In a world filled with huge companies like Amazon and Facebook, it can be pretty intimidating to start a small business. It’s important to remember, however, that these companies started off just as small as you are now, and all you need to compete is hard work, determination, and some good advice.
Here’s some good advice to start you off. We’ll explain some tried and true methods for competing with established businesses, even when you’re on the smaller side of the industry. Take a look at the five ways to keep your company in the conversation, regardless of size.
Excellent Customer Service and Communication
As a smaller business, the true key to competing with larger companies is customer service. While they might offer more products at cheaper prices, the fact of the matter is that being a big company prevents you from dedicating all your time to making every customer happy. And that’s what you need to do, particularly when customers are four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related rather than price or product related.
This is where a VoIP desk phone can really come in handy. You’ll be able to take and direct customer calls quickly and efficiently, all while saving time and resources by ditching your traditional phone system. Because it connects to the internet, you’ll always be reachable, giving you a leg up on your larger competition. Plus, with a wide range of additional features like conference calling and call recording, you’ll be able to improve productivity throughout your business.
Focus on a specific target market
Yes, being a small business means that you’re likely working with fewer resources. Whether it’s a tiny workforce or a minuscule budget, utilizing your sparse resources effectively could be the difference between Series A and serious problem. That’s why focusing on a specific target market is so important.
Knowing your target market is obviously a necessity for growing your business, but focusing exclusively on them in the beginning is a great way to build a loyal following of customers that can ease you through the tough times. Considering it costs sixteen times more to nurture a new customer to the same level of revenue contribution as your existing, loyal customers, establishing a solid base of loyal customers could make a notable impact on your bottom line down the road.
Develop personal business relationships
You’ve likely heard the phrase “it’s all about who you know” when it comes to business. Well, they say it because it’s true! Having meaningful relationships through your company can be a great way to compete with larger companies without firing through your budget. You’ll be able to affordably take advantage of the benefits of these relationships, but make sure it’s more than a one-way street.
“The reality is that business relationships are just like any other relationship,” said Michael Denisoff, founder and CEO of Denisoff Consulting Group, to Inc. “They require some effort to maintain and they must be mutually beneficial. As in any relationship, you must be willing to give, share, and support, not just take or receive.”
Whether it’s establishing a reputation in the industry or simply exchanging resources in a mutual agreement, your business is always going to benefit from having solid relationships. Just make sure to nurture them, or you could miss out on a great opportunity to grow.
Use social media
It’s 2019. If you aren’t using social media as a small business, you’re missing out on perhaps one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal. For one, it’s a very affordable means of marketing to customers new and old alike, which gives you and your budget a bit more wiggle room when it comes to investing in other areas of your business.
Additionally, in the modern age, an online presence isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity. Some users won’t even believe you exist without a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn page, so add “establishing your professionalism” to the list of benefits of using social media. Finally, with 90% of marketers saying that social media is important, it’s an undeniable fact at this point that these platforms are valuable to your business. So, get on it!
Invest in your staff
When you’ve got a small team, every member counts, and the last thing you want to endure as a small business is someone that doesn’t fit the team. Focusing on who you hire and then investing in your staff ‘ be it through training or employee development ‘ can make a big difference when it comes to the success of your business.
From avoiding frequent turnover to improving employees’ skillsets, the value of investing in your staff is hard to argue with. Given the increasingly competitive nature of finding great, culture-fitting talent in the world, you’re going to want to be sure your team is in it for the long haul.