The year 2020 is sure to bring some of the biggest leaps in economic growth, employment rates, and profit increases we’ve seen in a while! With so much chum in the water, it’s no secret that plenty of companies will be looking to get an edge and increase their slice of the pie.

So, as you strategize and think through your 2020 action plan, it’s time to seriously consider the ways that you’ll fight for what’s yours. Luckily, there are five simple ways that small business owners can get empowered to grow more this year. Let’s check them out.

Increase digital competence

If the beginning of the 21st century has taught us anything, it’s that the digital sphere is only going to increase in relevance as time progresses. That means a few different key things, so let’s break it down to better be understandable:

1. Marketing: Still pouring money into billboards and daytime TV ads? That might be a waste. The future of advertising is primarily online, with in-depth campaigns built around engaging content and quality product linking.

2. Strategy: As you think about where you plan on completing sales, making connections, and building client relationships, you’ll want to prioritize your internet presence. Sure, trade shows and storefronts are still essential parts of the industry, but it’s likely that a lot of growth will come from online.

3. Logistics: Thanks to Amazon’s famous 2-day shipping, the bar has pretty much been permanently raised for delivery logistics. As you consider the way that you plan to get product out to customers, prioritizing a streamlined digital solution is key.

Consider remote options

If you can afford to consider commercial real estate listings, either as your primary point of sale (POS) or as a space for your team to get work done, then well done! However, due to rising rent prices nationwide, and the growing need to be competitive in a largely monopolistic tech world, it’s no wonder why so many small businesses struggle to make ends meet on expenses like rent.

Rather than spending tons of money on this aspect of running your business, you may want to consider allowing workers to perform their tasks remotely. How does this work? Thanks to innovative online filesharing and communications software, workers can be independent while still get the job done from home – or their favorite café.

Put employees first

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. Without them, your business would fall apart; after all, it’s their skill and execution that your company relies on to successfully make sales, connect to clients, or develop a compelling product!

Employees perform best when they’re happy and satisfied with their work environment. One of the best ways to ensure your product is optimized is to offer employees a competitive salary, ample time off, and comprehensive benefits. In addition to this, an employee-ownership model has also been shown to improve efficiency and satisfaction, and may be worth considering!

Slow and steady wins the race

Remember, in this age of fast-paced accelerated growth, it can be easy to feel like fortunes are made overnight. In some rare cases, they are – but more often than not, it takes patience and hard work. Don’t succumb to clever business to business (B2B) marketing promising overnight rags-to-riches transitions; stick to the tried and true methods, and innovate where you know you have the expertise.

Innovate ahead of the competition

Speaking of innovation, the best thing you can do to get ahead is to know what your competition is up to – then innovate before they get the chance. Too many businesses fall behind because they don’t catch wind of market shifts and consumer preference changes until far too late. While staying in your lane and chugging along is respectable, if you want your small business to blast past the pack, you’ll need to strategize and innovate.  How? Consider these ways to fast-track forward-thinking:

• Read up on books published in and about your industry

• Listen to podcasts and informative presentations

• Take time to think and be creative about your line of work

• Don’t be afraid of change

• Listen to younger generations

2020 is the year your small business races ahead. It may seem intimidating, but with these tips, you may soon start to see serious growth.