Whether you’re just launching a small business for 2021 or you are manning the ship of an existing enterprise, you know that keeping a business afloat is a constant battle. You need to remain on your toes and take advantage of every opportunity to succeed.

On top of that, you have to make your own opportunities! Through marketing, outreach, and proper research, you can keep your small business on track for a successful first quarter—pandemic and all. However, you need to plan ahead.

You don’t need to be reminded that the stakes are high. The majority of small businesses fail. But you don’t need to sit back and allow your business to become a statistic!

Here are 3 ways Microsoft Business software can keep your small business on track to turn a profit in 2021.

  1. Take the Time to Focus On Digital Strategies

A lot of brick and mortar-based businesses have found themselves wrought by the coronavirus crisis. However, a lot of companies can take this opportunity to really dig in and refine their digital marketing strategies.

The internet space moves quickly. You have the chance to capitalize on nascent opportunities if you keep up with digital marketing trends and ecommerce trends. There are always new ways to make money or increase conversions by tweaking your business’ digital presence.

Try to outpace and outsmart your competition by creating a corona-proof marketing plan. Think outside the box. Things like innovative Facebook advertising strategies can be as simple as timing—they can also save you money in your advertising budget!

Understanding the power of a good email list is vital to nurturing your existing customer base. If you want your business to survive in the long haul, you should be focused on branding. And a successful branding strategy means keeping customers coming back; providing value reliably; establishing trust by integrating with the communities served.

There is a whole world of digital marketing we can’t cover in this post, but email marketing and social media marketing are two examples of low-hanging fruit in the digital space that you can get started with today, for free.

If you haven’t invested either time nor money in digital marketing strategies before, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from starting today.

  1. Upgrade Your Systems

As busy as you are as a small business owner, you know that time can slip through your fingers as easily as melted butter. It seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything we want done, right?

But time is passing you by. The systems and processes you use are being revised and changing every day in the hands of other companies. Software is being updated. Life goes on. You are up to date with the trends and latest forecasts in your industry.

What about in the accounting software you use? What about the software you use to keep track of stock options and payroll? Did you know that there are software companies which condense all of these programs into one interface?

Enterprise resource management programs (ERPs) like Microsoft Dynamics gp can manage your company’s stock, your payroll, your business relationships, and so much more. If you haven’t considered condensing your business’ standard operating procedures this way, you definitely should: the time and headspace saved not having to learn a wide swath of different programs is priceless.

  1. Refresh Your Buyer Persona

Let’s face it: buyers’ habits are sure to have changed over the course of the pandemic, because what hasn’t changed? You need to stay up to date with the habits of consumers—especially your target audience. In the digital age, their wants and needs can already fluctuate hour to hour. COVID-19 has essentially thrown a wrench into what was already a soup of uncertainty.

Have you created a buyer persona before? If not, you’re missing an integral part of your marketing strategy. Your most challenging competitors all have them; why don’t you?

It’s not difficult, but it is an exercise that involves reframing how you perceive your business. As the owner or manager of a small company, as much as we try to tell ourselves otherwise, it’s easy to lose sight of the customer’s experience as we deal with the minutiae that comes with running a business.

And that’s normal! It’s perfectly OK. It just means that from time to time, you need to take stock and refocus on the value you’re providing to your clients. What problem are you solving for them? Are there gaps in service that you can spackle in the coming quarter?

Start from the ground up. As yourself what your ideal customer is searching for in their quest to end up with your company.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].