One of the key challenges that small businesses face is growing so that they can boost profits and compete with bigger brands in their particular industry. These businesses usually do not have the resources or deep pockets of a larger company, which means that they must be extra smart if they are to grow and compete in the big leagues. There are also a few advantages that small businesses hold over larger corporations that can help them to succeed. Running a small business can be incredibly stressful and especially when looking to enlarge your operation and attract more customers, but it can also be more rewarding when you achieve your goal. Here are a few tips which can help a small company to grow and increase profits.
Build Brand Reputation
Regardless of the industry, consumers remember brands that they are exposed to and are likely to use their products/services if they are prominent in their industry. In today’s internet-driven marketplace, this means that you must be highly visible online and have a strong online presence. This includes having a high-quality website, being active on social media channels and appearing at, or near, the top of search engine results lists. Building this online presence takes skill and expertise, which is why it is important to use established internet marketing agencies like Bear Fox Marketing. This will increase brand awareness and reputation which, in turn, grows your customer base and establishes you as a key player in your industry.
No matter what industry you are in, you must ensure that the product or service that provide is of the highest caliber. Nobody will return to a company with sub-par products, and word will quickly spread to develop a negative reputation. Instead, take the time to make your product/service one of the best available and at a fair price (market research). Once you attract consumers, they will happily return and recommend you to friends/family/colleagues – word-of-mouth is an important and cost-effective form of advertising.
Following on from this, your organization should be built up of talented and committed employees. The quality of work will not be to the required standard if you have the wrong person for the job or somebody who is not committed to the project, so take your time to recruit the right people and look after them to keep them engaged and happy in their position.
One area where a small business has an advantage over a much larger company is the ability to add a personal touch. People like to feel that they are engaging with actual people and not a corporate machine, so consider learning and remembering customer names and adding personal touches wherever possible. As an example, include a handwritten letter thanking them for their transaction to show that you care and value their business. It is also important to regularly communicate with customers via social media channels.
Deals, Discounts, and Freebies
Everyone loves a great deal, and it is a fantastic way to entice a consumer away from the competition for your business and keep them coming back. Run regular deals and discounts which are advertised on your social media channels and even consider free gifts to bring consumers in. Loyalty programs are also highly worth experimenting with — although they can cost money initially, the customers will keep coming back and spending more (this can be hard to achieve without a program in place).
Assess the Competition
You will, of course, want to rise above the competition, but in order to do this, you will need to take a look at your competitors and see how their operation differs to your own. Look at what they do well and see how you could incorporate this into your own operation, but also take note of where they are going wrong and how you can capitalize on this. A smart business owner is fully aware of the Ins and outs of the competition and can use this information to grow their own business.
It can be daunting to ask for feedback, and particularly for small business owners, but this is a valuable tool for learning and growing. Ask your customers to fill out surveys or leave reviews of your products/services on social media – this will provide you will the information that you need to see where you are going wrong, but also where you are going right. These online reviews are also helpful for building your reputation (provided that they are good reviews!).
Although having a strong online presence is vital in today’s day and age, there is still a lot to be said for the more old-school approach in getting involved with the community. Look into sponsoring a local sports team, participating in a community event or even hosting your own event to show your face to the community, shake hands with potential customers and boost your profile. The internet is valuable, but face-to-face is a fantastic way for small businesses to build brand awareness.
Invest in Yourself & Plan Ahead
Invest what you can afford from your profits back into the business – this can accelerate growth and line your pockets further down the line. This can create challenging periods early on (particularly for those with a lean profit margin), but growth requires pumping money into the company to improve in different areas. Additionally, remain one step ahead of the game by planning ahead and anticipating different scenarios. In order for a company to succeed, they must be adaptable and be willing to change their approach on the fly. Keep your ear to the ground for news which could impact your industry and plan accordingly. This could see you succeed where others fall by the wayside.
Small businesses often want to grow and compete with bigger names in the market but knowing how to go about doing this is challenging and particularly when the internet has had such an enormous impact on the way in which people consume, gather and process information. The above are all easy tips which can help a small company in any industry to grow, enhance their brand reputation and, in turn, boost profits.