The playbook is changing rapidly for small businesses and digitally native brands looking to get in front of shoppers. As of late 2020, 82% of small businesses changed the way they send and receive payments and, and 51% have been transitioning their clients to digital methods, according to a study by Mastercard. However, as consumers increase reliance on e-commerce solutions, the world is entering a new era of in-person experiences, where physical retail is once again a priority for consumers.
Getting the basics of business operations is essential for any business owner, especially when it comes to an ever changing consumer landscape riddled with anything from cyber security attacks to 3rd party platform changes. It takes grit to stay resilient! But, as Desiree Verdejo, CEO of Hyper Skin, recently said during a panel at Create & Cultivate’s (IRL!) Small Biz Summit said, “Digital updates don’t change your storytelling.”
It’s absolutely possible for any small business owner to master it all. This is especially true when backed by Mastercard, who’s made it a priority to help small businesses keep their digital doors open with the right tools and education. And to quote the CEO and Founder of Maude, Eva Goicochea (from the same advice-packed panel!), “You should either be earning or learning and if you’re not doing either of those, then you have to keep moving.”
So what kind of questions should business owners be asking themselves as they build out strategies for digital growth? Simon Hunt, Mastercard’s own EVP of Cyber Security Product Innovation, joined the conversation during Small Business Summit panel Add to Cart: How to Get Your Business Booming Both In-Store and Online and suggests the following:
1.What is your objective?
Simon encourages you to ask yourself, “Where is your business now and where could it be in a month or a year’s time? What milestones do you hope to reach?” Setting an objective early on will help you stay focused on your goal and outline the resources needed to grow and protect your business.
2. What is your resilience?
It’s key to bring in the resilience of your business earlier rather than later. Look back at your objectives––is there a plan b in place in the event something should compromise your milestones? Take the time to align on what actions need to be taken. Simon suggests small exercises to start the conversation, like telling your team all computers are unusable and simply asking, “what’s the plan?”
3. What resources are available?
What are you investing in to protect yourself? Are you equipped with the tools and knowledge to take on solutions? Alyssa Kuchta, founder of f.y.b jewelry and panelist at Small Business Summit, shared her favorite (and safe!) customer experience solutions: One Click Social Log-In, Tidio, and Quickbooks Commerce.
Mastercard’s Trust Center also offers access to trusted cybersecurity research, education, resources and tools to help you defend your business and your reputation–whether you’re a beginner feeling overwhelmed or have experience, but want to learn more.
4. What can I take from other’s experiences?
The digital space is constantly evolving. Take inventory of other brands and their digital strategies for growth and see how you can evolve them to suit your own goals. Simon put it simply: “Remember everybody else is doing the same thing. You’re not alone here! Everybody is following the same journey. Use the experiences from each other and the experiences of your mentors for guidance.”