Most business owners (and people!) are looking forward to moving on from 2020 and into a new year. While there will of course still be large challenges for businesses in 2021, many entrepreneurs and business owners are heading into January feeling hopeful.
Why? Of course positive news around vaccines is encouraging, but more so, many business owners feel the lessons they learned over the course of the pandemic will make them stronger in 2021 and beyond. Here are five New Year’s Resolutions from business owners who persevered through 2020 and are going into 2021 stronger than ever.
Harness the Power of Community. Building an online community doesn’t happen overnight, but it is well worth the effort. We found and built a community of crystal lovers near and far that helped us turn the business around entirely online. In fact, we were able to increase our sales during the pandemic and actually increased the size of our staff as a result of believing and investing in our community. — Crystal Paula Hopkins, Owner of Chakra Zulu
Adopt Tech That Allows Your Business to Thrive. Some tools lend themselves better to the nature of your business. Find what works for you and run with it! When COVID hit, we saw a 250% increase in messages from guests who needed to cancel or reschedule their trips because of the pandemic. It was hard for our small team to keep up initially, especially since we’re not always sitting in front of a computer checking emails. We found the Business Inbox in Messenger helped us manage all the queries we were receiving, because it was quick and convenient to respond, whether we were in the office or on the river. — Matt Volpert, Owner of Kern River Outfitters
Provide Value Beyond Your Product. In 2020, we learned how important it was to engage with our community before trying to sell to them. We started doing weekly Facebook Live conversations, inviting doctors, educators, fitness enthusiasts and more to come and speak with us and our customers. Our community was grateful for the valuable and informative content we were producing, and became more engaged with our brand overall. — Shannette Prince, Founder of Africa on My Back
Don’t Just Do Things The Way You Always Have Before. In 2020, we learned that we needed to rethink some of our tried and true strategies. Everyone’s inboxes are so cluttered now, so we started promoting sales via Instagram Stories where our most engaged customers were. We found that this felt like special access and a privilege that email blasts just don’t do anymore. — Danie Spikes, CEO of Beloved Box
Solve an Unmet Need. We originally planned to start a rehabbed furniture business after some success we had renovating furniture and selling it for a profit on Facebook Marketplace. By the time we launched in October 2020, however, we were in the throes of the pandemic, and we realized that what our neighbors and community really needed were better shopping options for everyday items. We pivoted to a general store and grocery business instead. That proved to be the right decision: as soon as we opened, we saw shoppers were coming from counties away just to get their basics. Realizing there were still some people weary of shopping in person, we created an online store and used a Shopify integration on our Facebook page so customers could shop directly online and take advantage of our curbside pickup. The word has spread around the area and we’ve gained 2,600 followers on Facebook in just three months. — Derek Loeffel, Co-Owner of Labadie General Store
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for your small business? Consider adding some of these to your list if they resonated with you.