Friday, 31 August 2012

5 Small Business Secrets you might not know

Bath Business Web - web design and online local directory listings

5 secrets to growing your small business

So you've made your own company and you're all ready to start getting customers. Maybe you've taken on staff, or are just working for yourself. So how do you start getting people's attention and building that all important customer base? 

5) Make the most of what you have.

So you can’t afford an office space? If you have a computer and a phone, the world is your office! Make some space from your living room, set up your laptop in a cafĂ© or just work from the comfort of your car.

Sometimes, paying huge sums for an “essential” resource can be avoided just by changing the way we look at the world, and help us save for those things we really do need.
Small business home office - by Stubacca
No room too small

4) Great customer service means serving more customers

There’s no doubt about it, people will always return to businesses that provide a high standard of customer service. What isn’t so obvious is that amazing service often comes down to attitude as well as “what we can do for you”.

A smiling, helpful person who genuinely cares about our needs will get a much better response than someone who can answer all our questions but does so in a rude or dismissive way. Teach your staff (and yourself!) to throw on a smile and want to help, and watch your customers return to your business time and time again.

3) Good branding = Good Branding!

Branding is a combination of logo, business message, website and everything connected to it. A powerful brand will stick in the mind, a weak or inconsistent brand will not. Think about statements that are instantly recognizable – “I’m Loving It” or “Every Little Helps” are examples of branding that has become part of the nation’s consciousness.

Whilst your business may not be large scale, you want to create an interesting brand and keep it consistent throughout your company, from stationary to van advertising. Remember – pick something you can be proud of, as re-branding is time consuming and expensive!

Good branding grows business - by Mj bird
Good branding grows business

2) Keep your campaigns straight

Every company needs a marketing strategy, whether it’s word of mouth at the local markets or an international social media campaign. The trick to any marketing is planning. Decide what your marketing goals are (e.g. more website traffic or more personal recommendations). Work out when and where you are going to do your marketing, and how often. Make a schedule and keep to it.

Most importantly, once you launch your marketing campaign you need to make sure it is consistent across every platform that you use. Use your branding freely, keep the phone numbers and email addresses current and checked regularly. If you change something like an office address or a logo, make sure it’s changed everywhere that it appears. Consistency is the key.

1) Establish an online presence

When people want a product or a service, the vast majority of them turn to the internet to help them meet their needs. Any business, no matter how small, can benefit from having a website that is easy to access and looks professional. Appearing on the front page of search engines like Google and Bing will attract visitors to your website and your company. Your website is your gallery, your show home, your market stall.

By having a well-designed, well maintained and effective website you show potential customers that you are modern, efficient and professional. More visibility means more potential customers, and so the awareness of your business can grow. Using a company like Bath Business Web to create a website and list it in their detailed online local directories is a great start for any small business.

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