How Your New Small Business Can Flourish in a World of Amazons
Guest Blog: Courtney Rosenfeld of Gigspark
Amazon. Walmart. Costco. Target. These are just a few of the major retailers that make it challenging for small businesses to remain competitive. While there are many factors that go into what makes these companies so successful, it really comes down to one word: capital. Amazon and other retail giants see billions of dollars in revenue each year, which helps them to provide a fast, convenient shopping experience and low prices.
This can make it feel like it’s impossible to compete as a small business, but you have something these companies don’t have: You can provide customers with a specialized, personal experience. And by incorporating some essential strategies in your day-to-day operations, your company can thrive in a world of retail behemoths.
Make sure you have the basics covered.
When you’re excited about getting your business started and you’ve got your eye on the competition, it’s easy to overlook the smaller, less exciting aspects of business ownership. For example, if you haven’t registered your business with the state and obtained the proper permits, you definitely need to take care of this before anything else. Additionally, make sure you’re paying your rent, taxes, and yourself on time, as you don’t want to fall behind on any of these. Once you know you have these important things squared away, you can then focus your energy on the stuff you can do to make your business stand out from the pack.
Hone in on your niche.
Amazon, Walmart, and other major retailers are known as the stores that sell everything. The truth is that a small business that tries to sell too many items probably won’t be very successful. You have to offer people something that the major retailers can’t.
This is where your niche comes in. A niche market includes products in a specific field, such as boutique watches, handmade clothing, or outdoor equipment like camp furniture. Consumers who want the very best products in a certain industry will typically seek out brands that have a reputation in that industry. Finding the niche for your products is a critical step in competing with major retailers.
Establish your branding.
Once you’ve determined your niche market, you will need to work toward establishing your brand. This takes time, as a successful brand is developed on a foundation of quality products, exceptional service, and unique customer experience, among other things.
However, what you can accomplish right now, if you haven’t already, is creating your branding. Work with a graphic designer to create an engaging, one-of-a-kind logo and font that will appear on your products, packaging, website, social media accounts, and other places. As you provide customers with an exceptional experience, it will become increasingly associated with your brand over time.
Sell through third-party marketplaces.
Sales are the lifeblood of any business, as they keep a company afloat and allow it to keep progressing toward its goals. Therefore, it makes sense that you would be open to new opportunities to sell your products. Selling through third-party sites like eBay or Etsy, for example, can expose a ton of new customers to your business, which can do wonders for your bottom line.
Up your customer service game.
Customer service plays a major role in whether customers will return to your business or go elsewhere. Take advantage of being a small business by personalizing your customer relationships. Make sure every customer can reach you or another knowledgeable employee with any questions they may have regarding your products or policies, whether it be by phone, email, or social media.
If you use chatbots, make sure they are only used to answer commonly asked questions, and always present customers with an easy way to contact a human in your company. Try to approach each interaction as a unique opportunity to solve someone’s problem, and be fast and consistent with your responses.
Your small business might not be able to match the revenues of the biggest retailers in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t flourish. Find your niche market, and work toward establishing your brand as an expert in your industry. Consider selling on sites like Rakuten, and provide customers with consistent and personalized service. Remember that the key is to use the size of your company to your advantage!
Life as an entrepreneur comes with a lot of twists and turns, but with a like-minded community on your side, you stand a better chance of professional and personal growth. By joining Rowan Tree, you have the opportunity to connect with other women professionals through mentorships, workshops, wellness programs, and more. Reach out today to find out about membership pricing.
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