Even though COVID-19 has devastated most plans last 2020, many small businesses have seen tremendous growth. Some of the most important strategies associated with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) include remote working, as pointed out by Etia editor Jennifer Willy.
Wily claims that considering working in a traditional office is different from working remotely, it is essential to mention your skills. Business owners and HR professionals, on the other hand, are finding new ways to train their employees while remotely working.
In addition, the process of digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic. The digital technological transformation includes mobile applications, automation, artificial intelligence (AI) usage, etc. All these factors have strongly impacted consumer habits.
Lastly, as most of the companies and business houses have faced loss and stagnation this year, she predicts that they will be focused on profitability. Even though growth is important, sales revenue and profits will be the decisive factor this year.
These are just some observations and plans on how businesses can recover from the unforeseen events of the previous year. To help us understand this issue more and to learn from actual experiences, we have talked to a few of our peers from various industries. Below are their thoughts:
Dr. Joseph Salim DMD, the Owner and Founder of Sutton Place Dental Associates shares:
Bring in More Specialists
We are a multi-specialty dental office. In 2021 we plan to bring more specialists into the practice to see patients needing orthodontic or endodontic work. Hence, we will no longer have to send them outside to other providers (which previously led to a loss of revenue from those referrals, since there is no revenue sharing with other outside providers in dentistry).
By bringing in the right specialists, and keeping everything in-house (same overhead expenses), we will keep 50 percent of the generated profits, while the specialists keep the other half.
Incorporate New Sets of Treatments
We also continue to seek to add more verticals by incorporating new sets of treatments, including management of sleep apnea through sleep devices, offering Invisalign (invisible braces), and therapeutic Botox. Adding these verticals has already resulted in increased revenue levels. We plan to continue doing the same in 2021.
Expand Horizontally to Another Location
Currently, as a result of geopolitical forces and the global pandemic, the price of commercial real estate in many parts of the US, including NYC, our city, has decreased dramatically. Some drops range around 25 to 30 percent or even more. Moreover, with interest rates being at historic lows, you can now borrow money at rates below 3 percent, reducing the costs of financing dramatically. As a result of these events, we have started looking to buy and add a second location to our business, taking advantage of these socioeconomic anomalies.
Many older dentists and business owners contemplate retirement and want to sell their practices and locations. As a result, the inventory of available businesses has increased quite a bit, which has lowered the prices even more. Many dentists, especially those of higher ages, are uneasy and afraid of the current situation. They are wary of any expansion plans, and have become completely anti-risk. Their attitude creates an excellent long-term opportunity for those who are not afraid to take chances.
We need to remember that fear is the most paralyzing force known to humanity, preventing us from achieving our personal and professional goals, including scaling our businesses.
Simon Elkjær, the Chief Marketing Officer of avXperten advises:
Put a Premium on Social Media Marketing
If businesses want to recover from the damages brought by 2020 and conquer 2021, then as early as now, it is best for SMBs to work on boosting their company’s brand, expanding their reach, and attracting new customers.
Thankfully enough, one can do all of that through social media marketing. Making sure that your business has social media in the form of Facebook pages, YouTube channels, etc., makes it easier for customers to discover and engage with your business.
This new reach can do miracles for your business, but it does not mean that all of that comes easy. It is important for companies to be well-versed in social media marketing, know which content to create, and what audience to market to. Nonetheless, these efforts, when done right, can help one recover and maybe even conquer 2021.
Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President of altLINE says:
Keep Investing in Digitization
If 2020 taught businesses anything, it is how impressive adaptability can be achieved so long as digital tools and processes are in place. That is a lesson that should be carried well beyond COVID-19, with SMBs of all sizes prioritizing investing in digital channels, workflows, and tools as a long-term operational strategy.
Not only does digitization provide peace of mind to navigate future business disruptions, but it breeds efficiency and cost-savings, too. Digital-first operations and tools can cut down on human error in various workflows, which took time and money to correct.
It also is the first step to automating menial work, freeing you and your employees to put their heads on high-value tasks and activities that create an actual difference. Finally, it improves operational security, from record keeping to customer service to business finances.