Small businesses oftentimes feel intimidated by the big businesses and the big competitive standard they have set. Surviving this, however, requires smart thinking and actions on the part of the small businesses to be able to stay afloat. Here are some tips:
- Begin with a specific demographic. Focus on a specific target market, sell to that core and expand from there. Initially, Red Bull energy drink wasn’t targeted to a particular market and this caused slow sales as people couldn’t place the category of the drink – sports stimulant or soft drink. Co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz took another look at the plan and decided to narrow his focus to students. Relentless marketing to them resulted in skyrocketed sales and growth rate. In 2011, Red Bull was reported to have a 50% and 46% market share in Canada and the US respectively.
- Find your competitive angle and show it off. This is the perfect time to make the best use of your unique value proposition. Use to your advantage that distinctive thing that makes you stand out from the competition and you can display this in the birth story of your business. Show off those tiny details which makes you different such as fast response time to complaints or enquiries, better packaging, more eco-friendly products, brand influencers on your team, etc.
- Have the ability to captivate and hold on to your customers’ attention. One way to do this is to have an amazing and interactive website with all the right features in place. Just like Apple, use your website to make your customers yearn to experience your product. Remember, with the attention span of an average person brought down to 8 seconds, you should be able to impress them in about 3 – 5 seconds. Make innovation and creativity your new best friends to survive the business competition.
- Have excellent customer service. This is one area where most startups get it wrong. Beef up your customer service department to be able to properly respond to and even surpass the expectations of customers. The way you or your team respond to emails, receive calls, answer enquiries, and even solve complaints go a long way to tell much about your business.
Winning over and keeping a consistent loyal customer base, is a key way to keep your business afloat and out of sharks way. Impressed customers can even help sell your brand through word of mouth advertisement, online ratings/reviews and even on their social media platforms.