By Tina Zawila
As we head towards Australia Day, I thought it was a good time to discuss an underestimated small business competitive advantage in this current environment… being Australian owned and operated.
Right now, with international supply chains disrupted and backlogged, 2021 is likely to see the previously rapid globalisation of retail slow, at least temporarily, and Australian businesses gain an upper hand.
There has certainly been a noticeable increase in the desire for Aussies to buy from Aussies, to buy local, and to support local business during these difficult times. As a local business owner, make sure you proudly promote your story, the quality of your products and services, and of course share your positive customer feedback and reviews. Retail is built upon community, so connect with yours. If people feel more invested personally, they will be more inclined to support your business.
Ironically, in the current COVID climate where we must adhere to physical distancing and sometimes, we must even remain at home, it seems that as consumers we crave the physical shopping experience of visiting a store and interacting with our local retailers. Going shopping is now an outing to look forward to. Enjoying the experience of being able to see, feel and touch the products and interact with another person who is there to serve us. If you are a retailer, make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Ensure your products are well presented, easy to see and access, and most importantly make the customer feel welcome and important.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should totally ignore your online presence. Digital transformation was a lifeline for many Aussie retailers in 2020. If you had to ‘rush’ to get your business online last year, then 2021 might be the perfect time to revisit your online platform to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and easy for you and your customer to use. You may want to add click and collect functionality, connecting your in-store inventory online, introduce a loyalty scheme, enable customers to set up an online wishlist, or ramp up your online marketing. Don’t forget your social media presence too – it’s a great way to promote your business and engage with your community.
Finally, does your online platform automatically integrate with your online accounting software? Does it need to? It may be time to review and streamline some of your financial processes to make life easier.
If you need professional accounting and taxation advice and business improvement strategies contact our team at UHY Haines Norton on 4972 1300.