There’s no doubt about it, 2020 was a tough year. But on a positive note, so many businesses showed creativity and innovation and pivoted their business models; in fact, did you know e-Commerce businesses were up 40% by the end of 2020? The rollercoaster of living through a global pandemic looks to continue for at least the first half of this year, but that doesn’t mean that your business can’t flourish!

 

If we look back to the economic downturns of the past, some of the world’s biggest brands began during recessions. For example: 

  • During a recession in the late 1950s, the first Hyatt hotel opened. Today they’re a global company with more than 950 hotels across the world. 
  • Microsoft was founded during the recession of 1973-75. 
  • More recently, the recession of 2007-2009 saw the creation of several of our most popular start-ups such as Uber and Airbnb! 

 

Here at Masons Self Storage, we’ve learnt a thing or two about running a business over our 115 year history as part of the Masons Group, and we listen closely to our many business storage customers too, so if your business is struggling to know where to start to ensure that you hit the ground running in 2021, then look no further! In conjunction with our Creative Digital Marketing Agency ONCREE, we’ve put together a list of top tips to help you get your business off to a great start in 2021!

 

Check in with your customers

The start of the year is a great time to think about updating your services or products, and what better way  to see how you can improve, than by asking those who are already invested in you? 

 

Why not send out a survey to your customers, not only can you learn more about how you’re doing and gain some feedback to improve your customer experience, you’re also reminding them that you exist! You can either go old school and send a direct mailing through the post, or a much more cost effective way is to send an email and include a link to a survey, using a platform such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform. If you want to make sure your survey emails get a high open rate, take a look at this article of 164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Email Open Rates (2021) from optinmonster!

How’s your website? 

We can all be guilty of working in our business instead of ON our business, and many small businesses in particular struggle with maintaining their online presence. However, your website is like your digital shop window, and it’s important that your website sends the right impression of your business to your visitors and potential customers! Here’s a quick audit that you can carry out on your website: 

 

  1. Review your content and make sure everything is accurate. Do you still provide all the services that you’re advertising? Do you offer anything new? Has anyone new joined your team? What about testimonials and reviews? 
  2. Audit your imagery by asking yourself: 
    • Do your images relate to your text?
    • Are they good quality?
    • Do they fit your brand standards and identity?
  1. Back-end updates. Make sure your plugins are up-to-date and are running as they should, in particular make sure nothing is slowing down your website unnecessarily. 

 

Show up with SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term that gets thrown around a lot but do you know what it takes to ensure your website and content are optimised? It’s just a way of ensuring that your website is showing up (or ranking) on search engines like Google. By optimising your website for SEO, in particular Local SEO, you can ensure that your products and services are being seen by potential customers! 

 

How to boost your Local SEO – a few tips: 

  • Do you have a Google My Business page? It’s not necessarily a ranking factor for SEO, but it does show Google that you’re trying to create helpful and relevant content for your customers. Keep it up to date with posts, photos and your opening hours. 
  • Ensure that your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) are consistent across any online platforms that you use. 
  • Also ensure that you have listings in other local directories such as Yell Business and Bing, this will help Google recognise you as well as showing up in different places for different potential customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on Google My Business and on the other local directories too. 
  • Get involved in your local community and with local initiatives, this will not only boost your brand image offline as well as online but it’ll start to build links and connections between you and your local community. 
  • For a more indepth look at SEO, we love Neil Patel and find his blog: The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know incredibly helpful! Our get yourself a professional who can really help you make that difference. Our Digital Agency ONCREE have been fundamental in helping us take our business online and more importantly, get found!

 

Get social 

Along with your website, social media is another thing that can fall down the to-do list when you’re stretched for time, however it’s an incredibly valuable tool for small businesses. Now is the perfect time to dive into creating a social media plan, and just remember always quality over quantity and remember to be consistent. If you can only post 3 or 4 times a week but the content is relevant to your audience, that’s so much more beneficial than posting multiple times a day that aren’t relevant! If you’re struggling to get social, why not talk to our Creative Digital Agency, ONCREE, who handles our digital marketing here at Masons?

 

Branding: New year, new you? 

How do your customers respond to your branding? If it’s feeling a little tired, why not have a little update of the look, feel and message of your branding? This doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul or an expensive project, maybe just a little refresh with some new colours or clearer messaging. Or perhaps an update of some of your printed marketing? It’s a digital age, but we can all benefit from keeping our marketing collateral up to date! 

 

Business Storage:  need a new home for your business? 

Are you still working from your kitchen and ready to take the leap? Why not take your business on the go with Masons Self Storage business storage and reclaim your kitchen table! Did you know that our entire ground floor is dedicated to business storage? With wider corridors and our dedicated Business Lounge, Masons Self Storage is the perfect place to work, rest and store right here in the Vale! 

 

Alternatively, if you’re looking to make the perfect first impression with your business, have you considered a Virtual Office? The Business Centre (Cardiff)’s Virtual Office packages offer multiple benefits such as a professional business address and even call handling. 

Here at Masons Self Storage, we offer a personal and professional service with short term flexible contracts, storage units in a variety of sizes, 24/7 access 365 days a year. If you’re looking for home or business self-storage, we can help with self-storage units starting from just £5 a week. If you’d like to come in for a tour, give our friendly team a call on 0800 533 5708!