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Keeping Up With the Competition: Getting Ahead in Your Small Business

As a smaller, new business it can be difficult to keep up. Customers tend to like shopping with bigger companies or brands they have used before, as they know they’re likely to have a good experience, and any issues will be put right quickly. It can be difficult to encourage them to take a chance on you, however there are things you can do to put the odds in your favour. Here’s how you can keep up with your more established competition.

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Work on Your Unique Selling Point

your small business

This is perhaps one of the most important things to consider, as a small business wanting to compete with more established competition. There are always going to be hundreds of other companies selling similar products or services to you, but tweaking your USP allows you to draw in your own customers and reduce direct competition. For example, if you sell budget baby clothes and your competitor sells luxury baby clothes, you’re both likely to have your own separate customer bases. Before opening your doors, work out exactly what your brand message is- what you’re going to be selling and who to. This allows you to tweak things and hopefully build a loyal customer base in time.

Update Your Marketing Techniques

Speaking of your brand message, once you have this right, it makes it a lot easier to market your business. Knowing what kind of customers you’re targeting will allow your marketing team to create the right materials to appeal to them. Marketing is such an important element of business, and it’s something lots of new business owners can overlook. You could have the best products or services in the world, but without proper marketing, you’re never going to reach the right people. The internet is a huge place, the chances of them stumbling upon you are slim- especially in the early days when you won’t be ranking highly within search engine listings.

Marketing needs to involve a mixture of techniques, from social media marketing to video marketing, blogger outreach as well as ‘older’ methods such as billboards and flyers for certain types of businesses. Business expos can be another great way to get your name out there as well as speak to potential customers and clients face to face. You can even have your brand name printed on marquees or custom tents to help draw people in- you can find out more about this here. It can be a tricky part of your business to get right, speak to a marketing agency if you’re not sure.

Invest in an App

More sales are made on mobiles and tablets than they are on laptops and computers these days, which isn’t information you can afford to ignore as a business owner. You should have course have your website optimised for mobiles so that it displays correctly on all screen sizes, but you could go a step further too and have an app created. This is something bigger businesses realised the potential of long ago now, but smaller and medium sized companies still often don’t get on board with. Work with an app developer and have them create something beautiful and unique just for you.

Use the Right Software

The right software will make life easier for you as a business owner in so many ways. It can boost productivity and save you money, allowing you to keep up with your competition. Business software can do anything from keeping your accounts in order to scheduling rotas, creating legally binding contracts and much more. There are lots of different programs out there so work out what’s best for your business, and use this technology to help you get ahead.

Go Global

When you sell worldwide, you increase your potential customers and therefore can boost the profits you make. Reaching a wider audience can be tricky, and you will have to be aware of things like shipping and shipping costs, banned ingredients or items and much more. Chances are you will need to either outsource the various shipping elements of your business for ease and reducing costs, but in the future, you could even look into options such as purchasing your own fleet. The sky’s the limit, and whether you’re big or small, going global is a way to take your business to the next level.

Write A Business Blog

A business blog shows customers that you know what you’re talking about. Interesting, exciting content in the field that you’re selling in will show customers that you’re knowledgeable and can also help to build up a fan base/ readership. It can be a way to promote your products for free, and can even help to boost your website’s ranking in search engines.

Your blog can be a source of income within itself, and it can show that you’re a trustworthy and reliable business. Scam companies aren’t going to go to the extent of writing up a blog and keeping it running, and so it can be a way to show customers that you’re safe to shop with. If you’re not on board with blogging for business you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You don’t even need to write the content yourself, you can hire freelance writers online who will be experienced in writing in this medium.

Listen to Customer Feedback

While every business will like reading good reviews about themselves, it’s the negative ones which can really help you to improve. Negative customer feedback shows where you’re failing, where you can improve and do better next time. If you’re getting the same kinds of comments over and over, it shows where you really need to address in your company. With so many similar businesses around, unsatisfied customers could simply use your competitor instead, and so it pays to make sure you’re getting it right for everyone.

If you’re a new business, these are all things to bear in mind. If you’ve been trading for a while and have noticed a decline in profits, these are also things to take into consideration and could be where you’re going wrong. A few simple adjustments could see you turning a healthy profit again.

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