It’s National Small Business Week and we’re celebrating with a series of blog posts. You can read yesterday’s here. Today’s list will be for the small business owners out there. Think we missed a vital tip? Let us know in the comment section!
1. Get on Social Media – Like it or not, social media is here to stay. You may not need to go as far as hiring a Social Media Manager or spending big bucks on online advertising but make sure you cover some basic channels. A Facebook Page is great start because as of January Facebook had at least 1.06 billion monthly active users so a few of those billion are bound to be your customers. Setting up a Facebook Page is easy and it can be fun for your customers to check-in at your location or tag your business in photos of their meal/product/etc.
2. Reward Loyalty – In yesterday’s blog post, we urged small business customers to become loyal regulars and today we urge small business owners to reward said loyalty.While you can offer things like reward cards and other gimmicks, you can reward loyalty by simply creating an environment that people are more than happy to come back to.
3. Get creative about showrooming: Mashable had a great article on how business are combating showrooming. While you may not be able to beat online competitors in price, outshine them in service. Hire sales people who are passionate about their work and love working with customers so that your customers will notice the difference between a helpful sales associate and a non-responsive computer screen.
4. Think Outside the Box – As a small business owner there’s a good chance you do this already, after all it takes vision and some creative planning/thinking to start a business from scratch. Bit Rebel recently posted this great infograph breaking down how startup entrepreneurs think differently and I think it’s important that small business owners never lose that sense of MacGyver-like creativity.
5. Join small business associations – Sometimes it’s easy for a small business owner to feel alone surrounded by big box stores and national chains. Make sure the feeling doesn’t last by finding groups of small business owners to join. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a great website to help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of being an owner. The National Federation of Independent Business has a great site so you can find events to attend and continue learning about small business. Don’t forget about Meetup.com as well. These peer-led groups are a great way to network, get advice, and swap horror stories and success. Check them out here.
In closing, I’d like to say thanks to all the small business owners who decided to take the plunge and follow their dream. Without you, the world would have less cake pops, speciality comic books, and European wines!