Small businesses around the country experienced losses when the pandemic started. The health crisis even forced many businesses to close permanently. But some were able to cope with the situation and continued to offer their products and services in the market. They survived since they went online to connect with their customers who also started to shop online.
While these businesses survived, they found it challenging to grow and expand their market. But the current improvements in the situation will allow these businesses to grow. All they need to do is consider some factors that will help them expand the market and connect with new customers. Here are some things that these businesses can consider so they will grow even in a difficult situation.
Offer Variations of the Product
One thing that a business can do is to offer different variations of its products. For instance, a pizza restaurant connected with families that had young children who were quite restless. Aside from offering cooked pizza, the restaurant also offered pizza-making kits. They delivered or shipped these kits to customers who ordered them. Customers were interested in the kits since the restaurant also offered live classes through Instagram on how customers can assemble the pizza. This allowed parents to give their children something to do and tone down their restlessness.
Restaurants can also offer uncooked but prepared versions of their dishes to their customers. They can provide a recorded demonstration on how the customers can cook the dishes in the comfort of their homes. Customers will find this appealing since they can enjoy the restaurant’s dishes even if they are staying at home.
Businesses should offer different variations of their products that allow their customers to continue patronizing them. These repackaged products are ideal for people who have work-from-home arrangements with their employers. Since they have a lot of time on their hands, they can follow the instructions provided on the demonstration and cook the meals themselves. It also allows them to stay safe at home until everything goes back to normal.
Adjust to the Needs of the Customers
Before the pandemic started, many businesses relied on in-store customers for their sales. But after the pandemic started, foot traffic disappeared as people started to shop online. Due to this, businesses should also follow their customers and set up an online store to connect with them.
For businesses that already have an online presence, they can take it a step further by creating an online poll to see what the customers want to buy from their store. The business can also check if there’s anything the customers want the store to improve on so that they’ll continue to patronize them.
Leveraging technology allows businesses to be one step ahead of their competitors and offer the products and services their customers want. While it may be challenging, adjusting to their customer’s needs allows the business to continue connecting with them and even expand their market.
Some industries have thrived due to this. For instance, the real estate industry continued to grow despite the pandemic since they could connect with their customers online. They offered virtual tours of the homes to allow potential homebuyers to go around the property even if they were sitting on their couch at home. The real estate industry leveraged virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and continued to sell properties even in the middle of the pandemic.
Similarly, small businesses can use the latest technology to connect with their customers and expand their market. They can also use VR and AR to their advantage and give customers a shopping experience they haven’t seen before.
While many businesses are struggling to survive, being generous will allow them to build a good reputation that may translate to more sales in the future. For instance, restaurants that used to serve hundreds of diners can donate food to food banks that are struggling to feed homeless people in the neighborhood.
The restaurant can donate the food that they feel that they cannot sell before it goes bad. This act of charity will soon reach the ears of customers who used to patronize the restaurant before the pandemic.
Due to this, these customers may even order food to be delivered to them to help support the restaurant that’s doing its part in helping the community. These orders may only be enough to cover operating expenses. But when the news about their generosity reaches other people, they can expect more orders than they can handle in the future.
The pandemic affected many small businesses around the country. But these businesses can still grow if they can connect with their customers and show that they care for everyone.