A to Z of 2021 Home Schooling for Business (Part 2, E-J)
Welcome to the second instalment.
The Pandemic in 2021 is still affecting our lives and businesses.
Here are some more tips, following on from part one (A-D) on how to improve and grow your business.
E – Environment/Energy
Operating a green business is imperative for all businesses. Creating and leading positive change is a big marketing tool as well as being good for our planet and for your bottom line. Adhering to the 3 Rs of Waste (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and conserving resources can actually save your business money in the long-run.
From little changes like stocking the office with reusable pens - ones which simply have their inks refilled, to practising green procurement. Review your procurement policies when looking for suppliers and choose to source goods and services that have been produced sustainably and don’t require excessive packaging. Purchase products that can be recycled/reused and are made from renewable materials.
Finding suppliers in your area is a good place to start with green procurement. Are there any local companies that can supply your business with what it needs? Sourcing locally you also reduce delivery miles, support your local economy and maybe even gain another client (you scratch my back, I will scratch yours). Whether this is a local butcher, baker or even vegetable grower. Specialist local producers can also give you offering a unique quality whilst benefiting the environment.
Does your business really need new furniture?’ Is there a way of updating or upcycling the older pieces? It’s less expensive than buying new, and it’s better for the environment.
More and more businesses are embracing
renewable energy in a big way as they begin to feel the impacts of the climate crisis where it matters most: their bottom lines. Many are finding that there’s an awful lot of green to be made in a renewable energy-powered economy.
Power your office with alternative energy which is generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and plant matter. Power suppliers now flaunt their green credentials so shop around not just for the best deal for you but also for the planet.
Work with these suppliers to promote each other’s businesses and promote the green credentials to your customers.
Packaging is one of the biggest areas that many businesses especially those operating takeaways can impact. Shop around for a partner with this especially if you are looking to expand and grow to multiple outlets. Find a supplier that meets your needs in terms of being environmentally friendly, but also in your packaging and branding requirements.
F – Flexibility
Some of the businesses that are struggling during this pandemic are those that aren’t willing to adapt, or frankly can’t adapt because their business model doesn’t allow them to put things in a cardboard box.
The ongoing pandemic has fast-tracked the already evident move towards convenience and fast casual dining.
Restaurants need to embrace the change and work towards making their offerings more accessible whether that is lowering costs, meal kits (maybe with online cooking guide, whether a live interactive event or a pre-recorded video, or a ready cooked takeout option.
Adaptability to maybe providing different meals such as a Hot breakfast and lunch options for home workers instead of an evening meal.
Or even offer a complete day solution with a breakfast, easy to heat lunch and a prepared meal kit dinner delivered daily.
G – Generations
The most effective way to market your growing business is to customize the marketing strategy to your target customer demographics. One of the key demographics now are the different generations and their expectations and needs. The internet now allows growing businesses to effectively customize their approach to marketing to different generations at affordable costs.
Think about your target market, define who they are as individuals born at different points of time have distinct preferences in what they value, how they spend their money, and what advertising channels they use. Recognizing these differences in your customers is essential for not only how you market but also what and where you market, to maximize the gains from your marketing spends.
The Centennials (Born since 2000)
Do not discount these! Having grown up with the internet and smart phones, these can be an ideal demographic to market too!
Avoid direct marketing with this demographic. Use social media sites such as Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram to build brand awareness through clever, inspiring, funny and informative videos, pictures and quotes.
These can be key decision makers and are future if not already potential customers for your business.
Millennials (Born between 1981 and 1995)
This young generation that has grown up on technology will soon surpass baby boomers as the largest age group. Millennials are more educated and have more choices than any other generation before them. They are unpredictable, not always brand loyal, and are just as comfortable buying online as they are buying off the rack. If you are targeting this group –
Have a strong online presence, including blogs and social media.
Adopt the latest technology trends to market to this generation.
Ensure that the promotional e-mailers are compatible for mobile viewing!
Benefit from their impulsiveness by offering additional items for purchase at the checkout point.
Generation X (Born between 1965 and 1980)
This generation is an important target market because these individuals are at the peak of their earning and spending years. While they weren’t born in the internet era, majority use smart phones and regularly access social media. This generation does not want to just follow trends/ styles and is not easily convinced.
Avoid hard core sales tactics.
Convince them of your business claims with research and customer testimonials.
Combine traditional marketing efforts with digital promotional tools such as Facebook, email marketing, and online adverts.
Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964)
This demographic are individuals who focused on hard work, individualism, and social activism. They value trust, loyalty, and sense of community. Many baby boomers are retired or will be retiring soon.
They will search for product information online, and through calls and emails.
However, they place higher faith in face-to-face communication.
They would be interested in knowing what your business stands for.
Discounts and bargain deals will appeal more to this demographic than any other.
The Silent Generation (born between the mid-1920s and 1945)
Also known as “Traditionalists,” this category has 50 million consumers. This generation displayed tremendous resolve to overcome the impact of the Great Depression and World War II. They seek value for money, comfort, and a sense of belonging. Many of them are active seniors and do not like to be regarded as ‘old or dependent’.
They are the least likely to make an impulsive purchase
Target them with traditional marketing tools such as flyers, newsletters and postcards, although keep in mind that some of them will use the internet to search for information.
The promotional material should be in larger font for ease of reading
Use grammar and language that they will appreciate
Use a single image (one that conveys emotions) rather than a collage
H – Hygiene
Hygiene is more important than ever now for the hospitality industry. Companies are likely to continue building on and improving their various healthy stay programs and partnerships in the new year as they look to not only assure guests but separate themselves from the competition. Now more than ever you need to promote a great sense of hygiene and cleanliness not only in your business but also in your marketing and into your brand.
As the world adjusts to the virus and efforts to contain the spread. It is essential that these concepts are a priority for hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes. Measures here must include the provision of hand gel, increased cleaning of areas where customers will be, implementing policies related to wearing masks or other protective equipment, and ensuring social distancing rules are respected. Any special rules need to be made clear ahead of time and need to be enforced to make people feel safe.
Include a health and safety video on your website, pictures and clips on your social media showcasing all the detailed steps you’ve taken to reduce risks and keep customers safe.
In 2021, these protocols will continue to be important and a regular part of day-to-day activities. Customers will expect businesses to have clear processes that they’ve been holding up for the past year.
Everything from wearing masks to constant disinfection of surfaces must be nailed down as part of regular operations and included in your operations manual and health and safety policy. Doing as much as possible to help ensure customer safety and food safety will be key for businesses hoping to remain open and curb the spread around the globe.
I – Individualism
In the age of mass marketing, spam and junk emails and you tube ads, now more than ever you need to have an edge if you want people to engage with your marketing.
Personalization in emails and marketing can be achieved with the compiling of a customer database. Collecting as much information on your customers and working it into your marketing can be highly effective.
Tailoring your offering to an individual customer needs or even remembering their preference for a certain type of coffee, brand of beer, room type, newspaper etc can not only impress your guests but also inspire brand loyalty.
Customers want to feel not only like the most important person in the room but also like a family member. Remembering things such as a birthday or anniversary can make a huge impact on a customer’s perception of your business.
A recent personalization Report concluded that:
71% of shoppers say there’s “some level of frustration” when shopping experiences aren’t personal.
48% of shoppers unintentionally buy a product after getting a personalized brand recommendation.
25% of shoppers think personalization is the No. 1 improvement needed by brands and retailers.
By examining behaviour, gathering data and curating feedback you can start to market effectively.
These are steps that businesses today need to take if they want to create meaningful experiences for their customers. Listen: personalization marketing isn’t just a buzz-phrase. Customers still crave the personal touch.
Are you greeting them at the proverbial door? Offering service with a smile? Guiding and encouraging them to purchase when they have doubts? If not, you need to be!
Thankfully, modern tools and analytics make the process of creating positive customer experiences so much easier.
J – Journal
The dictionary describes the word as:
a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations: She kept a journal during her European trip.
a newspaper, especially a daily one.
a periodical or magazine, especially one published for a special group, learned society, or profession: the October issue of The English Journal.
a record, usually daily, of the proceedings and transactions of a legislative body, an organization, etc.
(in the double-entry method) a book into which all transactions are entered from the daybook or blotter to facilitate posting into the ledger.
Your journal should be three separate things:
1. As a to do list and list of events that need actioning. Customer requests, orders, stock issues, staffing issues etc. This should be updated daily with any outstanding items moved onto the next days page. You should also include any ideas or thoughts you, your staff or customers have regarding improving or changing your business.
2. A video/audio/written account of the day in business to promote via social media for your customers to engage with. Photos of your food/drink/rooms, videos of staff and/or customers in action, behind the scenes videos, interviews with customers/staff/suppliers, a thought of the day, inspiring quote, funny anecdote etc.
3. Your financial journal: daily bookkeeping, cash flow and cheques/bills paid/outstanding.
Doing these three will enable you to run your business must more efficiently and smoothly.