You might be one local pizza shop in a sea of local pizza shops. So how do you attract attention, gain recognition and add to your loyal customer base? These 11 tips can help your small business thrive and stand out among the competition:
- Know your unique qualities. What makes you different from other businesses like yours? Is it your product? Your great customer service? Your knowledge? Focus on your specialty.
- Build your brand. Sure, you need a memorable name, professional logo and catchy slogan along with some eye-catching visuals, but you need more. The entire customer experience should reflect the brand. This includes voice – not just what you say, but how you say it – in every interaction with customers, whether written or spoken.
- Study the competition. Adopt their strengths and avoid their weaknesses. Even if you love their product and marketing, dare to be different.
- Examine the market. What’s new in your industry? What are you missing out on? How can you beat your competition to the punch? Being up to date on the latest can help generate new ideas.
- Be an online presence. Your website should be optimized for mobile. Non-game app downloads are estimated to grow 23 percent through 2020,1 so develop a mobile app. Include your menu or product/service offerings with a price list. Nearly 80 percent of small businesses use social media to promote their offerings,2 so join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… as many sites as make sense to promote your business.
- Monitor the internet. 92 percent of consumers read online reviews.3 Create a good impression and favorable reputation with readers by responding to each review. There are online tools that will track feedback for you. Also, check business listings for accuracy to ensure you can easily be contacted and located.
- Provide quality. Not just in your product, food or service, but also in your interactions with customers. Bend over backwards to ensure their experience is the best it can be and to further elevate your company’s reputation.
- Create an enjoyable work environment. You and your employees are the face of your brand. When your employees are happy and enthusiastic about their jobs and your product, customers will take notice.
- Analyze. Track as much data as you can about customers, sales, promotions, competitors, marketing and advertising, web traffic…the list goes on. As analytics tools improve, they not only reveal past results and patterns, but also the actions you should take based on those results and patterns.4
- Leverage the power of incentives. Everyone wants the most bang for their buck, so give current and potential customers incentives to engage with your business. Offer them a coupon in exchange for their email address or for downloading your custom app, like one created by Total Loyalty Solutions. Keep the engagement going with special offers throughout the year and word will spread.
- Advertise. You can give 110 percent effort to all of the above, but without advertising, it may be for naught. You don’t have to spend a lot; there are plenty of budget-saving, creative ways to advertise in your community.
1.BusinessApps, 5 Essential Mobile Stats Every Entrepreneur Should Know
2.Marketing Charts, More SMBs Say They Advertise on Facebook Than Use Twitter
3.BrightLocal, 92% of Consumers Now Read Online Reviews for Local Businesses!
4.Smallbizdaily, 2016 Predictions: Insights From Small Business Experts and Thought Leaders