Without a doubt, starting a small business is challenging. But given that nowadays, customers have a plethora of options or places to buy from, the toughest part is staying in business. Thus, the question that is often posed for small business owners is, “What makes my business so unique from my competitors that people are willing to spend their money on what I have to offer because they can’t get it anywhere else?” To answer the question, listed below are some methods to make your small business shine in a sea of competitors.
1.Provide “Royalty” Customer Service
Even though simply making customers feel heard and respected are some of the most crucial aspects of customer service, sometimes it has to be more. To treat your customers like “royalty,” you have to make an extra effort to help them out and make them feel assured and satisfied, which sometimes can be done through creating a personal connection with the customer and using certain phrases that are pleasing to the ear, such as “Happy to help!” and “I truly apologize for the inconvenience.” Furthermore, according to Forbes, a well known media and publishing company, 75% of all customers state that they consider customer service a true test of a company’s competence. No customer wants to wait in long lines or receive poor responses from representatives. Providing your customers with an extraordinary service leaves them a good impression to return to your store.
2.Establish a Memorable Culture
Be bold and authentic! To create a long-lasting culture for your business, host traditional festivities for the public to participate in and have fun. This is especially great to target customers with children, given that this can be something for the kids to enjoy and for the adults to get an insight into your business. For instance, every year during Easter, Chick Fil A throws a breakfast with the Easter Bunny for children. Hosting an event is a great way for your business to get immediate exposure from the community in which you serve and even potential media and press outlets. The more exposure your company has, the more opportunities you have created for your business to silently “sell” its product or service. Through the event, the audience is going to get an insight into your business; it’s the oldest “sales” trick in the book.
Guarantees in business are agreements or promises made to customers in order to offer security. Establishing guaranteed next-day delivery, product returns, and product exchanges are some great ways to assure your customers to be 100% confident in buying your products. Offering “guarantees” for your products reveal to your customers that you care about their satisfaction. For example, popular activewear store Lululemon has a lifetime warranty for their leggings. As stated by Lululemon on its website,“If our product doesn't perform for you, we'll take it back. While we pride ourselves on creating long-lasting gear, our quality promise does not cover usage beyond a practical lifetime. Choosing the right fabric for the ways you like to sweat is everything to us. When the right fabric doesn't exist, we create it.”
4.Surprise & Delight Your Customers
A simple gesture can go a long way toward building customer loyalty in a competitive marketplace. For instance, if you have a coffee shop, set up a “$1 coffee during the Happy Hour on weekdays” deal. If you have an online jewelry store, send some freebies and a personalized and handwritten note in their orders. Whether it is rewarding your customers or sending a simple note, be sure to go above and beyond their expectations. This sets the bar high and your customers will think highly of your business’ service. Once a customer feels acknowledged and pleased, he or she will feel satisfied and will be more likely to return.
5.Be Honest and Candid
Honesty is the best policy; this applies to all circumstances, but especially in business. Being honest is a key component of a business because it sets the standard for the kind of work culture and environment of your business, provides an organized workplace behavior, and builds trust in customers and prospects. In other words, being upfront about all the elements of your business maximizes its potential success because your company is known to possess a high level of integrity and authenticity. Furthermore, the less obscure a business is about its workplace, the happier its workers are; happier workers also mean productive workers.
These strategies above are some methods for you to utilize in order to make your business stand out. From providing exceptional service to hosting to fun events, these tricks will make your customers feel not only welcome but content and satisfied. In addition, as CEO of International Business Machines Corporation Thomas J. Watson said, “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.”
BLND Public Relations. “Why Event Management Is so Important for Your Business.” BLND Public Relations, 21 Apr. 2017, blndpr.com/blog/hosting-event-important-business-move.
Myler, Larry. “7 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out In A Crowd Of Competitors.” Forbes, 28 Feb. 2017,
Gerber, Scott. “10 Great Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Customers Today.” Outpost Blog, 26 Mar. 2021, www.teamoutpost.com/blog/customer-care-methods.
Quain, Sampson. “Why Is Honesty Important in a Business?” Small Business - Chron.Com, uploaded by Sampson Quain, 1 Feb. 2019, smallbusiness.chron.com/honesty-important-business-22624.html.
Llp, Klemchuk. “The Importance of Honesty in the Workplace.” Klemchuk LLP, 29 Mar. 2020, www.klemchuk.com/culture-counts/importance-of-honesty-in-workplace.