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Make your small business stand out

Getting your small business off the ground is only the first step. Chances are that whatever your market, there are many other people doing the same thing. So how do you stand out? Here are our top 3 tips for making a positive impression.

Get social

By now it’s fairly obvious that people use social media to not only chat with their friends, but find information, get inspired and find solutions. Your business can be that solution, but you need to be there in order to be found.

What platform works best will depend on your business, but the best idea is to pick one or two at most and do some testing yourself. It’s an overused statistic that people don’t read content, they scan it, so what better way to pack a punch than with a short, catchy tweet or a beautiful Instagram photo? You don’t need to be a creative genius, just look at what catches your eye and emulate your favourites.

Woman sittinga t desk working viewed from above

It doesn’t take an awful lot to set up an aesthetically pleasing photo. Looking at the most popular posts and you’ll often find simple props like flowers or coloured pencils or a set of keys on a notebook make eye catching shots if you know how.  Let your image do most of the talking, keep your caption short and be sure to include a hook so people want to find out more.

A short tweet with a handy tip can go a long way toward getting you noticed. Don’t sell a product, sell the solution is a much used phrase, and this applies to just about every small business. You are selling a solution to a problem someone is having. If you run a flooring company, tell folks if the walnut to fix scratches on a laminate floor thing really works. If you’re a hair stylist, one good reason why you really shouldn’t trim your own fringe. Everyone loves a tip, and short social media posts are the best way to impart some wisdom while getting your small business out there.

A word of warning here and time for another cliché: nothing worth having happens overnight. Getting any attention on social media takes time. If you keep at it, take part in the conversation and keep providing good quality content, you will eventually reap some reward. Don’t expect to post one photos and have loads of followers and click throughs and sales within a week, but maintain a presence and your business will benefit.

Welcome / thank you notes

Believe it or not, even in the digital age people appreciate the personal touch. If you’re in business, it pays off to make your customers feel like they’re not just another invoice number to you. You can get thank you or welcome cards printed, or send an email following up an order or appointment. There are many ways you can make a lasting impression on your customers that might just get you not only repeat business, but a referral. It’s not always easy, and as your business grows, you might need to streamline the process, but it’s worth maintaining a human side. While it’s a lovely thought to send customers handwritten cards to thank them for supporting small businesses, even a follow up email with a personalised message goes a long way toward giving people a reason to become repeat customers.

Flash sales or one off promotions

Having a steady customer base is how your small business will thrive. Having one off promotions or selling something that will never be repeated is a simple way to get some attention, maybe gain some new business and delight your existing customers. Run a flash sale, make something available in a limited number or for a limited time. Take this offer straight to social media and email to spread the word quickly. No matter how sophisticated a consumer we think we are, when a genuinely good offer comes around, most people will want to take advantage of the opportunity. No one wants to miss out on a good deal, especially on a quality product or service. It doesn’t take a lot of planning to do this and the rewards will more than likely outweigh the risks.

Standing out takes deliberate effort. Find that one little corner of the marketing world that works perfectly with your business, provide consistent service and your business will likely benefit from the venture.