For many small businesses, it has undeniably been a testing year. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and disrupting typical operations, SMEs have had to overcome a plethora of new challenges. This considered, there are still opportunities for businesses to maintain their viability and plan for future success.
By developing an enhanced understanding of any problems with their business’ product or service, owners can refine their offering/s and target audience to improve the appeal of their offering. This is central in effectively marketing to prospects, as you can pinpoint certain pain points and, respectively, create targeted campaigns that convincingly show how you can solve them.
Pursuing A Growth Strategy As A Small Business
Barker St., an online coffee marketplace and subscription service, is one small business that has managed to thrive in the midst of the global pandemic. This is largely because of their initial response. Rather than panicking when lockdown was becoming increasingly probable, they developed a strategic plan.
First and foremost, they invested in marketing, which drove brilliant digital results for their business. During the pandemic, 65 per cent of their revenue came from organic Google searches, while the remaining 35 per cent was from targeted paid online efforts, including Google ads and Facebook and Instagram retargeting campaigns.
Retargeting campaigns were a crucial component of their strategy. Whenever a user visited the Barker St. website or searched for similar products, they would start seeing targeted ads from the small business. This was used to capture their initial interest and, ultimately, to drive more conversions from promising leads.
When it came to their Google ads, Barker St. split their budget between promoting their marketplace and subscription service. In doing this, they could test which campaigns were more successful and; thus, which specific areas to invest in more than others.
Barker St. also diversified their offering, helping them appeal to a broader audience. Rather than purely selling coffee beans as they had in the past, they launched a new range of capsules and drip bags. Moreover, they welcomed customer feedback and, because of this, increased their number of roasters.
When pursuing a growth strategy, small businesses need to carefully consider whether their insurance policies are still sufficient. If you’re expanding your business, speak with your insurance advisor to ensure any new initiatives are covered under liability and other business insurance.
The importance of conducting research
In a rapidly evolving market, completing sufficient research to becoming familiar with changing conditions is imperative for businesses. It can help them understand different customer preferences and, respectively, cater to their audience’s expectations and needs.
When it comes to market research, there are various routes small businesses can take, including:
- Appointing a market research company;
- Getting feedback directly from members of the target market, such as on social media or with competitions or polls;
- Asking existing clients you know and trust for honest feedback;
- Looking at research completed by others, such as census data and industry trend reports;
- Requesting benchmarking industry reports from your accountant.
By leveraging this data, your small business can work to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities and/or ways to further refine your offering. Regardless of your circumstances, it can be well worth investing in pursuing ongoing learning and development.
In challenging circumstances, many small businesses find it beneficial to concentrate on what they can do better than their competitors, pushing this area of their business. By doing this, they can often drive growth – even when the market is far from ideal.
For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.
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