If you’re a small business owner, no one needs to tell you about how much the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business climate. Companies of all shapes and sizes have had to change almost everything to survive the challenges and stay relevant. 

But now is not the time to give up. Instead, it’s time to move forward and put your business in a position to grow now and for years to come. By tapping into what consumers want and need, and being willing to make the necessary adjustments, you can do just that. Here are some strategies to help you get it done:

Update Your Business Structure

It’s essential that your business structure is working in your favor instead of holding you back. Revisit your company’s legal structure to determine if a change is in order. For instance, by forming an LLC, your business will get liability protection, tax advantages, and many other benefits. You just want to be sure you understand all the regulations in your state so that you don’t make the process more difficult than it needs to be. 

Set Up Payroll

If you plan to hire employees to help with your business, then you’ll need to set up payroll. In short, payroll is how you pay your employees, though the process can feel intimidating and a little overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with it.

Fortunately, there are options available that can simplify the process. Smallbiz apps for finance, such as payroll services offered by companies like QuickBooks, allow you to easily track your employee’s time, create 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC forms, file and pay your taxes on time. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the payroll process, these services can automate everything for you, allowing you to shift your focus to other areas of your business.

Upgrade Your Website

More and more consumers are using the web for shopping and finding businesses. Make sure your company is building and maintaining an online presence that will help you stay relevant and successful. The first step is to design an attractive, easy-to-use website that engages visitors while promoting your products or services. If you already have a website, evaluate it to see if you should bring in a professional to improve it.

Capitalize on Social Media Habits

Another way to build your online presence is to engage more on social media. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others are some of the most effective marketing channels you could ask for, and most of the features are either free or affordable. Becoming more active on social media can do wonders for growing your online presence, customer base, and sales. Let marketing consultant Loren Ross help you craft a digital marketing strategy.

Meet Customer Needs

The needs of people have changed drastically since the pandemic began. Just 14 months ago, who would have thought that delivery and curbside pickup would be a lifesaver for so many businesses? 

No matter what kind of business you run, make sure you are taking any necessary steps and making any necessary modifications to meet the needs of your customers. This might mean rethinking the products and services you provide. Put out surveys, listen to the people in your community, and study your industry to figure out what the needs are.

Improve Your Store

Finally, take time to think through how you can improve your store as a whole. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, what changes can you make to attract more customers and retain the ones you have? 

Maybe you need to redesign your store’s layout so that it better accommodates social distancing. Perhaps you should invest in training your staff for new protocols. You could even throw a fresh coat of paint on your storefront or install new flooring. Take an honest assessment of your business so that you can upgrade it to boost customer experience. 
As a small business owner, it’s critical that you stay flexible, especially in these times. Along with following the tips above, keep researching other ways that you can set your company up for long-term success. If you listen to customers and remain eager to make the necessary adjustments, you’ll be off to a great start. And when you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level, reach out to Loren.

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