Big box stores and chains have the lower prices
Big box stores and chains have the lower prices. They have the resources to meet and keep up with crazy demands. They have diversity, flexibility and availability. Given everything that large retailers can offer that small businesses cannot, how can your small business compete? The answer is simple: You have the opportunity to build genuine relationships with each individual who comes through your door. However, to build said relationships and maintain them for the life of your business, you need to engage with prospects and existing customers alike. Below are top tips to help you do just that.
Make Time for Your Customers
Growing and running a small business comes with numerous responsibilities, each of which demands a significant chunk of your time. After doing everything from creating a budget to training employees to cleaning your store at the end of each day, you may have little to no time left over to actually devote to your customers. If that’s the case, take steps to change that today.
Start by outsourcing the most time-consuming and/or tedious tasks on your to-do list. While those vary from business to business, the most commonly outsourced tasks include data mining and researching, scheduling, bookkeeping, content marketing and social media management.
Identify other stressors and find ways you can either eliminate them or, at the very least, make them less stressful for you. For example, consider structuring your business as a limited liability company. LLCs require far less paperwork than other business structures and afford more protection against business liabilities. Entrepreneur notes that LLCs retain important tax benefits like owner compensation in the form of distributions of profit, as well as pass-through of business losses, offsetting the owner’s other nonbusiness income.
You can form an LLC on your own with a formation service and avoid hefty lawyer fees in the process. However, to prevent future hassle, check with your state to see if there are any rules or regulations you need to know about.
Sponsor Community Events
Sponsorship is one of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways to get your name out into the community and garner positive interest. Whether you sponsor the local high school football team or an annual walk-a-thon, the benefits associated with sponsorship are huge, allowing you to boost your brand’s reputation and build brand equity in the community.
Learn Your Customers’ Names, and Use Them
According to HubSpot, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that deliver a personalized experience. While it’s important to personalize interactions across all touchpoints, you don’t have to think too far outside the box to get customers’ attention. In fact, all you have to do is use their names. By using customers’ names, you demonstrate that you value and respect them as more than just a paycheck. It also puts a human touch on business transactions and helps you establish personal relationships.
Reward Customers for Their Loyalty
Reward customers both near and far for their loyalty. For local customers, host a raffle, give away hotdogs in front of your store or give out free t-shirts on a designated weekend. Show regular online shoppers some love, too, via discount codes, a free gift with purchase, or an exclusive buy-one-get-one-free promotion.
Earning and maintaining customer loyalty is no easy feat. However, it’s absolutely necessary for small businesses to grow and thrive in today’s competitive environment. Use the above tips to start earning loyalty today, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Your efforts will pay off.
OwlHoot Media is a digital marketing agency offering marketing services including search engine optimization campaigns, customized pay-per-click and social media campaigns, website design solutions, and more. Contact us today to see how we can help transform your company and create innovative design experiences. (888) 644-4966