As we wave goodbye to a year nobody will be disappointed to see the back of, small businesses are both optimistic and cautious about what lies ahead in 2021. A survey by Bluehost shows what the leading concerns are for small businesses as we enter the New Year.
The top small business concern for 2021 is securing new customers. Web hosting specialists Bluehost surveyed 500 small business owners to gauge understanding of the challenges they face.
Top 3 Concerns of Small Business in 2021
44% of participants said securing new customers is their biggest concern. Lingering economic impacts from Covid-19 is a common worry among small businesses, with 30% citing it as their most pressing concern. 21% said lower sales and lower consumer demand will be their leading challenge in 2021.
Importance of Online Presence
With more people shopping online then ever more, small businesses are recognizing the importance of having a strong digital presence.
The findings of the survey reiterate the value for small businesses to adapt to the new business climates and consumer demands. 69% of those surveyed say the pandemic has led to them increasing online marketing efforts. 54% of businesses reported a boost in web traffic since the start of the lockdowns.
Suhaib Zaheer, SVP and General Manager of Bluehost, described the challenges small businesses have been up against as “unparalleled.”
“The small business community has faced unparalleled challenges in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, and their response speaks volumes to the resilience of small businesses. In an increasingly digital era accelerated by the pandemic, small business owners are adapting their business strategies to focus on online marketing efforts.”
Significance of Great Communication
The survey also shows how the pandemic has highlighted the value of having a digital presence for communication purposes. Bluehost asked small business owners what changes they will be making to nurture better methods of digital communication with customers.
45% said they plan to include social media links on their website. 42% of small businesses are going to update the wording or language of their website. Making a website more mobile-friendly is also high on the agenda, with 40% of participants cited this as a priority. Just less than 40% of small business owners say they plan to redesign their website in 2020.
Online Stores as a Route to Success
With the health crisis taking a heavy toll on physical shopping, small businesses are recognizing the need to sell online. 92% of the survey’s participants reported that it was important to be able to sell their products online. Almost half of small businesses (48%) say they have implemented an online store within the past 11 months. Just under a third of small businesses believe their revenue will come from online avenues in 2021.
Bluehost’s survey confirms there are challenges ahead for small businesses. However, the responses show that by prioritizing digital marketing and ecommerce, small businesses will be a better position to ride the storm.