Small businesses are often short on money. I understand that. But in order to go from small to big, or from good to great, there are some fundamental tools that can’t be ignored. Which tools? Read on.
Badly designed logos and graphics reflect badly on your company. Why do you think that companies such as Virgin spend thousands on branding consultants? Your business branding should be aligned. Everything from your brand colours to your key messages and slogans should be well thought through. Even how you represent yourself at meetings. Your staff are your brand. Your logo is your brand. Leave nothing to chance and think the seemingly small details through. You can hire a brand consultant by the hour in order to maximise your budget. However, ignore it.
Would you have an unkempt shop front with litter outside it? Why then do some people think it is acceptable to have a cheap looking website? In the modern world, your website is your shop front. It will either entice or repel customers. Some large corporations pay thousands of pounds for their website, because they recognise the importance. Ensure your website looks sharp. And ensure that it has a lead generation tool, so you can capture the details of potential customers. Your website should not be a one of event. You should be constantly updating it, and it should grow as your business grows so that customers come back to it time and time again.
Your business needs media coverage. PR is no longer reserved for the big guns. It is accessible to all. Big corporations use it constantly. They are constantly talking to their potential customers through articles, radio and TV broadcasts. You see those celebrities that go on reality TV shows? They are not doing it because they love you. They are doing it for the exposure. They are doing it because they know that exposure sells. It sells their personal brand. Sure, it backfires for some people, but the right PR campaign with the right messages can add thousands, and in some cases, millions to your bottom line. Smaller companies should ignore this at their peril.
Social networking has become an important business tool and has helped many businesses reach millions of clients and partners around the world. People buy from people they like and trust. When your competitors offer services similar to yours, you need to work on your likability factor. Social media platforms have been designed for this purpose. So connect with your audience, use it consistently and you will be surprised by the outcome. Let’s not forget that it also an excellent way to promote your services and therefore reduce your advertising budget. You may have heard of the Dollar Shave Club enterprise. They became a YouTube sensation overnight with one fun and original YouTube video. Since then, they have sold millions of razors all over America.
Business is ultimately about people. As a business owner, you should be networking often both online and offline. Some of the biggest business owners are forever eating. They are always doing business deals over lunch, or over drinks because interaction with potential customers and investors is hugely important. If you run a small business, get out, smile and network – it will help your business to grow no end.