What makes an SMB successful? 5 ways to make them choose you
Every business relies on customers – not just for growth, but also for survival. The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to ensure that your business attracts, and holds on to, the right kind of attention. Assuming you have a good starting product –and that is a must – here are five essential tips to get you started. Your smb sales strategy.
Know your X factor
You need an X factor – the Unique Selling Point (USP) that makes your business stand out in a sea of similar businesses. It could be based on price, quality, excellent customer service, or any number of other things. Once you understand your X factor relative to the competition, you can turn it into sales.
To find your USP, start by making a list of the competitors in your area: other businesses of a similar size providing the same product or service. Run a quick Google search and check their websites to see what they are offering. Make a table and in each column write out the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, along with your own. Size up what makes you unique, write it out in one clear sentence, and that’s your USP.
Keep in mind that your X factor is not going to remain unchanged, but may shift with time. Once or twice a year, think about what you can do to respond to new market demands. For example, if you’re a cleaning company in the age of Corona, you could take the opportunity to shift your selling point to include new anti-bacterial products and methods that target the virus.
Zone in on your target audience
You can’t sell to everyone, so don’t even try. Your product or service will be relevant to a specific population –so take the time to find out who they are in terms of age, interests, location, and disposable income. Think about what their struggles are, and what you can offer to help overcome them.
Ask your existing customers what more they think you could offer them to make their lives easier. You could do this in a casual conversation at the end of job (make sure you take notes afterwards!), or by asking them to submit ideas to a suggestion box – perhaps with the chance to enter a prize draw as an added incentive!
Once you have your audience, make it easy for them to reach you, book your time, send you a question or even get a friendly appointment reminder from you through an automated system. An online booking system (you can check out ours here) makes all this happen automatically, while you’re focused on building your business.
Small business or medium business? Create a strong brand!
A brand is the way customers recognise and experience a business - we all recognise Starbucks and McDonalds at a glance, right? Your SMB too should have a clear brand, built on a solid understanding of your business and the competition, and it should blend smoothly and logically with every aspect of your business.
If you don’t have a clear brand identity, how will people know what you offer and whether it is relevant to them?
If you’re a handyman, known for your personal approach and ability to tinker with everything, a Mr. Fix-It type persona might work for your business.
On the other hand, if you’re a gardener, known for offering elegant landscape solutions, flowery script on your business cards and beautiful photos and reviews from happy customers on your promotional flyers will highlight that.
We know that as an SMB your resources may be stretched, but branding doesn’t have to be a huge time or money sucker.
If you can afford to hire an expert, even just to give you a steer, that’s great. If not, you can still create a solid brand using simple online tools that work well together and walk you through every step of the process. This could be the main investment that changes the whole path of your business.
SMB sales need the right media platform
These days, social media is vital to your SMB sales process – whether it’s Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, or whatever new platform may be launched tomorrow.
Remember, many are totally FREE to use, so this may be an opportunity for some really cost-effective marketing.
Do a little research about the platforms and find one or two that connect with your target audience. For example, the majority of TikTok users are under age 30. If this represents your target audience, it’s a worthwhile platform to build on; if not, don’t waste your time with it.
Whatever platform(s) you choose, build a following of people who anticipate your next post by setting a reasonable schedule and sticking to it. And, don’t overlook the value of video. You can produce engaging video content in a meaningful, cost-conscious way, with just a mobile phone. If you’re a family photographer, for example, you could create a time-lapse of behind the scenes at a photo shoot.
If you’re a plumber, offer some top tips for dealing with calcium build up on a shower-head. The production quality of the clip is less important than the content and frequency of your posts – so just focus on being informative and fun.
Invest in your customer relationships
Your customers – both existing and future– are everything. If you want their rave reviews shouted from the rooftops, invest in the relationship and be sure to let them know that you don’t take them for granted. It really doesn’t take much – an effective computerised system (like 12Handz!) can manage customer information, keep notes, and even send them emails, coupons for relevant products, or Happy Birthday greetings.
All this helps to build their loyalty and ensure they keep coming back to you.
It’s also worth getting customer feedback. The majority of people check business reviews before choosing a service provider, so you should take the review process seriously. Proactively request feedback from customers. Respond to every review – and when you do so, be professional. Even if a review is negative, don’t become defensive – instead, offer a solution. Some negative reviews are inevitable, you’re only human after all.
But your response can be an opportunity to spin the situation and show potential future customers that their satisfaction is your priority.
These are just some of things you can easily do that will help you succeed. Once you know your X factor and precisely who you are targeting, develop your brand so SMB customers can recognise you, and start to use smart online tools to connect with them and tell the world about what you do. It won’t be long before you’re seeing the rewards!
for your business
(not anybody else’s)