Five tips for small businesses: From an idea to a success story
1) Use free PR and marketing tools
Without a good representation on the internet you are nobody anymore. But instead of feeling the online culture as a compulsion, you should see the benefits. Use digital marketing and free offers to reach potential customers and be represented in the right place.
In addition to a homepage, social networks increase the chance of being found on the Internet. The most important and free tool for company presentations is Google My Business (https://www.google.com/intl/de_DE/business/).
A Facebook profile and Instagram are also channels on which you have the chance to inform about current campaigns, offers or a new product. In addition, you can maintain and expand your company’s image through good content such as photos, texts and videos.
The PR measures are rounded off by communicating with other companies, looking for collaborations or employees on LinkedIn.
As with your products and services, quality should be paramount. Blurred, poorly lit photos or pixelated cell phone videos are a no-go. Use the channels only for the distribution of content the quality of which you can guarantee.
2) Go Local!
Traditional networking is also an important success factor. Cooperation with other local shops shows that you have arrived in the region or in the neighborhood. Use partnerships e.g. B. for promotions in order to offer products of the partners in the appropriate place. The so-called synergy has the effect that you benefit from each other as in a social relationship and also share experiences or customers.
The merger with other retailers or medium-sized companies from the region offers z. B. the following possibilities:
- Offer of coordinated bundles / packages
Offer or gift baskets offer a very good cross-selling opportunity. Use z. B. seasonal markets to put together suitable offers and offer local delicacies from a single source or have them sold by third parties. After all, baked goods from the local baker taste best with honey from the small apiary.
- Joint promotion for partners
Use appearances to offer products from other local manufacturers, e.g. B. by using tools or jewelry to design your stand or by providing treats from partners for hungry customers.
- Discounts within the partnership
Use z. B. the right picture of a local artist in your shop, save on the interior and do some advertising. Perhaps a photographer offers you a discount on social media photos when you hang their calendar in the store or display a fancy photograph. The possibilities are as varied as the local companies.
3) Customer proximity as a success factor
Their big advantage over corporations is their company size. You can react flexibly to changes, take customer requests into account more individually, without coordinating them with the corporate identity or first having to clarify with superiors. This gives your company an unmistakable character that you can score with.
You should take advantage of the many marketing advantages, e.g. B. the use of sustainable energy or the use of products from fair and ecological production for yourself to enjoy an advantage over large corporations.
A little chat in the shop and discounts for frequent buyers ensure that your customers feel valued and treated well. Small Christmas gifts that you conjure up for certain customers under the sales counter also create a bond.
In order to maintain business relationships, you should take the time to congratulate important partners on their birthday or to stop by in the shop or at the party for the company anniversary and of course make a purchase from the partners yourself from time to time.
4) Dare to innovate
Never change a system if it works or replace a team that wins. But in order to be successful as an entrepreneur in the long term, it is important to use the experience gained from successes and failures in order to successfully reinvent yourself.
Fresh promotions that match the seasons and are thematically rooted in the environment offer a regular breath of fresh air and an incentive to stop by your shop or website and make a purchase.
Competitions, campaigns or fundraising can be implemented individually or in conjunction with your partners. After you have planned an action, use social media to get potential customers in the mood a few days before the action.
Make a note of the reactions to various actions so that you can evaluate their effectiveness (breakeven point). The memory value also plays a role. Customer testimonials like “Last year you had this promotion …” are a sign that you did everything right and the best motivation.
Use z. B. the reach in the social media or the sales figures for corresponding offers. When looking for new ideas, orientate yourself on the measures that have brought you success in the past. A little inspiration from global players in the industry has never hurt either. However, never copy content, campaigns or measures directly.
5) Proper outsourcing
If your marketing measures are successful, the quality of the products is enthusiastic and your services are seen by everyone as a real profit, you will soon be unable to save yourself from orders. Outsourcing, i.e. giving up tasks or outsourcing entire areas of the company, can save you a lot of work and also be a profit factor.
Tax matters are particularly popular for outsourcing. The risk of paying extra for mistakes and also the potential to save taxes through the right investment and some legal tricks is great. In addition to capital tips, a good tax advisor also offers the necessary expertise to prevent a visit to the tax investigation department or unexpected back payments.
IT tasks, storage and transport are also often left in the hands of others. Check your contractual partners and choose partnerships where, in addition to the portfolio of providers, your gut feeling is right. Prefer local businesses that you can visit for a quick coffee and where testing for continued quality is easy.