7 tips on how small businesses can remain competitive
Owning a small business can be a very rewarding career path. Doing what you love, getting some spare time and the security of financial independence are just a few of the rewards earned by small business owners. With all these positives it can become easy to forget that there are negatives as well.
What if you can’t bring in enough clients? What if no one recognizes you? What if you’re always a step behind the competition?
Don’t worry. These are concerns that cross the minds of all small business owners at some point. In order to alleviate these concerns, it’s important for you to monitor the health of your business and keep it competitive. To help you, here are 7 tips for keeping your small business competitive:
In order to be more competitive your business needs to be running as smoothly as possible. A good measure to ensure your small business is its most efficient is to audit your practices and procedures. Although it’s probably the most boring tip on this list, it is definitely one of the most important. Auditing not only helps you find what might not be working but can also help improve your practices that are working to be more efficient.
2. Be Recognizable
As a small business it’s important to build yourself a unified brand. Branding is an integral process to any small business and a step that keeps you competitive by making you recognizable across multiple platforms. Not only do businesses with unified branding across all materials look more professional and trustworthy, but they’re easier to spot by past clients who are looking to use those services again or refer you to other potential clientele. Three aspects of branding to keep in mind are color schemes, logos and themes.
3. Partner with Other Complimentary Services
Partnerships are great for acquiring new customers and validating your trustworthiness, two key factors in becoming more competitive. The win-win nature of a partnership makes them easy to start. Try to partner with businesses that have services that are complimentary to your own or that are in your industry. Not only will you both get new clients, but you will see an increase in company loyalty and word-of-mouth. If you don’t have any partners or aren’t sure where to begin, check out this Forbes article for more information.
4. Be Where your Costumers are
The blood of any small business is customers so it’s important to be where they are. Without them, you’re business will no longer flourish and instead be left dry. With the advent and continuous advancement of the Internet, being where your customers are no longer pertains to the physical sense. Instead, it refers to being where they are online. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Houzz and Pintrest (just to name a few) are your customers’ new locale. It’s your job as the small business owner to find which platforms they’re on, or hire a digital marketing firm to locate them for you. This is important because it will ensure your ads and messages are being delivered to people who care about or need your services.
5. Create, Share and Post Good Content
What do I mean by “Good” content? “Good” doesn’t refer to what’s good for your business. If you’re trying to push advertisements every time you post to Facebook, update your webpage, or send out a tweet you are not posting “good” content. “Good” content is content that is good for your target audience. Your content is only good if your target audience wants to read/share/or comment on it. Posting tips and running social contests are two competitive ways to get your small business ahead of the rest.
6. Be Part of the Community
People, maybe by nature, have always been very concerned about the concept of community and the unification of their own town or city. One way to capitalize on this aspect of humanity is to make your small business a recognizable part of the community. You can do this by bidding on jobs for the town, city or county that you live in as well as promoting your community on social networks and other online methods. Small businesses, by nature, benefit their communities as well by helping with community identity, sponsoring local sports teams and creating local jobs. Being an active player in your community helps your small business stand out and helps you get local jobs in the future.
7. Analyze your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. When it comes to business, small or large, you can’t be afraid to analyze your competition and learn from them. Doing some research on your competitors can teach you what worked for them and what didn’t. You can then use this information for you own benefit, understanding what practices to implement for increase money flow and what practices to steer clear from.
Running your own small business can be both rewarding and challenging. With long-term focus and constant reevaluation, you can keep your small business successful by keeping it competitive. Still looking for other ways to keep your small business competitive? Small business loans are a great way to get the working capital you need so you can stay ahead of the competition.