Are Your Clients Positioned for the post-​COVID-​19 Economy?

BY Kathy Crosett

Are your clients positioned for the post-​COVID-​19 economy? The signs of economic optimism are everywhere. Several new reports signal expansion plans by small- and medium-​sized businesses (SMBs) and increased spending by consumers.

The latest NFIB survey reports SMB optimism rose to 95.8 in February. This number is lower than it has been in the past 47 years. But a separate NFIB survey, done in January, found that 20% of surveyed businesses are at 100% of the revenue level they had before the pandemic started. Another 40% were back to 76% of their previous revenue level, and 24% said they were in the 51% to 75% level.

Purchase Intent – Goods and Services

Businesses also know they need to spend money in order to make money. And some of those businesses will likely be buying from your clients. SMB owners have been opening their wallets for the following items in the past several months:

  • Vehicles 28%
  • New equipment 40%
  • Improved facilities 12%
  • New fixtures and furniture 10%

In the coming months, 23% of SMB owners will be making additional large purchases for their businesses. If your clients aren’t already advertising in the B2B market, they should be because the post-​COVID-​19 economy is here.

Hiring Intent

The NFIB survey also shows that employers are hiring. Companies with unfilled positions increased by 2% between January and February. Businesses in the construction, manufacturing, transportation, and professional services sectors are most likely to be experiencing difficulty in hiring. In order to attract more candidates, they may need to advertise their willingness to provide on-​the-​job training. They may need assistance developing ad campaigns to generate interest from people who are looking for work.

Retail Sales Outlook

Many SMBs sell to consumers and the latest projections from the National Retail Federation should have them cheering. This year, say NRF analysts, retail sales should grow between 6.5% and 8.2% over previous levels. In 2020, the online and non-​store component of retail sales, excluding automotive, restaurants, and gas stations, grew to $969.4B. The 21.9% growth rate over the previously year was largely due to consumer inability to shop in stores and to their fears about the contracting the COVID-​19 virus. With this year’s retail sales likely to reach at least $4.33 trillion, retailers must learn how to compete in the online sector, which now accounts for nearly 25% of the total channel.

Advertising Challenges in the Post-​COVID-​19 Economy

In an NFIB survey conducted last year, smaller retailers reported that the current market conditions challenged them in two ways on the advertising front. First, they believe they don’t know how to cost-​effectively advertise when they are competing with larger businesses. Second, they are struggling to use social media to promote their businesses. The same sentiment holds true for non-​professional services business such as barber shops and home repair services.

This situation presents a good opportunity for you to help clients. If you possess great social media marketing skills, it’s time to make your pitch to SMBs in your market. You can improve your credibility by generating a Digital Audit before you contact your prospect, This tool, available on AdMall by SalesFuel, will show your prospect’s digital presence in the marketplace and how they stand in comparison to chief competitors. Then you can propose the kind of campaigns they need to excel in the post-​COVID-​19 economy.