In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, it’s crucial that you make the most out of every opportunity to create a competitive edge.
What comes to mind when potential customers think of your business? Make sure you’re doing everything in your power to create a positive connection with customers with tips to help you get the word out about your brand and make a lasting impression with potential customers.
Every small business has a niche, a target audience and a core group of customers who are loyal to its goods and services. In order to grow your business, though, you must reach out to engage potential customers — while making sure you maintain strong relationships with existing customers.It can be tricky. But if you can learn how to appeal to your base and reach your prospects — you’ll be well on your way to effectively marketing your small business.
Connect with your customers.
Depending on the size and type of business you have, getting to know your customers can be challenging — but doing so is critical. Here are some ideas for connecting with customers, both new and old:Host events that allow you to mingle. On-site events, learning sessions, new product reveals and special “customer-only” gatherings allow you to interact with your clients in a whole new way.
Take this as an opportunity to ask questions, learn about their likes, wants, and needs.
Get social — online.
If you have a Facebook page, use it to find out what your customers want. You might be surprised at the responses you get when you ask your customers and prospects what items and services they’d like you to provide. On Facebook and Twitter, you have the opportunity to take your questions directly to your audience in a less formal manner. If you don’t have a place to meet, create one. Elsewhere in social media, you can connect in unique ways. Set up a Google+ Hangout and chat live with customers and prospects about a specific topic — or just spend some time getting to know each other better. Or you could organize a contest on photo-sharing sites like Instagram or Pinterest where people can upload their images and vote on winners in specific categories.
Show them you care.
All of your customers want to feel that you want to meet their needs. So learn as much as you can about them and do your best to deliver — and they’ll stick around to grow your business.Support/create events your customers will love. If possible, set up or participate in public events that attract your customers and prospects, or work with your chamber of commerce to develop an event that appeals to them. It could boost your image among your clients and help increase your status in the community.
Give them an opportunity to share. Whether you have an anonymous suggestion box, a blog with comments enabled, or a “customers’ corner” section on your website where clients can offer feedback, give your customers a “safe” way to share their ideas and experiences and you just might find new ways to meet their needs.
Create loyal customers
Happy customers are repeat customers, and they can bring in new business with their endorsements. Build a lasting relationship with your customers and keep them coming back . You can buy just about anything you want on-line. Yet great service with on-line transactions can make a big difference in maintaining customer loyalty. In fact, it’s probably the one thing small-business owners can do better and more effectively than anyone else.
You never know when — or how — a customer or prospect will want to contact you. So make sure they can reach you in a number of ways, starting with:
- phone number
- text message
- email address
- website “contact us” form
- website features (Google Maps/directions, live chat, etc.)
- Make a good first impression.
The customer experience starts the moment someone sees your shop door or finds your website. Therefore, be mindful of how they look. Set up a well-organized website that offers clear information, including details about your business’ hours of operation, location, contact information, etc. You will stand a better chance of helping customers find the information they need right when they need it. Both your physical location and your website should be good representations of what your company is all about.
Always keep your eyes and ears open to what’s going on in the market and in the economy, in general. This way, you can better prepare yourself to offer something different to your customers. Moreover, you can also find out what your competitors are offering their customers. However, now a days small-business people take their offices with them. Mobile devices and apps have revolutionized the very concept of office space. With cloud resources at your service, employees spend less time chained to a desk. Resulting in more productivity and profitability.
Hire employees who fit your company culture
Fitting in with a company’s culture is a big part of growing into a successful employee. By the same token, when hiring, make a list of must-have traits and ask out-of-the-box questions in the interview to see if the applicant will be a good fit. Learn more about what to look for during each stage of the process. For small businesses, every single hire is a critical decision. And the wrong fit can waste valuable time and resources. Ultimately, the person you hire should be able to easily transition into their new role because they share the same professional ideals and work ethic of your current employees.
Get expert assistance for your business
It’s estimated that entrepreneurs spend almost half their day performing essential employee management service tasks. In fact, try to spend more time building your business and leave employee management to the specialists. Try not to do everything yourself. Seek out professionals to use as resources to help you make critical decisions for your small business. These trusted advisers include accountants, insurance agents and attorneys.
Make the most out of every opportunity to create a competitive edge.