According to the Federal Reserve, 600,000 businesses, or roughly 8.5 % of all businesses close permanently every single year. And we all know, 2020 was an especially rough year for businesses. While we all hope the pandemic was a one-time setback, we still know that half of businesses will close their doors within 5 years, and some never even get off the ground. What can you do to ensure that your business has the ability to not just survive but thrive through uncertainty?
The key is creating multiple revenue channels and cultivating an online presence. We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This absolutely applies in business as well. In order to set your business up to thrive through any obstacle, you’ll want to diversify your business model, create multiple revenue streams and employ various marketing tactics.
Here’s 3 ways to set up your business to thrive:
Create an Online Stream of Revenue
As a business owner in the 21st century, it’s essential to establish an online presence early on in your business. If this hasn’t been your priority, the good news is that it’s never too late to get started! The internet is not going anywhere, and it is just going to become more and more prevalent in our lives.
During the tumultuous last 18 months, businesses that were present online made huge strides. They were minimally affected financially as opposed to those that only had a brick and mortar storefront. Social media has been especially key! The online game proved to be the key to thriving in the midst of a pandemic, but it can also carry you through any type of local crisis. When your customers represent a wide geographic area, anything affecting the local economy is not going to affect you in the same way as other local businesses.
Build an Engaged Online Community
It’s important to have a way for your customers to purchase your products or services online, but creating an online community will also solidify their investment in you and your business. In times of scarcity or when people need to make decisions about where they spend their money, it will be with you. People want to buy from people, not just big brands that they have no connection with. When they’re buying from a person, they feel connected to that person.
When it comes to big box stores, people are just looking for the cheapest deal, the best thing, or the fastest shipping. But when they are connected to a person in a brand, then they’re willing to spend more, and they are willing to allow more time to get it. They are even more willing to pay for that personal touch and that connection. Truthfully, they are paying for more than the product itself.
The good news is, you don’t need to know what you’re doing to create a community online. When I started out blogging 6 years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing. Basically, I just jumped in head first. I made some mistakes, and I learned a lot along the way. Now, I have a Facebook community 782K strong and I work to build my community every single day. It’s all about showing up for them, providing for them and engaging with them. They know ME.
Hire a Team That Can Thrive On Their Own
Once you’ve established your brand and sales tactics, and you’ve got everything going and moving along in the right direction, you can hire people to help you with all of the moving parts. Having a trusted team that can speak for you and do the work in your absence, frees you up for a multitude of obstacles and daily responsibilities. There are a multitude of things that come up in life that will take your time and attention. Elderly parents, sick children, time off for appointments are just a few.
At the very least, having help frees you up to just do work on the go. As a busy mom, I’m working a lot. Since my business is online and I have a team in place to do administrative work and shipping, I can do many things from the comfort of my smartphone. I can answer emails when I have a free minute in the carpool line, go live in the grocery store, or communicate with my team from anywhere.
Most of us start our own businesses for flexibility and work/life balance. Unfortunately, many of us end up working ourselves into burnout. Despite our goals, we often don’t utilize everything we can to set up our business to thrive while we enjoy the freedom of entrepreneurship. Learn to let go of some things, and it will change your life. Your business will be so much stronger in the end.