How Small Businesses can Move Quicker than their Larger Competitors

In the world of business, speed is often the key to success. Be the first to spot a gap in the market and you stand a great chance of making some money. Be the first to launch a particular type of product and you’re likely to win a larger market share.

The challenge of adapting quickly is something that all businesses face, however it could be argued that it is much easier for smaller businesses than their larger competitors. Smaller businesses are able to move much quicker than larger companies, giving them a significant advantage.

 

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Larger businesses usually have to consult board members and shareholders, making decision making a lengthy process.

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Greater independence

Small businesses’ ability to manoeuvre quicker than their bigger competitors largely comes down to their sense of independence. Whereas large businesses are likely to have to consult board members and shareholders before a decision is made, entrepreneurs only really have to consult themselves, allowing them to implement change much more quickly.

Fewer people to manage

Another key advantage of small businesses is that there are fewer people to manage. Say you needed to make a last minute change before a product was launched to market – it would be much easier to inform and instruct a small team of staff, rather than multiple teams and departments, to implement the change. When there are only a few people involved in the creation of a product, it becomes much easier to manage.

Developing customer relationships

An important part of launching a product or in fact growing a business is developing strong customer relationships. And whilst larger companies may have their credentials and strong branding on their side, smaller businesses have personalisation.

It’s much easier for smaller businesses to develop strong customer relationships than it is for larger companies. The stronger the relationships are, the quicker you will be able to grow your business and achieve success.

Large companies often spend hundreds and thousands of pounds trying to replicate the personalised experience offered by smaller competitors, so use this to move your business forward quickly and achieve a competitive edge.

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Smaller teams can work together to implement ideas quickly.

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Quick implementation of ideas

If someone has an idea for a new product at a large business, it will usually have to go through multiple channels before any action is taken. The difference between this and a small business is that there are fewer people to consult, therefore allowing action to be taken much quicker.

Thanks to a lack of channels and departments, small businesses are able to implement ideas much more quickly, turning them into profit. They are often able to beat larger competitors when launching new products, as they have fewer hoops to jump through during the design and manufacturing process.


Capitalising on niche markets

Larger businesses tend to be focused on large volume products and services, leaving niche markets open for smaller businesses to capitalise on.

Whereas big businesses are usually slow in following trends, as they want to make sure something will sell first, smaller businesses have the opportunity to take greater risks and move quickly on new trends, giving them a significant advantage. By anticipating the needs of your target audience, you will be able to establish yourself as an industry leader.

Conclusion

We are constantly hearing about how difficult it is for small businesses to compete with larger businesses online but in actual fact, it pays to be a smaller company! With the opportunity to make decisions quickly, launch products to market faster and offer a more personalised experience to customers, small businesses boast a number of benefits that provide them with plenty of opportunities to give larger competitors a run for their money.

Image credits: lumaxart and lumaxart

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Great Customer Relationships are the Bedrock of Building Great Businesses

What’s the most important thing when building a great business? A good looking website? A unique product? Whilst both of these things are essential, it’s great customer relationships that are the bedrock of building a great business.

Here we’ll examine the importance of creating great customer relationships.

Spend time building and nurturing your customer relationships.

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A business is nothing without its customers

If you don’t have any customers, you won’t make any money, which essentially means you won’t be taking home a pay packet for the month. Building and maintaining great customer relationships is therefore of high importance. Without customers your organisation wouldn’t exist, so make sure you show them how important they are to your business.

Save your business money

Did you know that it’s actually cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one? Studies have found that businesses spend five times more winning new customers than retaining existing ones. So if you’re looking to save your business money on marketing (which can be used to grow your business) you need to work hard on building customers’ loyalty in your brand.

Provide revenue and certainty

One of the hardest parts of starting a new business is the uncertainty of not having pre-existing customers. However, in time if you work on your customer relationships, you will be able to benefit from revenue and certainty for your business.

Knowing that you will have certain profit coming in will give you the opportunity to plan for business growth.

Loyal customers will spread the word about your business, helping you to grow your customer base.

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Help grow your business

Speaking of growing your business, your customers will actually play an important role in acquiring new ones. Nurture your customer relationships and you stand a good chance of turning them into brand advocates.

Your brand advocates are the people that spread the word about your business – telling others just how great you are. This may be done by traditional word of mouth marketing, customer reviews or even better, via social media. The more customers you get talking about your brand positively on social media, the greater chance you have of gaining new customers.

By spending time building strong customer relationships, you will essentially be setting yourself up for some free advertising.

How to improve your customer relationships

One of the easiest ways to improve your customer relationships is to simply engage with customers. Maintaining a strong presence on social media will help to build customers’ trust in your company. Make sure that you are responding to all customer interactions – both positive and negative to maintain a good reputation. Dealing with customer complaints on social media can do the world of good for your business, as it shows you are dedicated to achieving 100% satisfaction.

Another way you can improve customer relationships is through personalised marketing communications. Collecting data about your customers will allow you to tailor your marketing content and offers to their needs. If customers feel like you’ve made an effort to get to know them, they’re more likely to give you their repeat business.

Finally, rewarding loyalty is a fantastic way to improve your customer relationships. Offering discounts will not only show customers that you value them but also encourage them to make a repeat purchase. You may also want to think about setting up loyalty schemes that reward customers for shopping with you time and time again.

Conclusion

As we said earlier on in this article, your business would be nothing without its customers, so it only seems right that you spend time keeping them happy. The more effort you put into improving your customer relationships, the more likely customers are to remain loyal to your business and recommend it to others.

Make improving customer relationships your number one priority in 2015.

Image credits: Joe the Goat Farmer and Joe the Goat Farmer

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