Small Business, BIG Ambition
Being small doesn’t mean going unnoticed. Think about David and Goliath. Smaller in size, David strategically used his slingshot to attack Goliath’s weak spot. And, just as in business, small businesses need to maximise their strategic strengths to enable their business to appear larger than it actually is while still celebrating their competitive advantage over their larger counterparts.
Small businesses tend to have limited resources. As a result, the classic small business has to run from project to project and emergency to emergency rather than getting on track to achieve their business objectives.
The sad fact is approximately 70% of small businesses go out of business in the first 12 months and within five years, 80% of those left standing will go out of business too.
So what can your small business do to get noticed and get on course to achieve your goals?
1. Define your market. Don’t just use the major category label, doing so means that you’ll always be small compared to the leader.
Retail Connect Tip: We work with our clients, whether start up or an established business to assess their market and determine where your business sits in the mind of the consumer. We look at current sales prospects plus product and market opportunities for the future.
2. Have a plan. Many small businesses brag about being able to react quickly. What this often means is that their limited team are quick to respond to the next issue confronting them, however the business is constantly in a reactive mode and is hindered from moving forward.
Retail Connect Tip: We work with our clients to create a business plan. Your goal is to have an actionable strategy that provides a framework for keeping your business on track to grow by building its brand, attracting new customers and making profitable sales.
3. Present your brand consistently. Don’t think branding is only for big businesses with large budgets and that you can’t afford to develop yours. This definitely is not the case. The key is to determine the core attributes of your brand and use them in everything you do.
Retail Connect Tip: We develop a brand positioning document to ensure that you always present your company the same way so that everything you do contributes to your overall business cost-effectively.
4. Create effective meaningful content. Content marketing fuels social media, supports search optimization, and drives lead generation and sales through the engagement of an idea rather than a product or service. Efficient use of content marketing will get you in front of the right audience.
Retail Connect Tip: We plan your content marketing to ensure that every piece is part of a larger strategy that’s integrated with your promotional plan and supports your brand, social media, search and sales.
5. Develop social media profiles. As a small player seeking to appear bigger, you need to have a presence on a variety of social media platforms. This doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your time on social media becoming too friendly with your followers - they want to know about your business not what you got up to on the weekend!
Retail Connect Tip: We manage a number of client’s social media interaction focusing on building relationships with influencers, prospects, customers and the public. And that all content is relevant, meaningful for the audience and that we link to clients websites to convert engagement to sales. Importantly, we sound just like you would so followers don’t know it’s not you making the posts.
6. Get out of your store or office and network. People relate to people. You need to get out from behind your computer or counter and engage with others.
Retail Connect Tip: We are always talking about our clients – why? We love working with them and we are passionate about their business. We also recommend that our clients attend the major tradeshows in your niche and local business events. This provides for peer-to-peer networking.
7. Manage your time. Time management flies out of the window for many small businesses as they rush to confront the latest issue. The problem with this approach is that you’ll never be in control of your most scarce resource. Even worse for your personal well-being is that you never feel that you’ve accomplished anything. While you may have responded to all of the inquiries, you’ve allowed these requests to derail you from your goals.
Retail Connect Tip: We work to keep our clients focused on scheduling time for key strategic projects by providing the practical business support they need to focus on their business initiatives. Small businesses don’t have the internal networks so it’s important to regularly catch up and provide on-going support.
To achieve small business success, you must focus your efforts on achieving your goals. This means making every activity count and contribute to your overarching objectives. Remember, spending the time ON your business is just as important as working in it.
So what other small business tactics will you be adding to your list to help you appear larger than you actually are?