Boost your Online Presence and Stay connected.
There has been a great shift into the digital space and a business’ online presence matters more now than ever.
Businesses, big or small, moved to selling their products online to make their businesses stay afloat.
The pandemic has driven most customers and businesses online.
And, a strong online presence might be the key to growing your business in 2021. Strengthening your online presence counts on different tactics.
Consider sharing relevant information about your business with your customers across your social media. Information about your products or services among other information.
If you don’t have a website, you might want to give it a shot. Your website is a great place to help your customers know your business. Use your website blog to showcase your products and services and consistently post valuable content. Your content should represent your brand and what you stand for.
Also, if you are selling online, don’t just focus on your website and social media pages only. Think of using other online platforms such as e-commerce marketplaces such as PigiaMe, Jiji, Jumia, etc.
A strong online presence will bring new customers to your business. And this is a catalyst for business growth.
Consider market expansion tactics.
Look for ways to expand your reach in the market and increase your customer base.
The same way businesses, especially brick and mortar businesses expand to more physical locations, you should look for ways to expand your business online.
Figure out tactics that can help you reach more customers. You can do this by expanding your delivery regions to attract more customers.
Another option to consider is reaching new customer target segments. When you tailor your products or services to meet the needs of another customer segment, you expand your customer reach.
Growing your business in 2021 might even take more than the above.
However, having some tactics in place is a way to prepare your business for growth.
Take your time and evaluate how your business performed in 2020. See what worked and what didn’t work. Look at your business model, customer service experience, and your finances.
After the evaluation, see where you can make necessary changes and what plans you can put in place to grow.