What Small Businesses Must Do to Succeed in 2021

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

2020 is finally over, and it’s about time we all get a fresh start. This past year was a wake-up call for many businesses and was a true test of strength, preparedness and adaptation. According to recent reports, there are nearly 32 million small businesses in America employing 47% of workers. The pandemic has forced more than 400,000 of them to close and many are still struggling to stay afloat. However, as big of a toll the virus has taken on the world, many businesses found ways to pivot during these hard times and take advantage of the opportunities available online. 2020 has brought on many challenges which forced many brands to sink or swim and has fundamentally changed the way we live, communicate and work. If your business isn’t online, you are already behind. 

In order to have a more successful year this time around, you will have to focus on all corners of your digital marketing including your website, social media and emails. One of the major habits you’ll want to pick up for the new year is getting outside your comfort zone. When you are trying to figure out what works best for you, don’t be afraid to try new things. Be conservative with how far you take things and make data driven decisions moving forward. There’s always going to be new features, tools and opportunities that arise when you are using the internet, so take advantage of what’s out there. If you’re unsure, just ask an expert like us, but if you want to do it yourself, doing it right requires more than a leap of faith. If you want to succeed this year in your marketing efforts and run a more efficient business, you’ll have to make educated decisions. Educated decisions require data analysis, and when you make decisions based on data, you can ensure you are making the best one. Remember, it’s not about what you think, it’s about what your customers think; data offers a better way to understand them through performing targeting, testing, and an analysis of different demographics. Just by looking at the type of engagement you are getting and number of click through rates, you can get a better understanding of what your customers are thinking. Analyze all your communication channels and keep communication with your audience consistent, so you stay top of mind and keep the interest up. This is an important year to stay on your toes and prepare for anything that might come your way. Now predicting the future isn’t always accurate, but we can always take a step back and analyze the present and look at where improvements can be made. By assessing the efficiency of your business and making sure there are no major flaws in your “normal” operations, you can ensure better preparedness for unwanted surprises ahead. When the pandemic hit, the business owners who had more organized management of their business had the advantage over ones who didn’t. Those who had an established online presence were more prepared to operate remotely compared to brick and mortar stores that had to think fast and improvise. 

2021 is not just a year of learning from growing pains of the past, but innovating and improving. It’s about building your brand and connecting with your audience in more creative and intimate ways. Another trend we see on the rise this year is storytelling, which projects a major focus on a brand’s purpose and its duty to its customer. Your brand identity will play a major factor in your brand’s success this year and years to come. By properly leaning into storytelling and communicating your brand’s purpose to customers, you can create a strong reputation for your brand which will only get you more supporters. These are the days of cancel culture and consumers will call out wrong doing. So every decision you make matters. Being untrustworthy or shady can really cost your brand in the long run if you don’t focus on doing what’s right and be honest. Even admitting you messed up will build more trust and brand transparency than not, which is something many consumers value today more than ever. Kevin O’ Leary, the man known as “Mr. Wonderful,” even stated in a recent interview, “You can’t lie to them. You have to be totally transparent. Whether that’s good, bad, or ugly. You gotta tell the truth. That is what a personal brand is built off of.” We’ve never had a more captive customer during these times, looking to be entertained and communicated with on a consistent basis. Their eyes are locked onto their screens, and this is your chance to get their attention, so make it count. 

This digitization of America is at a historically rapid pace. In order for a small business to survive in the new year, having a strong online presence is crucial. By taking your business online, not only are you enhancing the relationships you have with your current customers, but are also opening the door for new ones. This is your chance to take the stage and direct consumers to making that purchase. They are willing and able to purchase products and services, but they want convenience, and they want it delivered directly to them. Direct communications with your customer compelling them to take that desired action and communicating what you have to offer is what successful businesses are doing right now. This year is going to be a year filled with strong brand identities, captivating content creation, and more intimate consumer relationships. If you want to succeed, you will have to really bring those elements to life. 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!