You might have a great idea for a business. But unfortunately, so do many other people. And that means that, though you’d like customers to just fall into your lap, the reality is that you’ll need to go out and get them. You can’t do anything about the number of other businesses you’re competing with, but you can ensure that you’re doing everything you can to get the attention of the public. So how can you do this? It’s all about ensuring that your business stands out from the crowd. In this blog, we’ll run through some handy tips that’ll make sure you find your way into the public’s minds — and once you’re there, it’ll be about staying there.
If you haven’t yet gotten your business up and running, then you’ll have an opportunity to think about the name. You might have a basic idea for what you’ll call your operation, but it’s worthwhile looking to see if you can come up with something a little more memorable. If you already have a business, then it’s probably best not to change the name unless you think you can do so without losing customers who may already know your name. Another option could be to add a tagline to your name — think ‘Just Do It’ by Nike, for example.
Identify Your USP
If you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd, then you’ll need to think about, well, what does make you stand out from the crowd? Every business has a USP — a unique selling proposition — that is applicable to them and them alone. There are a million and one things that this could be. If you’re not sure what it is, then think about what you do differently from everyone else. Are you carbon neutral? Do you have ten years of experience working with your products/services?
You’ve got something that no one else has. Sharing your story is an impactful way to get your customer’s attention, and plus, it’s one of the best tools you have that large corporations don’t have. They can’t share a cute origin story, but as a small business, you certainly can.
Invest In Your Branding
It’s important to not understate the importance of branding. Done correctly, it can make your company much more recognizable and can help to give it an identity. Think of a non-branded company as a blank outline of a person. A branded company gives that person style, personality, and unique features. You’d be much more likely to remember the colorful person over the nondescript outline, wouldn’t you? Branding can be a little complicated, but there are plenty of blogs, ebooks, and YouTube videos that can provide the outline of what you need to know.
Get a Unique Website Design
It’s easy to get a website for your business. You could have a basic one set up in as little as a day, outlining what you offer and your contact details. That’s a good idea when you first get started since it’s best to have a digital presence as early as possible. However, at the same time, you’ll want to be working on developing a unique website. The basic templates are handy, but everyone uses them, and that won’t help your company stand out from the crowd. It’s best to hire a professional web design company to do the task for you — they’ll create something that’s modern, well-designed, and, most importantly, different from other websites that you’ll find.
Social Media Presence
You’ll likely already know that you’ll need to have social media channels for your business. They can help you reach a much larger audience — after all, there are plenty of people on social media! However, it’s important to remember that you can’t expect to publish any old content and get results. To be effective, you’ll need to publish good content. There’s no hard and fast rule about what qualifies as valuable content. It differs from industry to industry. The best advice would be to hire someone who understands how to market on social media; if you can’t afford a full-time employee (or don’t need one), then there are agencies that can help you.
Get the Look
It’s important to make sure that your digital presence is professional and in line with modern standards. But it’s even more important that your real-world image is on point. This is especially relevant if you have a brick and mortar store but also applies to any company that interacts with the public face-to-face (for example, you run a call-out plumbing repair business). There are multiple ways to present a professional image to the public. You could have a branded vehicle, a well-designed store, and custom embroidery t-shirts that feature your logo. With all these things, you’ll present a cohesive, professional image to everyone who interacts with your business.
Establish Your Expertise
You might know that your business has all the expertise needed to offer value to your customers. But your customers might not know that. They won’t assume that you’re an expert just because you’re offering a particular product or service. After all, there are plenty of companies that sell items without fully understanding what they are. You can make your company stand out from the crowd by establishing your expertise. You can do this by writing blogs, producing detailed how-to guides, and becoming an industry commentator on your Twitter profile.
Balance Between Quality and Cost
You can dress your company up in a million ways. And the overall presentation of your business is important, as we’ve shown in this article. However, it’s important to remember that, ultimately, what customers are really looking for is a balance between quality and cost. They want a good product at a good price. Some businesses stand out from the crowd because the ratio between quality/cost is off — they’re overcharging for low-quality items, for instance. It’s always good to look at your products through a critical lens; would you be happy if you received your item at the price that you’ve set?
Get and Publish Reviews
You’ll be promoting your company. Yet, while the public does listen to those things, they also know that you’ve got your own reasons for putting your best foot forward — you’re trying to win customers, after all. Of course, you’ll only say the good stuff! One way to get the attention of the public is to get and publish reviews from your existing customers. Studies have shown that people trust recommendations from strangers almost as much as they do from their own friends and family. You can publish reviews and testimonials on your website, and it’s also a good idea to manage your reviews on major review sites (Google, for example).
Above and Beyond
All companies offer some level of customer service. They’ll provide refunds, reply to emails, and answer the phone when they’re called. They’ll offer the bare minimum of service that the public expects. One way to make your business stand out is to go above and beyond with the level of customer service that you provide. Rather than just sending a package to your customers, send a package with a handwritten note and some free swag. You may also consider investing in CRM (customer relationship management) software, so you can pull up all of your customers’ details when they call you. It’s little things like this that can make a big impression on customers.
Just Because Sales
Every company hosts Black Friday and New Year sales. You probably should, too. However, the issue with promoting your business during those times of the year is that, well, every other business is doing it. You’ll get some sales, sure, but you’d be hard-pressed to say that you stand out from the crowd. You’re just part of the crowd that the public generally likes. One way to stand out is to host sales and other promotions at other times of the year when other businesses are sleeping. You don’t need an excuse to host a flash sale for some random reason — people love sales!
Address Customer Issues Ahead of Time
You can’t predict the future in a concrete way. But you can predict it in a general way. And all you need to do is think a little. For example, what might be a problem for your customers in the future? What weaknesses do you have that could lead to issues? One of the best ways to get noticed for all the right reasons is to prevent problems!
As we said at the beginning of the blog, you’ll face no shortage of competition for the public’s attention. No matter what industry you’re in or where you’re located, there will certainly be other businesses that are vying for the same customers that you are. You can ensure that the public is more interested in your business by taking the tips above and making sure that, in a sea of competition, it’s your company that people pay attention to.