In an increasingly global world, sometimes it can seem that Google and Amazon will soon run everything. But there is undoubtedly room for small operators, even in this market. In this article, we will take a close look at some of the ideas and strategies successful micro-businesses employ to achieve success.
Have a Professional-Looking Website
Image is everything. Just because you are small doesn’t mean you have to appear to be small-time. Also, don’t fall into the trap of thinking a professional website needs to be elaborate and complicated. In most small businesses, the idea that less is more is vital. Essential information, well presented, and easy to find is all you need. For certain types of businesses, such as creative design, or trades, it is good to have examples of previous work for potential customers to see.
Offer Great Customer Service
For a one-person business, your biggest asset is yourself. Many clients like the attention to detail and independent professional can bring. They know that when they speak with you, they are dealing with the head of the whole business, and that can be comforting, even if there is an issue. With large companies, clients can perceive that customer service operatives are uncaring and only want to get to the end of their shift without consideration for the customer. You know your customers best, and if you use this info to give them what they want, you can’t go far wrong.
Rely on Sub-Contractors and Service Providers
Just because you don’t have any employees doesn’t mean you are entirely on your own. The world of work today involves all kinds of collaborative working practices. Your website designer can be a freelance professional. Or the courier who gets you that last-minute trade show delivery on time is from another company. Even if you need someone directly working with you for a short period, you can hire agency staff temporarily quite easily.
Don’t Pretend to be What You Are Not.
The biggest mistake a small business can make is to pretend that they are a much larger operator. This will give an incorrect impression of what you offer and may leave customers annoyed and feel that you are attempting to con them. If you are good at what you do, customers will be looking for those skills with a personal service. Others may feel more comfortable looking for large chain firms, but it’s best to seek out the customers who are right for you.
Find Your USP
How we attract those customers is by identifying your Unique Selling Point (USP). This could be that you have a particular skill that is in short supply. It could be you have industry contacts and have a supplier that allows you to out-price the competition. Whatever it is, the best advice is to concentrate on your strength, don’t try and offer something you will struggle to deliver, as then everyone ends up disappointed.