The first quarter of 2021 is behind us and the second one is well underway. If you are a small business owner who is still worried about what this year has in store for you, take your cue from a survey which was done among your peers by Bill.com. These findings should raise your spirits and get you working to put your business on a firm footing as the general outlook is optimistic.
75% expect growth
In that survey, 75 percent of the 1,000 owners of small businesses polled revealed that they intended to introduce new services or products in a bid to spur business growth this year.
This should be a reminder to you that as a small business owner, the trajectory of your business is in your hands and you can either turn 2021 into one characterized by growth or one which sees your business sink lower. Most small business owners see growth on the horizon, and so should you!
Factors critical to business recovery
The owners of the businesses polled also think that a decision to ease lockdowns will be most critical to small business growth. 38% of the people polled hold this view in comparison to 26% who said that the increased involvement of the business owner in the way the business is run on a daily basis will be critical to growth.
Just 13% are of the view that financial support in the form of loans or government stimulus packages will be important if small businesses are to grow in the short term.
Taking matters into own hands
One interesting discovery made during the Bill.com survey is that small business owners opted to take matters into their own hands once the pandemic struck last year. One action taken was to implement price changes and offer discounts in order to keep sales coming. 51% took this step.
30% opted to reach out to new customers. As you may know, a time of crisis isn’t the time to slow down your marketing efforts since this will be guaranteed to sink your business. By increasing their customer outreach efforts, these small business owners made the right decision as they kept their businesses operational despite the pandemic.
26% of the small business owners polled decided to introduce new services or products to their customers in the wake of the pandemic. These product offerings may have been intended to serve a new need brought by the pandemic, or they may have been intended to address a previously unmet need of those clients.
23% renegotiated their payment terms with suppliers and customers. This is a logical step to take in light of the challenges triggered by the pandemic. For example, getting extended payment terms with your suppliers gives you wiggle room to have a healthy cash flow situation while adjusting payment terms with your clients can reduce cases of default on payments.
19% pivoted to new business models when the pandemic struck. This is a reasonable step to take especially in light of the changes brought by the pandemic. The lesson here is that your small business should be nimble and agile enough so that it can quickly adapt to any situation that develops.
For example, the pivoting can take the form of switching to ecommerce in light of the stay-at-home orders issued. By making this change, you can continue serving your customers without putting them or your staff at risk of exposure to the virus.
From cost-cutting to revenue generation
At the beginning of the pandemic, a huge number of small businesses went into overdrive in their bid to cut costs and ride out the storm.
However, now that the realization that the pandemic may be here for much longer than anyone can predict has become clear, there has been a shift by small businesses so that they generate more revenue in order to meet their expenses and stay afloat.
When you think about it, focusing on revenue generation is the only sustainable way to keep your business since there is a limit on how much you can cut costs and yet there is no upper limit on the revenue which your business can generate.
It is interesting to note that the extent to which small businesses were optimistic varied depending on a number of demographic factors. For example, younger business owners were generally more optimistic than their older counterparts were. Also, non-white small business owners were more upbeat regarding the outlook for 2021 while white owners of small businesses were less optimistic.
Without digging any deeper into those and other demographic differences revealed, it is worthwhile to note that your attitude has a large bearing on how your reality will play out. Therefore, the small business owners who are positive about the future are likely to take steps which create a successful year for their businesses while those who are pessimistic will have a bad case of a self-fulfilling prophecy. On which side do you want your small business to be at the end of 2021?
To Your Success,