With your larger competitors’ deep pockets, vast budgets and endless resources, it may seem next to impossible to not only compete, but to capture market share from these stalwarts. However, there are some simple and extremely creative ways to grow your small business. In fact, these approaches allow small business owners to not only capitalize on their larger competition’s deficiencies, but to use them to put plans in motion to increase sales. Interested in knowing what these approaches are?
1. Using Customer Reward Programs
Customer reward programs are the perfect tool to increase customer retention and build brand loyalty. As a small business owner, you’ll have a much easier time managing your customer reward programs than your larger competition does. Large companies often have all kinds of rules and regulations governing how their customers are able to redeem their rewards. Your smaller business, though, isn’t bound by as many regulations and time consuming procedures. Your small business has the flexibility to work out a customer reward program suited to what your customers want, when they want it.
Build your customer reward program on volume purchased or amount of repeat business. Whatever the case, be sure your customers have an easy time redeeming their rewards. Customers will value the companies that provide these programs, and there’s no reason your small business can’t benefit from this approach. Give your customers what they want.
2. Using a Competitor SWOT analysis
To grow your small business, you need to excel in customer service. Use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis to identify your competition’s strengths and weaknesses in customer service. Approach it from the mindset of a customer buying from your competition. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself what matters to you most. Small business growth occurs by offering something your customers want and need, or by capitalizing on something your competition either can’t or won’t offer.
Take a grid and divide it into four sections, one for each of those portions of the SWOT analysis. What are your competition’s strengths? What are their weaknesses? What opportunities do they have that your small business doesn’t? What threats do they pose to your small business? When doing this exercise, you’ll likely find a number of areas to capitalize on. Identifying your competition’s deficiencies in customer service will allow your small business to deliver something your customers are desperately looking for.
3. Be Flexible With Inventory & Terms
In those instances where you can afford to be flexible, make sure to capitalize on your larger competition’s unwillingness to accommodate customer requests relating to holding inventory and payment terms. You must be vigilant with your inventory costs and you must ensure to protect your incoming payments. However, aggressively pursuing contractual supply agreements and being flexible on terms with your biggest customers will differentiate your small business from your larger competition.
Growing your small business is all about identifying your company’s strengths, capitalizing on your competition’s weaknesses and identifying opportunities to grow profit.
About the author: Sean is a graduate student and part-time writer. He contributes to the consumer website www.carinsurancecomparison.com for finding car insurance
quotes. When he is not attending class or writing he is probably (attention, Mom and Dad) studying in the library!