6 key business insights from an uncertain year

5 min read
Will Stevens

2020 has felt like the most uncertain time in the UK since the financial crisis of 2008.

That uncertainty has led to some people seeking out new opportunities. GoDaddy’s State of the Nation report revealed that 15% of new business ventures this year have been started because of a job loss or the furlough scheme.

Our wide-ranging survey also uncovered other key insights, which could help you improve the way you work in 2020 and beyond.

Start small if you need to

Want to start a new business but find yourself intimidated by the size of the task ahead? Or maybe you’ve already got one business up and running and want to add another string to your bow. In either situation, don’t be afraid to start small.

Our survey revealed that 22% of microbusinesses are launched as side hustles, which means the founders carry on working a job while they get their new venture up and running.

This approach is great if you want to experience running your own business without taking the plunge full-time.

It can also help you make sure that your business idea will work.

Lee Sharma, founder of Simply Do, kept his day job when he launched the company.

One thing I did was, when I was working in the education environment, I dropped my days down to three days week so I could then work and I could have some employed income coming in while I developed the idea,” he said.

During this time, Lee attended business conferences to ask people what they thought of his idea.

“The feedback I got was that the idea could be game changing. It could revolutionise how organizations deliver innovation, how people take ideas through to action. So, I kind of thought ‘I’m now committed to doing it’.”

Editor’s note: Lee was speaking as part of a virtual GoDaddy: Back to Business event. See the end of this post for details of other events in the series.

Think local

A third of businesses we surveyed said involvement with their local community has always been important, while a further quarter said it’s more vital than ever for them to have a positive impact on their local area.

For many businesses, the customers will be drawn from the area around them, so it makes sense to foster good links with the community and give something back when possible.

You can learn more about how small businesses can get involved with their local community here.

Think different

You don’t have to be told that 2020 was a year of disruption, with businesses of all sizes having to make drastic changes because of lockdown and social distancing.

However, only 8% of the businesses surveyed by GoDaddy are planning to grow by offering services virtually online.

This means that there could be a gap in the market waiting to be filled by you.

If you can identify an in-person service that you can deliver remotely, you can use it to expand your business’s offering, or as a basis for a new business.

If you need an easy way to offer online appointments, consider using GoDaddy’s Website Builder as this feature comes as standard.

Plan to be social

Uncertain times mean that keeping people up to date about what’s going on with your business is crucial.

The State of the Nation survey found that 23% of businesses plan to grow by posting more on social media.

There’s no doubt that social media can help you attract new customers, but you need a plan to make it work.

You can learn how to create a social media marketing strategy in this guide.

It’s also worth noting that only 11% of businesses plan to send email marketing campaigns as part of their growth efforts, which marks this out as a potentially underused channel.

You need to grow your email list before you can start using it for successful campaigns, so consider combining it with your other marketing efforts.

For example, if you capture people’s email addresses as part of your social media marketing, you can send a follow-up campaign further down the line.

You can learn more about getting started with email marketing in this guide. You’ll also need an email marketing tool like the one offered by GoDaddy to run your campaigns.

Get a professional email address

What do potential customers think when they see your email address? If you’re using a free email account, the chances are they’re less than impressed.

The State of the Nation report found that 64% of respondents use an email address related to their business, so if you’re in the minority who doesn’t, your rivals may be getting the drop on you.

That’s because an email address that’s related to your business can look more professional and help your name stick in the mind of customers.

You can learn more about getting a professional email address in this guide, or you can get a business email address from GoDaddy here.

Summing up

Hopefully, we’ve sparked your imagination and if you’re hungry for more inspiring tips and advice, why not join one of our forthcoming GoDaddy: Back to Business virtual events?

The dates and virtual locations are:

M1 Corridor (Northamptonshire) – 10am 8.10.20 – Register here.

South East (Southampton) – 10am 20.10.20 – Register here.

London – 10am 3.11.20 – Register here.

Manchester Metropolitan Area – 10am 17.11.20 – Register here.

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