If there is one year that we can all put behind us, many would agree it’s 2020. Despite this year’s challenges, heartaches, and unpredictability – 2020 did leave us with several valuable lessons for us to build on.
Here are ten business New Years’ resolutions that you may want to consider for a successful 2021.
- Increase your online presence –Help attract new customers and build brand loyalty by strengthening your digital footprint in 2021. Now’s the time to audit your website and social media pages to ensure user-friendliness and accuracy. By establishing a stronger foothold online, customers will be able to engage and hopefully purchase from you directly without ever walking into your store. Read BBB’s tips on improving your website.
- Maximize your agility – Forbes magazine says small businesses have a distinct advantage in 2021 by having the ability to adapting quickly in an unpredictable climate. Be flexible and open to shifting focus. Use 2020 as a learning experience and start to plan for different scenarios should state restrictions stick around.
- Engage with customers – Ramp-up your customer service skills. Communicate with existing customers by emailing them business updates, promotions, and sales. Ensure that you’re responding to customer inquiries and comments on social media in a timely fashion. According to Hubspot, 80% of customers expect an online response within 24 hours.
- Embrace technology – Consumer expectations changed in 2020, and what resulted is an emerging customer with greater demand for speed, convenience, transparency, and customer service. Embracing technology and making it easier for customers to communicate with you online can help build trust and lead to more business. Need help with social media? Here are five tips your business can start using today.
- Reduce costs – Save money wherever you can do so without compromising quality. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly one-third of small businesses fail because the owner runs out of money. 2021 could be a great time to reduce overhead, market on a budget, and go green. Here are seven ways BBB recommends your business reduce costs heading into the new year.
- Foster a positive workplace culture – According to Forbes, a strong and thriving workplace culture is considered an essential element for maintaining employee satisfaction and high performance. With many employees working remotely indefinitely, doubling down on company values, transparency, and communication with team members are three key ingredients to help keep the workplace positive.
- Leverage Customer Reviews – Reputation can mean everything, especially for a small business owner trying to attract and retain customers. You want to tell customers that your business is trustworthy, ethical, and transparent – and what better way to illustrate that story than through online customer reviews. Check out Power of Customer Reviews on Small Businesses to see how BBB tries to ensure accuracy and transparency with its review program.
- Exercise transparency – Operating with transparency builds relationships that turn curious browsers into buyers and buyers into raving fans. Always be transparent, from admitting missteps and correcting them, to inviting your customers to engage with you online and through social media. Authentic interaction with your clients goes a long way to building customer trust.
- Invest in the community – By giving back or helping your neighbors, you can build relationships and show that your company takes pride in the community. Consider volunteering in 2021 and getting more involved in your area. It’s a great way to strengthen your company’s reputation. Share moments on social media, and don’t be shy showing how your brand is committed to helping make a difference. Read ways your business can impact the community.
- Establish Trust – Customer trust can mean everything for an online business. With the internet flooded with information about every product or service, buyers can effectively make a purchase decision with just a few clicks. For many small businesses, finding a way to establish a foothold in a competitive market can be the biggest challenge. Giving your business a step up over the competition is always something to desire, and aiming for BBB Accreditation is a valuable way to do this. Accreditation requires the utmost trustworthiness, customer respect, and integrity, which can help your business stand out – especially during a pandemic. See the BBB Advantage.
2020 continues to test and push many small businesses across North America. Some companies have been able to thrive and succeed, while others got turned upside down.
Trust and transparency matter more now than ever before. In a market saturated with companies competing for customers, BBB Accreditation gives consumers confidence that they are dealing with an ethical and vetted business.
The BBB Standards for Trust remain at the core for BBB and its partners, and today presents an even greater opportunity for online retailers to elevate their brand, build trust, and commit to excellence.
Since 1912, BBB has been supporting businesses and consumers in its mission of advancing marketplace trust. Today more than 400,000 Accredited Businesses across North America support that mission. The need for trust has never been greater. BBB is committed to guiding all businesses impacted by the pandemic, especially those transitioning to new online business models and a changing environment.
Consider adding the BBB seal next to your company’s good name and joining a community of trustworthy businesses.
Take the next step by adding trust and becoming BBB Accredited.