Small business owners generally start companies with a lofty vision – for many, this includes being known and welcomed by the community they are a part of. For other business owners, they set out to beat the competition, whether by winning the lion share of the community’s profits or simply by providing better products and services. A great deal of SMBs in the Metro Atlanta area will discover that customers prefer to spend their money at local businesses – if they can afford it.
If you find yourself struggling to bring in the local customers you expect to, consider these five suggestions to help kickstart your brainstorming. As you think about the following, also ask yourself what your business does better than the competition, especially the big corporations.
Small Business Client Relationships
As a local small business, your ace in the hole will always relate to customer service. Simply put, as a part of the community you work in, your advantage is that you know people. Consumers prefer to work with people and businesses they know and trust; the more you get into the community and help link your face to your brand, the more customers you are likely to see walk through your doors.
Leverage Social Media
Second only to the building of in-person brand recognition, social media exposure and marketing campaigns are paramount to your success in reaching target audiences. The key to making an impact on potential customers will be to interact directly with commenters and reply to the messages that you receive. Run ad campaigns on all of the big names in social media, but don’t forget to personalize the content for the audience you’re targeting.
Own Your Local Title
Try to focus on the reason you started your business. Refer to your core values and mission statement frequently to remind yourself to stay centered and focused. Local businesses have a leg up on the competition simply by not being corporations – many consumers prefer to support their communities, keeping hard-earned dollars within the local economy. Us this to your advantage – you should be proud of your local status.
Know Your Community
As an active member of your city, you are the living embodiment of insider tips. If you come across a need for a certain product or service, you will know before anyone else will; take the opportunity to fill this need for your community before someone else catches wind of it!
Hire With Purpose
Business owners generally hire for talent and to fill a simple job description. As a small business owner, you know that your team members need to be chosen wisely – especially if you’re on a limited budget. Employees with multiple talents are extremely valuable, but there will always be room for a team member who is extremely great with the customers. You’ll want employees that know members of the community; they will be your lifeline in bringing clients back again and again.
Leverage Personality and Emotion
This is a strategy often used by big businesses and corporations, but it can often feel forced and overworked for those brands. Since you are a recognizable face in your community, this step will feel natural as long as you don’t try to be something you aren’t. Tell your brand’s story, record Q&A sessions, record behind-the-scenes tours; regardless of what you do, stay true to your goals as an individual.
Take Calculated Risks
Another of your strategies should be to embrace innovation. You have a unique ability to respond quickly and change direction with ease. Corporations and large businesses generally have a chain of command and hierarchy to follow before changing processes and procedures. Keep your eyes and ears open so that you can turn on a dime and reap the benefits of being a small business. Don’t be afraid to be different! If you’ve played your cards just right, your customers will follow you anywhere.