The year 2020 took a toll on businesses across the states. With vaccines already administered to a good portion of the population and more on the way, states are removing most of the COVID-19 restrictions. This is fantastic news for small business owners. Listed below are a few tips to set you up for an exceptional year in growth.
Know the Competition
It’s advantageous to know what products and services the competition offers. Thankfully, there are several ways to gain this valuable information. Visit their website and read the story of their humble beginnings and long-term goals. Check for discounts and benefits for using their business and read over their reviews to see what customers like about them and areas where they may need improvement. Once you gather the information you can use it as selling points and guidelines.
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Building a brand starts by having the right tools and advice. Download our top 10 essential tools and resources to kick-start your branding.
Technology is paving the way for the development of more small businesses. However, there are a few drawbacks. Most adults use some type of electronic device whether it’s a cell phone, tablet, or computer, daily. If your service or product is less than satisfactory, people will instantly go on social media and write a bad review. If you perform well or clients enjoy the products, the same happens, only sending positive feedback that benefits you. Encourage customers pleased with the company to visit your website and give either testimonials or post a positive review.
Unlike large corporations where they have staff in place to handle everything from customer service to payroll, small businesses often have a skinny staff of intelligent and reliable people that wear many hats. One way to gain time better used for marketing is outsourcing.
Outsourcing puts the responsibility of a service in the hands of a third party. Today more small business owners are using companies for payroll, accounting, and IT management. E-commerce businesses are also using 3PL consulting companies to lower costs and improve logistics management.
Social media is not new to marketing for small business owners. All too often they misuse it. Instead of maintaining fresh content, many simply set up a presence for the business and then walk away. Social media is essential to reaching a large audience any time day or night. If any changes occur in the business such as the introduction of a new service or product, or you change your address, make sure you add that information to your social media page. It’s also essential to have valuable content on your website so that when potential customers visit they make a sale.
It’s not enough to make a sale. What gives your company the upper edge is customer loyalty. Think about it. You can bring in all the new business you want but if they make one sale and are done, you’ll never increase your bottom line. Loyal customers will offer your name to anyone they know. This creates additional sales without the need for a monetary investment. Over time, as your loyal base expands, your need for marketing recedes. Customers aren’t really hard to please. They just want to feel important. Discounts on services and products after a set number purchased, and monthly newsletters giving them a pre-introduction to upcoming promotions, are some ways to achieve it. Some businesses give their customers money for referrals.
Connecting a business with a person transforms your business from a name to a member of the community. Face-to-face meetings with locals is important. Sponsor a little league team and attend a few games. Host a summer music festival or set up a booth at the local fair. The point is to get customers familiar with you personally.
Small businesses took a hard hit in 2020 caused by the pandemic. The new year brings much promise for improved earnings.