As a small business, one of the most difficult things you have to deal with is your more established competition. In a world saturated with businesses, customers have plenty of choice for all of their needs- and as a rule people tend to go with companies they’ve heard of or used before. One reason for this is because they trust them, and know that bigger brands have a promise of good service to uphold. The second is that they’re accessible, without the right marketing customers won’t even have heard about your business. Here are some of the ways you can keep up, as a little fish in a big pond.
Whether you’re a home business or a small business or any other kind of business, it’s important to appear professional. If you look amateur this is likely to put customers off, they want to know that they will be receiving the best service or quality of products, and are more likely to trust professional looking businesses. Have an excellent website and app created by designers, and use CDN provider to make sure your IT services are up to scratch. Even if you run your business from home, you could buy a business phone number, and maybe even purchase a ‘physical address.’ This gives you a professional looking mailing address, showing as a smart tower block office on Google maps. Once your mail reaches there, it’s uploaded to you online or sent to your home address. It helps to maintain a professional image to your company.
Get Your USP (Unique Selling Point) Right
No matter what you are selling, there will be hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of other businesses out there doing the same thing. The way that you can target specific customers and therefore reduce direct competition is by having a unique selling point. For example, if you and another clothes shop are both trading on the same street- if one of you sells high end designer gear and the other sells budget items, you will be appealing to different customers. Your USP could be anything from price to quality, you could hone in on a particular niche. Going back to the clothing example, you could sell punk clothing or prom dresses or hats- a particular item or style. Think hard about what your business specifically offers that your competitors doesn’t which will allow you to attract your own customer base.
Create a Productive Office
Your office is where you (and any employees you hire if you’re not working alone) will be spending most of your day. So creating a space that’s pleasant to be in while allowing you to be productive as possible is crucial. Whether you’re at home or in a commercial office, light walls, good lighting, ergonomically designed furniture and plenty of natural light are a must. Psychologists have shown that living plants in the workplace can boost productivity, so this is something you could bear in mind. When you’re in a space that’s designed for hard work, more will get done and it helps you to move forward in your business. Work on getting yourself established and your name out there, and the customers and profits will follow.
Unless you’re an expert in certain areas (or are willing to hire those who are) then it’s worth seeking professional help through outsourcing. Different specialist companies can take over individual departments of your company and each will be able to tell you what to do to keep your business moving forward. This will allow it to reach its full potential, and you have peace of mind that everything is being handled by the book and work is being produced to the best standard. You don’t have to just learn as you go, in fact this is how many small businesses end in failure. Avoid trial and error, and get it right first time and you increase your chances of keeping up with other established businesses.
The first year is a difficult time for any business, it’s this period that it’s make or break for many. If you want to thrive and go on to have a successful future, getting ahead of the competition and gaining your own customers is one of the best ways to go about it. Maintaining a professional image and giving customers enough reason to shop with you that first time is what you’re aiming for. Provide a good service, and they will be back.