Taking a small business to the next level is a goal many entrepreneurs have. When establishing your business growth strategy for 2020, it’s important to research current trends so you can figure out how to capitalize on them with your business. Learn how your business can align activities with 2020 opportunities so you can see more revenue.
Identifying the Prevailing Trends of 2020
There are many ways to attain the business growth for which you’re looking. One such way is to tie your company to current cultural, political and economic trends. This way, your offerings align with topics the media and consumers are already thinking and talking about, giving you a built-in growth channel. Some popular 2020 trends include:
- 2020 U.S. election: With this being an election year and a close one at that, many businesses are choosing to put their support behind a political party with which they share common values.
- COVID-19: As this outbreak develops, the entire economy may shift. It is important to pay attention to changes as this issue morphs rapidly, and to be involved in your community in helping prevent the spread. It will also be prudent to be aware of those who may lose their jobs or receive reduced income, become sick, or lose a loved one, so it is important to remain empathetic and understanding.
- Climate change: A hot-button issue for the last few years, many consumers are choosing which businesses to use based on their environmental and sustainability practices.
- Gender equality: The "Me Too" movement and several women’s marches throughout the country have shed light on the inequality many women still face in the workplace and in society.
- Personal well-being: More and more consumers are focusing on the importance of self-care, physical health and mental health.
- Technological advances: Consumers of all demographics use technology to make their lives easier, more efficient and less stressful.
- Personal connection: In opposition to technology growth, many consumers are also craving a more human interaction with businesses.
These 2020 trends have the potential to affect the market and consumer behavior. In your 2020 business strategy, it’s critical to understand how your business can tie into current trends in order to find avenues of growth. Opt for trends that have long-term potential, rather than those that may fade away in a few months.
Establishing Your Business Growth Goals
What do you want to achieve in 2020? Outline your goals and tie them into the current trends of the year where you see opportunities for growth.
Your goals may include:
- Improving your bottom line: In order to be more profitable, you will need to curb your expenses and increase your revenue.
- Increasing market penetration: Conduct market research to understand more about your target audience and how you can reach them.
- Hire more employees: With a growing business, you may need to increase the size of your team. Make sure you have enough cash flow to make payroll when adding resources.
- Focus on customer service: Differentiate yourself from the competition by creating a customer experience like no other.
- Increase your presence online: Gain market share by changing your business model to include an e-commerce store.
While outlining your goals, see where they fit in with 2020 trends. For example, you may be able to improve profitability by changing your production process to be more sustainable. Including this information in your marketing materials may help you attract more environmentally minded consumers.
If you’re hiring more employees, consider developing an inclusion and diversity policy for your business, or hiring workers who have lost their jobs due to economy effects of COVID-19. By including this information in your job description, you may be able to attract top talent to help grow your business. Aligning your business plan and goals with current trends can help you to increase your customer base and improve your sales.
Learning About Changes to Your Target Market
Having a consumer profile for your target market is an integral part of strategic business planning and market research. This reference document can help you understand who your customers are, what they value and how you can help them. Remember that your consumer profile needs to be updated frequently. Your potential customers may change their needs, attitudes and beliefs from time to time.
Find growth opportunities by understanding how the demographics, geographics, psychographics and behavioral qualities of your target market have changed. For example, your target audience may have started craving more personal attention from businesses rather than having to deal with a computer all the time. As a result, you can offer more one-on-one customized service to meet their needs. If your audience is more into their personal well-being than they were before, consider offering a new product that helps them get better sleep or more exercise.
Realigning Your Business With 2020 Trends
Your market research and consumer research can help you develop business growth strategies in 2020. Pivoting your business to meet current trends doesn’t have to require major changes. Sometimes, small shifts in messaging or a tweak to your service can help your business to improve sales and reach new markets and new customers.
Consider growing your business by:
- Developing new products or services that are a subset of your existing business: For example, if you run a bakery, try a low-carb or keto product line for consumers who are focusing on their well-being. Product development doesn’t have to mean creating an entirely new product or service.
- Changing the way you promote your business: Perhaps your business already values gender equality by ensuring that your board is 50% female. Include this information on your "about us" page on your website.
- Reworking your process: Can you incorporate technology to make your service more efficient? This may appeal to younger consumers or those who value their time. For example, a calendar booking tool on your website makes it easy for customers to book a consultation with you without having to go back and forth over email.
- Focusing on your values: While it’s important to align with current trends, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your company’s values. Consumers can often see when a business is pandering to an audience segment.
Building a 2020 Marketing Strategy
The modern consumer is careful about which businesses they trust. In order to attain small-business growth, it’s important to be transparent, honest and gimmick-free in your marketing messaging. Existing customers and new customers alike want to work with businesses that share their values. Be clear in your promotions about what matters to your business by sharing how your company aligns with current trends.
Choose your promotions mediums based on your industry and consumers. While many businesses are moving their advertising and marketing efforts online, some small businesses still find more success with in-person selling and printed materials. Conduct research to see which is more effective for you.
Tie in any initiatives at your business that are in line with current 2020 trends on your social media pages. For example, talk about how you’re celebrating International Women’s Day and Earth Day or what kind of new technology you just implemented in your business. Be sure to share plenty of pictures, as they captivate the attention of your consumers longer than just text.
Measuring Your Growth in 2020
Track the success of your 2020 product launches by carefully measuring sales before, during and after your promotion. Be sure to ask for customer feedback so you can get a pulse on their sentiment toward your 2020 products and services. Your customers may be able to provide you with valuable insight that you can use to grow your business.
If your 2020 growth initiatives are not meeting your standards, you may need to reconsider your approach. Perhaps your message isn’t translating well to your audience, or perhaps the product doesn’t meet their new needs. Perhaps the market has changed and elasticity of demand isn't in your favor. Be sure to evaluate your results on a regular basis and make changes to help you reach the stage of growth you desire.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.