Starting a new business can be difficult, especially in a world with so much competition. Many people have great ideas for a new service or product but don’t know how to market themselves and set themselves apart from their opponents. Luckily, you can follow some best practices to make your business stand out from the crowd.
Below is a list of five easy steps that any small business owner can take to get more customers and get ahead of the competition.
1. Build a Strong Social Media Presence
To make your business stand out, you need to constantly engage with your customers and let them know what’s going on. Whether posting a picture of your goods or starting up a discussion about what matters to you and your clients, social media is the best platform for any small business owner to engage with their customers and get feedback.
Having a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc., the page will give you another platform for online marketing and can help build trust between you and potential buyers.
Plus, this means that even when you’re not at work (e.g., weekends), content is still being added to your digital storefront, which can contribute to building brand awareness in addition to constantly pitching to new potential customers.
2. Be Prepared to Get Your Hands Dirty
Sometimes the best way to get ahead of your competition is to be willing and able to do things they won’t or can’t do. Maybe you have a unique skill that would really help your business’s bottom line, such as fixing electronics or being bilingual in a community with many recent immigrants from another country who speak very little English.
Or maybe you’re just more passionate about what you’re selling than others in your area are. Whatever it may be, anything that can make your business stand out from the crowd should be taken advantage of to gain an edge on the competition. The key is knowing what sets you apart from everyone else and using that to your advantage.
3. Develop a Reputation for Quality and Customer Service
Suppose you’re able to provide good customer service. In that case, it sets you above the rest in the eyes of potential customers because that cannot be automated like other tasks (such as social media management or having unique skills).
If you are always available to help out customers, make sure what they receive is high quality, and treat them with respect when they contact you/your business, people will follow suit immediately after choosing your store over another.
They may even recommend you to friends or family members who need similar services/products. The key here is consistency. If someone comes into your store once and has an unforgettable experience where everything was perfect, they will likely rave about your business.
However, if the opposite happens, and they get bad service or receive low-quality goods, they are equally likely to spread the word about it so that no one else wastes their time.
4. Offer Special Deals to Repeat Customers
Having deals available on local voucher sites can help you get new customers in the door, but having exclusive deals just for repeat clients will set you apart from the competition even more.
Either by giving them discounts of some kind or throwing in free items with certain purchases (e.g., $50 of leather products gets you a free pair of dress shoes), this is sure to attract local clientele looking for these kinds of deals.
You may even consider hiring local students at entry-level jobs just looking to build their resumes or gain experience.
5. Develop Local Community Relationships
The final tip on this list is to develop relationships with local community organizations or charities because they will often promote your business/shop on their social media accounts if they have a good relationship with you.
Suppose local jewelry stores donate a ring to local charities for every ten rings bought. In that case, they are more likely to tell their followers about the business on social media, which could lead to increased sales.
You can further build these relationships by holding fundraisers for local organizations or donating money yourself.
These are just a few ways local businesses can stand out from the competition without having too much overhead or spending too much money. If you follow these guidelines and still find that success is eluding you after some time, then perhaps it’s time for you to think about changing your overall strategy so that it works better for your local customers and local competitors.