Launching a small business can be an all-consuming prospect. Even after you start to feel as though you have gotten into a groove you could find yourself facing unforeseen challenges—from a new competitor to supply chain issues. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try and remain competitive regardless of what is being thrown at you. Read on for three approaches that small businesses can take to stay on top in a competitive market.
Crowdsource New Ideas
Most small businesses cannot afford an extensive marketing department—so when it comes to creating or promoting your brand, crowdsourcing may be the answer. By keeping up to date on what customers are saying on social media and asking your followers for suggestions (or votes) on a new tag line, monthly promotion, or what they'd like to see in a giveaway, you'll be able to get suggestions and tips directly from the people you hope to draw to your business.
Maintain Personal Relationships
One of the main advantages of competing as a small business is that you are able to offer personalized customer service that the big companies can't. For larger companies, it is often more profitable to get a new customer than to keep a current one happy; for smaller businesses, the opposite is usually true. Taking an extra effort to remember customers' names, answer questions, and solve any problems they are facing with your items or services can leave a good impression and create a loyal customer. And by reaching out to your existing customers with news, sales offers, and other items of interest, you'll likely remain on their minds when they're ready to purchase the products or services your business provides.
Partner with Other Small Businesses
It can be easy to see other small businesses (especially those in your industry) as competition. But it does not have to be this way—by networking with other businesses in your area, you'll be able to organize promotions, schedule special deals, and improve engagement for your own customers and others' customers. For example, you may want to offer your customers a percentage-off coupon if they can show that they spent a certain amount of money at a network business within the last week.
Your area may already have a small business networking organization to join—and if it does not, you can always start one! By becoming involved in these organizations and increasing your business's exposure in the local community, you will be able to improve your name recognition and enhance your existing reputation in the local area.
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