Many small businesses struggle to compete, not because their products and services are not good enough, but because there are so many other established options available to the consumer that they can get overlooked by their target demographic.
That means if you run a small business, getting yourself noticed should be top of your agenda, and that means doing everything you can to ensure your business stands out from the crowd.
Okay, but how exactly do you do that? Although the list below is by no means exhaustive, it is a great place to start…
Build a beautiful website
These days, when we want to buy something, we head straight to Google and start searching for something appropriate. If we are directed to a particular website, we will often use the state of that website to decide whether we want to go ahead and make a purchase, all other things being equal. So, it is really important that you build the best website you can build.
A website that convinces customers to invest in your brand is a website that looks attractive, can be used with ease, and that simplifies the whole process. If you are unable to create such a website yourself, you can get a custom e-commerce web design created by a professional who knows how to make a beautiful website on your behalf. Yes, this might be a more expensive option but if it converts more customers, it will be worth every dime.
Focus on design
Often, what convinces the customer to choose one company over another is the packaging of the products or the style of the product itself. Think about it, how many times have you opted for a more expensive gadget because it features a slick metal ensign rather than a cheap plastic one, or how often have you chosen the cute rose gold item over the boring black one? Probably quite often. When it comes to standing out, good eye-catching design matters, so if you want your business to be a success, you need to invest time and money into perfecting every aspect of your business’ design from the fonts you use on your website to the color of your packaging. If you fail to do this, the competition, who have invested in design, will beat you pretty much every time.
Don’t forget about local listings
Google and other search engines have a local listings facility which, if you want to help your business stand out, you should definitely be using to its full advantage. Be sure to claim your local listing and update it with all of the relevant details of your business, including opening times, and contact information. This is especially important if you operate locally, but it will also help to boost your business up the search engine ranks, so even if your business doesn’t rely on local customers, you should do it anyway.
Offer outstanding customer service
Customer service is one of the pillars that hold up good businesses and help them to stand out from the crowd. Even if products are similarly designed and priced, many people will opt for the company that offers the best customer service because no one wants to be stuck on hold only to be confronted with an angry or disinterested customer service agent when they finally get through to discuss an issue.
Luckily, it’s really easy to offer good customer service as a small business by investing in the best possible customer service training and hiring employees who really understand the products and services you sell, and who are able to remain calm and pleasant even in stressful situations.
Be funny on social media
There are millions of businesses marketing themselves on social media, but most of them are doing just that – marketing. Their feeds are dry and uninspiring and that might be bad news for their followers, but it is certainly good news for you. Why? Because if you can rock social media; if you can be funny, interesting, and compelling to follow, then you can steal the customers away from them and build up a significant following. Of course, being funny on social media is often more difficult than you might think, which is why you will really have to work on it, or even better, find someone who is naturally funny and employ them as your social media manager! Again, it may cost you a bit more to do this but think of it as a business investment that is sure to pay off.
Get influencers on board
Influencers are really good at getting their target demographics to part with their cash in favor of certain companies. If you can swing it so a prominent influencer plugs your stuff, you are guaranteed to be elevated above the competition, but this is, of course, often tricky. I mean, if you have the budget to simply pay them for a plug, it’s pretty easy but if not, you may need to get a bit more creative with your requests – sending them stuff of yours they’ll love works well, but you will need to find an influencer who’s really interested in your niche first. Again, this will take time and maybe money, but it will certainly get your little business some attention.
Be as ethical as possible
These days, ethical businesses are highly sought after, so if it is possible for you to make your business more ethical, you can use this as great PR to put you ahead of the competition. Just don’t be tempted to greenwash, by which I mean being superficially ethical, but not really because this is almost always discovered and when it is, your customers will not be happy and your name is likely to be dragged through the mud.
Getting your business noticed is difficult when it’s small and you haven’t been around for long, but it is not impossible, and if you are dedicated to the cause and willing to invest your time and money into doing so, the above ideas will help you to stand out and start making sales!