The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to businesses worldwide and small business owners were among the hardest hit. Now in 2023, the business landscape is gradually recovering, but consumer behaviors have shifted and small business owners must understand and adapt in order to thrive in this new environment. Here are 4 post-covid trends impacting your small business in 2023.
Increase Opportunities for Connection and Personalization: We all remember the months of being cooped up in our homes with little to no connection with the outside world, so it’s probably no surprise to you that personalization and experiences are at an all-time high right now for our customers. Consumers are thirsty for connection and the more personalized touch-points you can build in your process and services, the better. There are many possibilities for how to create a greater connection with your clients. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:
- Pick up the phone: When you get a client inquiring about your services, instead of shooting them off a quick email, pick up the phone and call them, personally. Spend a few minutes getting to know them and share the product options that would fit their needs best. This time spent talking personally to potential clients will go a long way in building trust and increasing your sales.
- Send thank-you cards or gift cards: Once a client has booked your services, take a few minutes to fill out a handwritten card or send them a Starbucks gift card in their inbox. This is a wonderful little surprise and delight for your clients and lets them know you truly appreciate the opportunity to work with them. Handwrytten is a company that will write and deliver a cute, custom card right to your client’s mailbox to let them know you are thinking about them.
- Live-experiences: Potential clients are looking for the chance to engage with you and there is no better way to do that than through live experiences. Whether it’s Facebook live, Instagram live, a webinar, or Zoom, giving a chance for clients to engage with you, learn about your offerings, and ask questions is a MUST in 2023.
- Message through social media: With social media being all the rage, there is a great opportunity to create connection with potential clients through social media messaging. When someone comments or likes your post, try sending them a quick DM to thank them for taking the time to like your post. Don’t send spam, don’t try to sell, and don’t ask for anything. Simply reach out and genuinely thank them for their engagement with your feed.
Your Brand & Values Matter: I know you’ve heard this many times, but consumers want to buy from people they know, like, and trust. The more you put yourself out there and show who you are and what you value most, the more consumers who align with your values will be attracted back to your business. Gone are the days of the perfectly polished Instagram feed. Today’s consumers want to know what’s behind the scenes of your business and if you align with their values. Share on social media the behind-the-scenes of your business. This can include sharing your day as a mother, showing your biggest mistake as a small business owner, or something as simple as your favorite book recommendations. All these things will help reinforce your values to potential consumers. The most important thing here is to be authentic to who you are and not worry about showing the messy, underside to your life and business.
Entrepreneurs are Competing for Consumer Attention: When the pandemic hit in 2020, the consumer world shifted from big-box retailers to online sales. This new digital world has resulted in a massive influx of entrepreneurs competing with each other to get noticed on social media platforms. There is SO much stimulation online and you only have about 3 seconds to attract a consumer’s attention. So how do you get noticed? Here are the best ways to stand out in the sea of social media:
- Know Your Target Audience: Understand who your target audience is and what content they are interested in.
- Create High-Quality Content: Creating valuable content is the #1 way to get noticed online. Invest in creating content that your target audience would see as high-value, something they want to know or they could learn from to be better in their own business.
- Be Consistent: Establish a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and aware of your presence. Consistency helps build trust and reliability with your followers.
- Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments, messages, and mentions promptly. Show appreciation for your followers and encourage conversations to build a loyal community.
Consumer’s are Hesitating More and Spending Less: The pandemic’s economic impact and high levels of inflation have left many people with reduced income, leading to a more cautious approach to spending and a shift towards saving and prioritizing essential purchases. As a result, businesses must be mindful and find ways to build consumer confidence, such as offering flexible payment options and diversifying their product offerings. Now more than ever it’s important to have low-ticket options to get consumers in the door and give them a chance to work with you. When evaluating a low-ticket option, present something that is high-value to your target client, but low-cost or low-touch for you to make it worth your time and effort.
There is no doubt that Covid has created a change in the way our customers interact with our businesses. Understanding these 4 post-covid trends impacting your small business gives you the opportunity to adapt and adjust your business to stand out in 2023. By creating more personalization, communicating your values, creating captivating content, and diversifying your offerings you will position your small business for success and growth in the years to come.