In 2022, small business owners across the globe are attempting to navigate trying circumstances. In addition to high inflation rates and supply chain issues, small businesses face staff shortages, changing consumer behaviour, and decreased revenues. It’s no surprise that all these factors have resulted in an all-time low small business confidence rate.
But does the fact that SMBs have to overcome trying times mean entrepreneurs should give up on their dreams of growth and expansion for the time being?
On the contrary, industry shake-ups can be an excellent opportunity for brands to show their worth and cement their positions as niche authorities.
So, if you want to expand your business in 2022 and beyond, these are the growth strategies you should start implementing right away.
Embrace Omnichannel Sales
One of the most important consumer trends in 2022 is that people are looking for more versatile ways to shop.
A recent report from McKinsey revealed that 75% of consumers are exhibiting omnichannel shopping behaviour. This means that they’re researching and purchasing both in-store and online.
The popularity of omnichannel may not be much of a surprise, seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic forced the majority of people to become comfortable with online purchases. But what’s interesting is what people spend money on when buying via the internet. The same report from McKinsey reveals that:
- 31% of users have ordered a restaurant food delivery during the past three months.
- 29% have bought online with the option to pick up in-store.
- 28% have bought groceries online.
- 17% have used an app or website for same-day delivery.
- 14% have paid more for two-hour delivery.
- 11% purchased directly via social media.
Knowing this, it’s easy to conclude that for growth in the coming period, small business owners need to look towards new sales channels that will allow them to reach more customers. If you’re unsure where to start, go for social commerce. Social sales platforms are sure to deliver results in the coming period. Allowing your audience to buy your products straight from their social media feeds makes for an excellent way to attract, engage, and convert them into clients.
Invest in Customer Experience (With a Focus on Loyalty)
One of the main consequences of rising inflation rates is that shoppers are starting to prioritize prices when making buying decisions. This is causing them to switch brands and retailers and can harm businesses whose success (and future growth) depends on customer loyalty.
The good news is that mitigating the consequences of the customer loyalty shake-up doesn’t need to be challenging or expensive. And doing it right can significantly benefit your business and allow it to thrive despite the current economic state. So, as you work to encourage your clients to continue shopping with your brand, you might want to start investing in customer experience in a way that will nurture loyalty.
For instance, something as simple as offering fast and free shipping will encourage more than half of your audience to choose your brand over your competitors. So will publishing content that allows your customers to get more value from their purchase or presenting your audience with personalized content that drives people to see your business can effectively solve their unique pain points.
Nurture a Connection Between Your Audience and Your Brand
If you’re looking to grow your business, you need to encourage your target audience to perceive your brand as an organization that has their best interests at heart. After all, benevolence represents one of the main prerequisites for building and maintaining trust.
So, knowing that being seen as trustworthy plays a significant part in encouraging potential customers to convert, it’s easy to conclude that one of the best growth strategies you can employ is to nurture a positive relationship between your audience and your brand. And the best thing is that encouraging potential clients to form attachments to your brand doesn’t have to be complicated.
For instance, something as elementary as sharing UGC on your website or social media profiles will show your followers that you care about their experiences and will make them want to be part of your brand’s community.
A strategy with a similarly positive effect on customer engagement is employing value-based marketing. Research reveals that a growing number of buyers make buying decisions based on environmental, social, and governance factors. This proves that brands that want to build a positive image need to prove they’re invested in building a better future for their audience.
An excellent example of a brand employing value-based marketing comes from Ben & Jerry’s, a company that regularly shares its dedication to making the world a better, cleaner, more inclusive place.
Keep Up to Date with Market & Consumer Behaviour Insights
Are you looking to adopt a growth strategy that will serve you well into the future (and not just until the next consumer sentiment change starts happening)?
In that case, the best way to ensure the success of your business is to stay up to date with relevant industry trends. It doesn’t matter whether you achieve this by reading the right publications, listening to podcasts, or subscribing to a good investing newsletter. What matters is that you take the time to go through the new data, listen to expert opinions and advice, and make informed decisions regarding the future of your business.
Ultimately, you must remember that not all advice will work for your brand. However, by ensuring you know what’s happening in your industry and niche, you’ll prevent yourself from being blindsided by sudden consumer behaviour changes and give yourself enough time to prepare for even the most unfavourable circumstances.
Upgrade Your Website
Finally, as you explore growth strategies that will allow you to expand your business, don’t forget the easiest way to increase revenue for your brand: investing in your website.
Make regular design and UX upgrades. Ensure that the information you present is valuable to your audience and up-to-date. And don’t forget to publish content optimized for SEO and search intent so that you can effectively attract leads and convince them to become customers.
If you need help creating a site that’s guaranteed to contribute to your business’ growth, don’t hesitate to hire a first-class web design team so that you can rest easy knowing your brand’s future is in the right hands.
With the current economic climate, small business owners must prepare for the recession. However, in addition to cutting costs and optimizing work processes, there’s one more thing entrepreneurs need to do: explore opportunities that will allow them to expand their business despite the dire circumstances.
The five tips covered in this article are easy enough for anyone to implement. And, when done right, they could be the key to business growth. So don’t hesitate to give them a try. After all, even if the ROI is minimal, you’ll still have made an improvement that could potentially benefit your brand in the long run.
About the Author:
Sarah Kaminski is a business manager and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content. Twitter – @SarahKaminski10