Running a successful small business isn’t easy, and it can be even more pressurized when you are up against some stiff competition. Although you may work in a field where the market is big enough for lots of businesses offering the same products or services, you should always strive to be the best. Standing out from the rest and attracting as much business as you can handle will give your business the greatest chance of success. There are many ways to set your small business apart from the competition – here are 5 of them.
Keep your costs competitive
If you are selling products similar to others, it’s wise to try and keep your costs at a competitive level. If someone else is a comparable item a lot cheaper, you could lose customers. If you are struggling to reduce your prices because of the effect on your margins, consider whether you could source products cheaper or think about renegotiating with third-party suppliers. Undercutting isn’t always necessary, particularly if you feel that your products are superior, but it merits keeping an eye on.
Promote good communication
Good communication with your customers is of extreme importance. The better the communication, the more professional and efficient you will appear to be. If you have encountered problems or delays with an order, be upfront, and keep your customer informed. If, for example, they expect something to be couriered to them on a same day delivery basis, but you don’t think it’s going to happen, tell them. If you are having trouble sourcing goods and it will delay an existing order, contact them directly and explain. A customer’s expectations are far less likely to be tarnished if you are honest.
Build a brand
Building a solid brand will help your business become recognized. If you don’t already have one, have a logo designed, and make sure your packaging, advertising, and marketing are streamlined. The more recognizable your brand is, the more successful it could become.
Connect with your customers
When your customers feel like they are buying from a business they know and trust, their loyalty increases, so connecting with your audience is very important. Let them know a bit about the faces behind your brand and the history of how your business was created. Making things a little more personal could set you apart from the others.
Have a well-planned marketing strategy
Good marketing can make all the difference in a highly saturated market, so make sure yours is a cut above the rest. Look at what the competition is doing and make yours stand out in comparison. A great way to do this is to include regular customer interaction opportunities within your marketing strategy. It could be anything from running a competition to asking existing customers to send in photographs of them using your products. Generate a bit of a buzz, and it could help to blow the competition out of the water.