Small businesses lack the resources and funds that bigger corporations typically have. But every big corporation once started out small. Small businesses can learn valuable lessons by taking a cue from big players.
Focus on Customer Service
Just because you don’t have a dedicated customer service team doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a service mentality. Your customers are your most important asset; treat them well. That means being attentive to problems and offering quick resolutions.
Take Marketing Seriously
It doesn’t take a big marketing budget to generate brand recognition. Using modern marketing practices, such as social media, can offer a big bang for your buck. Always use a marketing plan and treat it as a core component of your business.
There’s still a lot to be said for word-of-mouth marketing. You can get your customers to handle most of your marketing for you if you play your cards right. Offer incentives in exchange for testimonials, for instance, or a free product in exchange for a blog review.
There are times when it will be necessary to shift your focus, but do it wisely. A total revamp of your business model, product lines or service offerings can leave your target market wondering whether you’re here to stay. Stick with small changes, planned strategically over time.
Delegate When Possible
Major corporations have entire teams focused on one core segment of the business. Small businesses don’t have the capacity to support such a large payroll, but delegating where you can will leave you more time to focus on your primary strengths. If you can’t afford a full-time staffer, outsource ancillary functions such as payroll. The investment will pay for itself in increased productivity.
Use Software Instead of People
Hiring and training staff is often one of a company’s biggest expenses. If you can use software in place of an employee, do so. Job scheduling software for businesses, for instance, can save you thousands of dollars you’d otherwise spend on a full-time staffer.
Keep It Lean
Even major companies have to keep their spending in check. Budget carefully and avoid spending excess resources on non-essentials. It’s tempting to spend big for things such as promotional items, but evaluate your ROI before making any major investments. Lean business practices can save you money, eliminate waste and even improve the quality of your products and services.
Become an Expert in Your Industry
Consumers choose companies they trust. One of the best ways to earn the trust of your audience is to educate them. There’s a reason they say content is king; it’s one of the most effective ways to provide value to your target audience and gain their trust. Share your knowledge and offer information to your customers they can use.
There’s a strong divide between small businesses and major corporations. But the fundamentals of good business practice apply across the board. Model the best practices of industry leaders and take the road to success.
Joseph Stark Jr. is a freelance writer and blogger by day, focusing on technology and web design niches. By night he is a tech junkie, gym member, and avid comic book enthusiast. When he’s not out in his garage modifying his computer, he’s writing for established companies like Copy For By Lines.
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Category: Startup Advice