Even in the best of times, running a small business is no easy feat. You’ve already created something special using your talents, but now is the time to let the world know why you’re a cut above the rest.
Create a Unique Vibe
No matter what your business, customer experience is often about clients’ good feelings more than the product or service you’re providing. If you have a physical location, focus on environmental aspects such as lighting, music and decor with special attention to the type of customer you’d like to attract. For instance, a barbershop that caters mostly to young men should feel masculine and not overly fussy while a hair salon for kids should be entertaining and whimsical.
Even if your business is only online, you can still fully engage customers by adding features such as an informative blog about new trends or products in your industry.
Customize Whatever You Hand to Customers
Simple touches like custom paper coffee cups or your company’s name and logo on shopping bags are great ways to advertise your business and make customers feel they’re getting something unique from your establishment. Think of it as adding your unique signature before sending clients into the world with your creation.
Advertise on Social Media
Smart businesses use social media to their advantage. From curating a fun online persona to having customers check-in at your location for discounts, these are indispensable tools for getting the word out about your business and distinguishing you from competitors. In addition, some platforms also offer paid advertisement, which can provide demographically focused advertising that traditional media can’t match. Although a social media presence is sometimes a double-edged sword, don’t shy away from utilizing its free publicity and low-cost advertisement.
Give Back to the Community
Small businesses are an integral part of their community, especially for brick-and-mortar establishments. Donating your time, money or goods and services to local charities will help establish your business as a force for good. You may also be able to reap some tax benefits, not to mention the satisfaction that comes with making the world a better place.
Focus on What You Do Best
Many businesses fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone, thinking the more products or services they offer, the better. This strategy ends up backfiring as proprietors easily become spread too thin. Instead, whatever you do best, spend your time and energy on perfecting that. For example, if you own a coffee shop, focus on serving the best cup of coffee in town and let the place down the road worry about baking artisan bread.
Offer Exemplary Service
Although large corporations can often offer better prices, small business owners are uniquely adept at making customers feel like they are appreciated and valued. Any interaction, whether in-person, online or by phone, should always include a personal touch and friendly helpfulness. No matter who your competitors are, building loyalty through relationships will give you that extra edge.
Treat Employees Like Family
Hiring the right talent is a must, but keeping the good employees is essential. That’s why it is important to treat your employees like valued family members rather than hourly staff. Being kind and respectful to employees will lead by example in how they should treat your customers and safeguard your business, so make sure they feel they’re an integral part of your company. Disgruntled employees can cause headaches for you while on the clock, but their tales of woe can also damage your reputation in the minds of potential clients in the community, especially if they end up working for one of your competitors.
You already know that running a small business entails hard work and dedication. However, paying attention to the little things that set your business apart from the rest is essential to your success.