From networking to tech solutions, here’s what your business needs to be successful this year.
The start of a new year is a good time for business owners to start thinking about how to make 2021 one to remember. A well-organized workspace is essential to making that happen. Apart from a set place to work, today’s companies need many more perks, tools, and services to be able to compete and succeed with their fellow competitors.
From communities that expand your networks to educational opportunities to first-rate technologies and security systems, the right combination of products and services is important for businesses to be successful.
Professional services to streamline your workflow
Research shows that nearly half of all business owners spend one day a week on administrative human resources paperwork. And 35 percent of owners of young businesses (those that have been operating for 10 or fewer years) spend six to 10 hours a week on such tasks. Hiring outside for professional services makes a business more efficient because it frees up time for leadership to focus on what matters most which is driving business goals forward.
Networking for growth and learning opportunities
Even though 2020 put a major halt on making new connections, networking and growth opportunities continue to be crucial for today’s business leaders. Engaging with like-minded people in similar industries creates a sense of community. Beyond that, these opportunities are sure to have a positive impact when you bring back these insights to your business.
This is something Mesh Cowork offers its members through monthly and bi-weekly events such as Bakersfield Startup, which is where Mesh Cowork is located, as well as meetings discussing everything on WordPress websites. Topics in the past for Bakersfield Startup have included everything from monetizing on YouTube to Funding Your Startup. We only try to focus on topics that people can really utilize so we offer these for free for our members.
Enterprise-focused tech wherever you need it
A modern company can’t function without high-speed internet, secure network connections, and at least some office equipment—even if it’s just a single computer to start. So whether your business is just beginning to take root or it’s in full flourish, you’ll need things like fast, reliable WiFi and access to printing to ensure that it’s as simple as possible for your team to be productive.
Mesh Cowork members have access to enhanced security, speed, and performance through our wifi.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been in the defining mood for some time now, but 2021 might be the year they break new ground in terms of business actually using them. Best of all, small businesses could take the lead on the trend.
"Virtual and augmented reality allow us to experience the world in a different way. And especially during a pandemic, it's extremely powerful," said Joe Apfelbaum, founder and CEO of B2B marketing company Ajax Union. "If you want to go to networking events, you can go to VR networking events happening right now. You can create trade show exhibits that are VR and AR experiences in an affordable way."
Small businesses should consider using AR and VR to stand out from the competition and generate excitement among their audience.
A flexible, customizable workspace
A functional yet beautiful office can boost productivity and employee morale. But businesses have distinct needs when it comes to customizing their own workspaces. Elements like furniture, A/V accessories, and branding accents aren’t one-size-fits-all, which is why Mesh Cowork offers a variety of amenities so that everyone who steps in our building feels right at home and has everything they need from coffee to whiteboards.
Mesh Cowork even went the extra mile by hiring local entrepreneurs to paint murals and simple pops of color around the building to bring spirits up to get through the workday.
MarketingSpend on social media will increase. The leading social media platforms have billions of users between them, so it is no surprise that social media has been a growing target for marketers. That rapid growth won't stop in 2021.
"Year over year, we're seeing spend on social media increase – and this year it was a dramatic increase," said Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Media Group. "Everyone was forced to pull back on traditional brick-and-mortar marketing. They were forced into digital, and many of them see that it is working really well.
"We'll see a thrust forward with digital marketing spend in 2021," Zoldan added.
While social media advertising is important, it is very competitive. Small businesses should focus on a multichannel organic approach to build an audience and brand awareness. While ads can bring organic growth, small businesses should avoid getting into a social media arms race with competitors when organic approaches like content marketing could have a better return on investment.
Paid placement advertising will increase in traditional media outlets.
From 2012 through 2019, spending on paid placement advertisements in the U.S. grew from $4.75 billion to $11.44 billion, and that trend is only going to continue in 2021, Zoldan said. Additionally, the line between sponsored content and non-sponsored content is likely to blur, since audiences clearly prefer authenticity to the advertisement, he added.
"I think we're going to see a lot more paid placement in traditional media because it is really hard to get earned media," Zoldan said. "Paid placements are going to be very immersive and very video-centric; it will be hard to tell the difference between paid and earned."
Zoldan added that this could be a risky strategy for many media outlets, possibly jeopardizing their credibility. However, he said, "a lot of companies are walking the line there."
Multimedia spend will generate better ROI than conventional press releases.
In part due to the difficulty of securing earned media, Zoldan said, press releases are becoming less effective. Brands are likely to bring press releases in-house and produce video announcements of newsworthy company developments rather than send text-based releases to media outlets in hopes they will be published.
"Press releases are a thing of the past," Zoldan said. "There is very little value today in putting out press releases."
Where press releases are necessary, they will be most effective when interactive or video-based, Zoldan added.
We know not all of these are feasible for all businesses but this is part of what’s going to be big and successful in 2021. There are many challenges to face until this is all over so these are some of the things that can take your business to the next level.