Usually, business trends emerge slowly over time. But with the big changes of 2020, came the huge trend towards online business. There was also a surge in the movement to support our local business, which was great for us small business Entrepreneurs.
Now that we are slowly finding our new version of normality, the love for online and local is still there. These are exciting areas to look into for business ideas in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s look at what’s working now in online and locally based small businesses.
Start your own local delivery business
Local delivery businesses boomed last year, for obvious reasons. Even after lockdown becomes a distant memory, we will still be using delivery services. They have become a habit.
As people are now more environmentally aware, there is a calling for local delivery, and a desire to support local small businesses too. This is great news if you have, had or wish to own a business with a physical element to it. Being able to deliver locally can plug the gap for where people used to shop locally in stores.
Instead of browsing a physical store, your local customers can now browse online and receive a local delivery. Some brick and mortar businesses are offering a local collection point service too, which means customers still come to you, but in a socially distanced way.
This type of business has been popular with takeaway food, household goods, grocery items, farm boxes and more. But with a little creative thinking, who knows what original delivery service business you could create.
Upgrade your ecommerce with a social twist
If your background is ecommerce, then it’s time to get better acquainted with social media platforms. No longer are they just platforms to market from – but now they are platforms to sell from too.
This year Facebook is promoting the rollout of Facebook Shops. This gives you in-platform selling on both Facebook and Instagram. The main benefit of this is that when you market your products on social media, viewers don’t have to click away to get to your store. They can purchase right there in the social app.
You can run a Facebook Shop in isolation, or run it alongside your own ecommerce website. Just make sure your branding is cohesive through all your online locations and assets.If your branding needs a freshen up, or you just need to edit your logo to better fit your social platforms, then you can use logocreator for free.
Fulfilment By Amazon and drop shipping options
Amazon absolutely exploded in 2020, and the trend is set to continue. Amazon became a key provider of so many household, clothing and food items during lockdown, and we loved its speed and reliability. There is a choice of ways to sell on Amazon, with Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) being one of them.
With this option for an online and locally based small business, you provide your own stock, and hand it over to the FBA warehouse. From there, Amazon takes care of the packaging, dispatch and delivery for a fee.
But many other drop shipping or fulfillment services are available, giving a choice in how you present your services to the world. Many online and locally based small business choose to host their own ecommerce stores, connecting to a fulfillment company to deliver the stock.
This is still a viable, popular way to sell physical products in 2021 and beyond.
Online consulting or freelancing
If 2019 was the year of ecourses, and 2020 was the year of… well, let’s not dwell on that – then 2021 is set to see a return to consulting and freelancing.
As ecourses were popular in their day, we have all binged them as much as we can, and this extended into our year of lockdown. The consumer feedback for 2021 so far suggests we are hungry for more human interaction, and with social distancing still on our minds, working together but online is the most viable option.
Working as a consultant in your field of experience, you can use a simple planning tool like Calendly to allow clients to book time with you. Zoom is perfect for 1-2-1 consultations, or for helping small teams together in real time.
If you have skills to offer as a service, then freelancing could also be a good thing for you to try in 2021. As many businesses have had to move online to survive the pandemic, the need for web based skills is higher than ever. If you can write web content, edit video, or build websites then consider adding that offering to your business services.
While there are a wealth of ideas you could explore, these are some of the key trends that people are making progress with currently.
Social commerce is an exciting proposition for anyone selling physical products, as the shortened distance between social media marketing and the point of sale makes the whole process faster. Drop shipping is a good thing to try as fulfillment is so much simpler.
Whether you are an expert with skills to offer as a consultant, or a local small business owner, there is something for you to try in 2021. Be open to new twists on old ideas, just as our new reality is a twist on our old one.
The world has changed a little, but the online and locally based small business basics are the same. Offer something that people want, in a way that they find easy to obtain, either online or delivered to their door.