Small business - You've made it, now what?

There’s something special about small business. They are a valuable asset to both large and small communities and help to create employment, niche markets and personalised customer experiences. Small businesses also benefit themselves and their customers by being flexible with their operations (unconstrained by corporate protocol), contributing to the community more often and by being more engaged with community issues overall.

It can take some time for new small businesses to integrate themselves into the community in this manner though – which is a necessity for income building. Because of this, we have compiled a list of tips that will help you establish your brand within your community and beyond:

Building your Brand’s Reputation

Elaborating on what we’ve mentioned above, building your brand is so much more than designing a logo and business name. It’s about building a reputation based on excellent customer service, attention to detail, the way you promote yourself – both offline and online – and the quality of your products / services among other things. All of these factors are the things that will build your brand’s reputation, trust and credibility – not just a fancy logo, personalised mugs or foil business cards.

Carefully choose your name and logo

While the above point takes the focus of the brand name and logo itself, it IS still important to ensure you make the right choice when choosing a name and logo. Particularly so you don’t end up in this list, or this one. Your brand name is something that you have to be prepared to live with (or at least trade with) for years to come, so you definitely don’t want to build your brand name up, only to regret your choice later on. A good brand name and logo is usually simple, easily recognised and should represent the product and service you’re selling. Think of the major multi-million dollar companies and their logos. They aren’t called ‘Squiddlymumkinputz Bakery’ or anything confusing like that – they are usually either named after a founder (think McDonald's, which is the surname of the brothers who founded the company) or represent the product in simple terms (Kentucky Fried Chicken). Your brand should reflect what your business stands for, the products/services you offer and the overall ‘feel’ of your business.

Make a unique impression

To make an impression in small business, your brand needs to be different from all the other similar brands out there. To ensure this, you’ll need to sit down and really consider what makes your business unique. Do you offer a niche product or service that no one else (or very few other businesses) offers (like Car Detailing perhaps)? Do you go the extra mile for your customers? Do you offer benefits that aren’t available with larger businesses? These will be your selling points, so ensure you know what they are.

Maintain your quality, no matter what

Don’t ever let money get in the way of offering the best products and services. By cutting corners, your business will eventually suffer as people use word of mouth to tell others of your shortcomings. There’s no doubt that your business will suffer if you offer substandard products and services, no matter how well established your brand or how lovely your customer service is.

Be the face of your brand

An actively engaged owner guarantees motivated staff and that issues are responded to quickly. There’s nothing worse than having a problem as a customer and then only having inexperienced, unconfident junior staff offering unsatisfactory solutions. If you really want to establish trust in your customers, you need to be there to solve issues, be engaged and connect with your community.

Don’t skimp on representatives

Besides having excellent staff, you’ll also need knowledgeable promoters to ensure your business is represented across advertising, social media and other public exposure. You’ll need someone capable and competent to handle complaints and enquiries. This could make or break your business, so don’t leave this aspect to be handled by incompetent staff, or worse, fail to have these avenues of contact in the first place!

These are just a few of the ways in which you can ensure small business growth. With a lot of planning and careful consideration of all aspects, you’ll be a poplar fixture in your local community or specific business niche in no time at all.

 

The CFS Team
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