Running a business can be a daunting proposition in itself, especially for a small business with big competitors. However, after speaking to 1,500 UK consumers, we found that there are actually key advantages to being an SMB: 87% of people feeling there are advantages to using a small business over a corporation.
Read on for tips on how to stand out from the crowd and make customers fall in love with your business!
A personalised service
A more personal, human approach can massively reduce the influence price has over a customer’s decision making. 62% of those 1,500 consumers surveyed chose small businesses over large, due to the personalised service they received. Therefore, if you can be contacted easily, be a friendly face, cut out the middle man, and make the customer feel more than just a number – competing on price may not be the largest of concerns. We all know what it’s like to be on the other side of the till, phone or computer, so treating customers the way you would like to be treated is a fool proof mantra to operate to (and one big businesses can’t always keep a tab on!)
Flexibility is key
Most large companies will have to jump through hoops to get new ways of working signed off, making responding to customer feedback and demands much trickier. The beauty of a small business is in the flexibility. Take advantage of having a smaller team and invest in ways to react to your customer’s wants and needs quickly; this will pay dividends whilst maintaining your competitive edge.
Think about the customer journey. What are the bigger companies unable to offer because of their size and will therefore create a disconnect with their customer base, that you can offer in spades?
There has been a resurgence in ‘full service’ companies which bridge this gap and create new revenue streams through diversification and well-thought added extras.
In addition to this, creating loyalty schemes add real value for consumers, in turn helping to retain existing, while encouraging new customers. The key is to keep the system simple and the rewards compelling and relevant.
Find your USP and sell it
Open out of hours? Location never an issue? 40% of our consumer survey said that they favour smaller businesses as they will go the extra mile. So, if you offer something the big corporations don’t, push out these messages as much as possible to inform potential customers that you don’t conform to the high-street norms. Such as supplying services seven days a week, in the evenings or in locations further afield.
These are unique propositions that larger companies are unlikely to compete with you on, so make any USP stand out on your website, social media channels and when speaking directly to customers. Going the extra mile is what will not only build up a strong customer base, but also contribute to word of mouth and greater notoriety in your community.