Finding your business’s place in the market can be very challenging: there are dozens of companies that have similar services, but have more resources, experience and rapport than your business does. Customers may already be flocking to them, making it difficult for you to acquire new people and grow.
But, there are several advantages your small business can utilize to edge yourself out from the competition:
Find your niche
The best way to set your company apart from the rest is to find an aspect of your industry that is either missing or underutilized. Most likely, you started your business because you saw something that can be changed; using that in your branding and marketing will make it clear to customers that what you provide is something your competition cannot.
Trying new and unconventional practices can also make your business stand out. Trial-and-error is much easier to do as a small business, so you should consider toying with strategies that are not industry standard.
Provide excellent service and customer support
With fewer customers, providing white glove support should be manageable. Executing this well can build positive traction that can lead to recommendations and other referrals from your customers.
Leveraging early customer feedback to refine your business offerings can also help with customer retention. Consider personalizing communications, implementing an incentive system and tracking feedback when it’s received.
Leverage human connection
Along with building connections with your existing customers, humanizing your business can attract prospective clients. It is helpful to include how and/or why your business started in your advertising , since people have an easier time relating to a person rather than a corporation.
Sharing your story on social media and highlighting it on your company website uses pathos — appealing to one's emotions — to its fullest extent. Storytelling is powerful and sought after; people want to be inspired by other people like themselves, something that a larger company may have a harder time getting across.
Be up-to-date on trends and learn to pivot
Trends are always changing, and as one of the sole directors of your business, you have the most control over how your operations are run. Because of this, it is crucial to do regular research on what is happening within your industry, and the business world as a whole.
One resource you can use to lighten the workload is Google. You can set notifications for forums or relevant keywords so that you are updated frequently, without having to seek out information all on your own. There are also awesome industry-specific newsletters that aggregate and send the latest industry updates directly to your inbox.
Collaborate with competitors
Your competitors are not necessarily your enemies; working with your competitors, when it makes sense, can provide a new client base, resources and brand recognition.
Something short term, like a social media campaign, can bring in lots of attention. It is important, though, that your business keeps its autonomy and identity and not be completely overshadowed by the collaborator.
Need more help?
If you need more help with your approach to stand out against competitors, schedule a 1:1 advisory session with our marketing or operations Sages.