In a world of Walmart, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook you can feel like a mere drop in the ocean as a small business owner. It’s tough work to make your small business stand out from the crowd. But, it’s completely doable. Many shoppers are looking for brand power, recognition, and convenience, which is why they opt for big brand names. But, there’s still hope for you if you have a small mom and pop business. You can undercut the competition by focusing on the little things that big companies often overlook.
You can still play ball in the Big League by implementing some of the strategies below.
If you’re wondering how to grow a small business and stake out your own piece of the market, be sure to implement these four tips. It’s important to not only work hard, but to work smart and efficiently. As a small business, client retention and customer loyalty are key elements for success.
1. Set Up a Reward System to Keep Customers Coming Back For More
Reward systems are a great way to grow a small business and keep clients coming back for more and morel Whether you offer landscaping services, alterations, file taxes, sell products, or run a restaurant, having a customer reward system is absolutely essential. Customer reward systems hack into consumer psychology and almost make your business addicting in a subconscious way. Earning points, getting stamps on your loyalty card, and getting rewards all feel really good and release massive amounts of dopamine.
Why would customers feel the need to buy flowers across the street when they could come to your florist shop since their only 3 stamps away from a prize? When thinking of a place to eat, wouldn’t a customer prefer to go to a restaurant that gave them 15% off their bill after getting a certain amount of points? Best of all, customer loyalty programs are completely online now, making managing them a breeze. CandyBar is a great customer reward system that provides valuable insight into how your customers are shopping, their likes and dislikes, and more. If you haven’t set up a customer loyalty program, now is the time to do so!
2. Add Credibility to Your Business — Start Racking Up Reviews from Repeat Clients
Getting reviews is key to getting new clients. If you’re wondering how to grow a small business, this is one of the most important steps in reaching new customers. The number of customers that actually post on your behalf on Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. is pretty small. Why would they make the effort? You must give your customers incentive to leave you a review.
That all starts by delivering value. Service with a smile. Going the extra mile. Ensuring your product functions down to the T. In order to get a positive response, you have to be deserving of it. From there, many small business neglect the simple power of asking for reviews. Just sold a product on your ecommerce site? Send them a personalized letter, ensure there are no problems with your product, and ask for the review. Just started a new restaurant? Be honest and let your customers know you’re brand new and need some help getting your business off the ground. Most people are willing to lend a helping hand, but a free drink, ebook, discount or any other value proposition work wonders, too.
3. Make Online Shopping Options Available
After the introduction of online shopping, it’s no surprise that more and more brick and mortar shops are going out of business. Entire malls are shutting down all across the United States and that trend is carrying over to other Western nations as well. Consumers are getting more for less online without the hassle of having to go to the store. While online shopping has completely revolutionized the way customers shop for new products, it doesn’t need to be the only way.
If you have a little boutique store, corner store, or any other shop and plan on it sticking around, you should probably set up an ecommerce portion to complement your brick and mortar store. If you live in a touristy town, sell at a flea market, run a restaurant, etc. you’re missing out on an opportunity for repeat buyers — unless you offer the option to buy and deliver online. Pairing ecommerce options and loyalty programs makes for an effective growth strategy for your small business! Make accessing your products as easy as possible by joining the ecommerce buzz.
4. Don’t Skimp on Social Media Content
Social media is often thought of as something that can be passed on to the intern or put on the backburner. But think again. As millennials transition into the dominant buying force, it’s important to cater to their needs. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center Report, “64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in the spring of 2011”. It seems that trend is only going to increase. With the vast majority of adults being smartphone and social media users, it’s important to launch this marketing aspect of your company.
Posting relatable, clever and unique content is the best way to keep your customers engaged. Just remember: it’s Facebook, not your landing page. Keep the salesy tone down and keep it fun, engaging and light with just a handful of Call to Actions sprinkled in your posts.
Bottom Line: Providing Value and Making Things Personal Are Key
No matter what you’re selling, what you’re offering; whether you’re a new business or veteran, it’s important that you focus on your customers. Give your customers that extra love and make them feel special through customer loyalty programs, offering rewards and incentives, and providing maximum value. It will pay off in the long run as you clear off your own territory in the market and keep your customers coming back for more. While it may seem like a difficult task to grow your small business, it can be done.
What proactive steps are you going to take today to grow your small business?