How Your Small Business Can Create a Better ‘New Normal’

The world has been profoundly changed over the course of the past eighteen months or so, and that light at the end of the tunnel – the notion of an impending normality to which we have all clung for so long – is beginning to take shape before our very eyes. What is becoming increasingly clear in the meantime, however, is the fact that the ‘new normal’ intends to be more than a mere ‘return’ – rather, it intends to draw upon – and, more importantly, emphasise – those aspects of life that brought joy, alongside a wealth of new ideas, plans, intentions and aspirations for the future.

Take a Proactive Approach to Topical Issues…

More so than ever before, consumers are looking for brands to engage with topical issues, as and when they arise. Some of the most pressing concerns of our modern age run in tandem with the wide world of ecommerce, which puts your small business at the heart of change. Utilising your website to better effect – for instance, this free landing page builder enables you to quickly create new, brand-cohesive landing pages as and when you need to communicate with your arriving customers – as well as, of course, devoting more time and energy into your social media campaigns should both represent the cornerstones of your brand’s proactive philosophy.

Increasingly, brands will feel the pull to ‘put their money where their mouths are’, so to speak, with regards to their own philosophies. It is no longer sufficient to state a commitment to pressing sociocultural issues; rather, it is time for brands to turn those sentiments into action.

…and Customer Support

These days, brands need to understand how to juggle supporting the broader picture, and supporting the individual, all at the same time.

When it comes to refurbishing your customer service offerings, the best thing to do is usually to look into a few notable examples, and to use them as a paradigm for your own setup. These days, a long list now exists of companies that offer proactive customer support – or, in other words, a system that seeks to offer solutions to customer problems, before they even arise.

Ecommerce and digital marketing can widen the gap between customer and brand, but it needn’t be the case – provided you understand how to continually reach out to them, and intentionally close that gap in order to improve the experience for all.

Lead with Sustainability…

We are, by now, all aware that it is undoubtedly the titans of the business world who are contributing the most toward negative climate change – it is one of the reasons why the argument for small, independent businesses is so strong. And, while many companies are committing more to sustainability with each passing year – for instance, Coca-Cola recently launched this prototype paper bottle – there remains a long way to go. Still, that’s not to say that smaller businesses can afford to grow complacent when it comes to sustainable practices and methodologies.

Rather, they can now position themselves at the forefront of change. Making an unwavering, comprehensive commitment to sustainability – from sustainable packaging to locally sourced products and ingredients, there are many ways small businesses can embrace sustainability and set an example for the wider industry.

…And Inclusivity

The fight for inclusivity and body diversity has been raging on for many years now – and yet, for some reason, many businesses continue to pass up the opportunity to offer a true representation of their customer base.

Again, while small businesses may feel compelled to follow the example led by the world’s B2C giants, they would be far better advised to follow ‘the path less trod’, and to make a clear commitment to better inclusivity and representation in their marketing campaigns, and the product ranges themselves.

Consumers are not turning to small businesses for their ability to mimic larger corporations; they find value in independently-run enterprises by virtue of the fact that their commitments lie elsewhere, and their understanding of their market is entirely different. As small business owners, understanding and utilising that unique relationship is the best thing you can do, both for the short- and long-term of your brand.

The small business will, by definition, never be able to take advantage of the exceedingly high level of visibility and market sway that the titans of the business world have at their disposal. This position does, however, hold its own benefits – most notably, a unique and organic relationship with customers, target markets, and wider social issues in which even the smallest of businesses can begin to affect change.

2021 will come to represent a year like no other, with a great deal of hope for the future – even beyond the topic of the pandemic. From sustainability to inclusivity and brand activism, the small business will certainly hold a powerful position in the new normal.

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