When you’re a small business, you need to work extra hard for your success. Without the resources and financial muscle of your larger competitors, you need to make the most of what you have.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make a big impression on your clients, customers and partners. In fact, there are some occasions when you can make your organisation look larger than it really it is and others where being a smaller business will work to your advantage. If you want to take on the big boys, here are a few tips.
Take care of your brand
Getting your brand to stand out is one way of placing your smaller business on a level playing field with larger firms. In the not so distant past, creating a powerful brand image required a lot resources, but digital tools have levelled the playing field somewhat.
Accessing online design tools or external marketing agencies, has never been easier so creating a brand that you’re happy with is relatively straightforward. First, however, make sure you think carefully about what you want your brand to represent and don’t be tempted to copy successful, larger companies. Being unique is a major part of being a smaller, independent business, so make sure this comes across in your branding.
Roll out the red carpet
If you’ve secured a really important client, it might be worth going that extra mile for them. This doesn’t mean bankrupting your business to impress them, it’s about doing your utmost to make them feel special.
Why not impress your clients with an invitation to a VIP event one evening, complete with valet parking, canapes and some entertainment or simply send them a few gifts at Christmas or other times of celebration? Sometimes it can be something small that demonstrates you genuinely care about your clients.
Embrace social media
Social media is another great leveller for small businesses. Any brand with enough creativity and personality can gain a dedicated following, whether it’s a sole trader or a multi-national corporation.
Of course, as a small business you may not have time to spend every day scouring Facebook and Twitter, and you may not be able to employ a dedicated social media manager either, but neglecting social media could be costly. Social networks have global reach, are free to use and let you target your marketing to specific demographics, meaning they are a great way of fostering growth.
Use your size to your advantage
Instead of focusing on the advantages possessed by larger companies, concentrate on the things that small businesses do well. As a smaller organisation, you should be more agile than larger businesses, which may be burdened by bureaucracy. This means that if there is a new trend emerging or a digital tool that has just been released you should embrace it quickly.
Another factor is the personal touch that small businesses can offer. Treat every customer interaction as if it is the most important one you’ll ever have. That way, your small business stands the best possible chance of impressing clients that may be more used to dealing with larger firms.