This year was challenging for everyone, especially small business owners. COVID-19 and the economic fallout have highlighted the weak points in companies’ strategy, inventory, marketing, and transportation. Anticipating future trends in the face of so much uncertainty is more vital than ever. Here's a rundown of what your business can focus on heading into 2021.
One important issue that business owners and retailers have faced is a disruption in the delivery of supplies. A lot of companies get their materials or products from remote destinations; often from China or other locations. The pandemic has shown that with no flexibility and additional vendors, it is complicated to manage your normal sales flow. Additionally, many local businesses have been struggling with staying in the market because of the competition with larger players. These circumstances have created the need to collaborate on the local level. This way you can support the community and diversify your network of suppliers and partners.
While it has been an ongoing trend for the last several years, in 2020, the need to go digital skyrocketed. The e-commerce market is anticipated to grow more than ever, so establishing a robust digital presence is a must for small businesses. Essentially, it is beneficial to use as many channels as possible, but the key focus will still remain on web presence.
Supply chains are getting more flexible, short-cycled, and regional. This means small businesses should put more focus on their stock and inventory management. During the pandemic, it was hard to predict demand. So many companies were left with tons of stock, or on the contrary - couldn’t sustain a demand. Staying sensitive and reactive to customer demand will help businesses stay flexible.