Despite their size, many small businesses actually have advantages over large businesses in terms of flexibility. A small independent corporation has the ability to adapt to new business trends and business models, can make business decisions without having to consult with other business executives, and can change the business’s and/or marketing’s direction without a second thought.
The main disadvantage with small businesses is their size, as competing with well-known companies can be challenging in terms of meeting the bottom line. However, just because your business is small does not mean that your business has to look small. Implementing a few simple techniques into your business can make it seem as professional and big as a well-known corporation.
Establish a marketing budget
Many small businesses struggle in the marketing department, often feeling like they are juggling more tasks than they can handle, and typically, marketing is the first area of business to suffer. Marketing a business is tough, especially if you do not have a background in marketing. Regardless of your experience, the first step to marketing your company is to set a budget.
Large companies set a marketing budget, as they need to be able to track where their marketing efforts are going. Not only is this helpful in terms of understanding what type of marketing is working for their company (and what is not), it is also key in ensuring they are not spending more money than they can afford.
Similarly, small businesses need to set a budget. While the budget will most likely be significantly smaller than a large corporation, it still gives you an amount of money to work with throughout the year. Once you know how much you can spend, you can begin organizing your marketing strategies, such as business cards, printed business pamphlets, and other content marketing.
Create a website
In this digital age it is imperative small businesses have a website available to their customers, even if the website is fairly basic. Giving your business an online presence is key to getting it on the map, as a website gives your business the chance to extend its customer reach. Due to Google’s local search rankings, anyone local to your business looking for a particular product or service your business offers will most likely stumble across your business, bringing customers right to you.
In fact, most people use the Internet to not only find businesses that sell something they are looking for, but also to research reviews, price information, and availability. By ignoring a website, you are losing out on hundreds of potential customers. Large businesses know the importance of having an online presence, and your small business will benefit as well. Not only will it add an air of authority to your business, it makes your business look professional.
Equally important to building a website is building a social media following. Young teens to adults of all ages are on social media and use social media to find and follow businesses. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, there are plenty of ways to get your business out to the public. While you do not necessarily need to be on all social media channels, as it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them, it is a smart business practice to have some sort of social media presence.
Additionally, social media is a great way to connect and interact with both customers and other brands in a more personal manner. Many people choose certain businesses based on how personable they are with their customers. Social media is a perfect platform to interact with customers, letting them see your business in a different, more personal light.
Treat your business like a business
Basically, regardless of the size of your business, you still need to treat your business like a business. Many small companies tend to fall into the trap of treating their business like a hobby, which can lead to the business stalling quickly, as running a business and running a hobby are two very different things.
It can be more difficult for small businesses to spend money, as there is often not a lot to spend, especially in comparison to large businesses. However, in order to grow your business, you need to invest in it. Large businesses spend money to make money, as they know the return investment they will see from spending money in the right places. While your small business budget might be smaller, make sure you are investing in your company.
These easy techniques can help other businesses and customers see your independent business as a professional corporation, and belie your current lack of scale.