How to Compete (with Big Names Like Amazon) as a Small Business
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You may think that there’s no way your small-scale business can compare to Amazon’s far-reaching success. And while it’s true you may not be able to dominate sales in the same way, you can use their model to help scale your business. Here are tips on how you and your business can compete from AVAD Technologies — even when it comes to bigger brands and more prominent names.
Don’t Forget the Basics
When you’re trying to find ways to compete with bigger companies, you often forget some of the smaller, more important aspects of running your business. For example, don’t forget to pay your taxes on time. After all, getting in trouble with the local and federal government will only slow down your effort to stay in step with your competition. Make sure you have enough money on hand to make these payments in a timely manner as those late fees can quickly turn into a major problem. TLDR state taxes money you make, and so does the federal government, so ensure you’re staying on top of those payments to avoid problems.
Get Smart About Inventory Management
Any company that sells a product needs to carefully manage, control, and track its inventory. The difference between businesses that are barely getting by and the most successful names in the retail world is how they do it. Handling inventory manually wastes time (and money) and, truthfully, desktop-computer-only methods aren’t much better. However, stringent inventory control is crucial for your daily operations — and customer satisfaction.
Instead of complicated spreadsheets that are cumbersome and outdated, consider using smartphone and tablet apps that can keep up with your business and its products. Apps like Goods Order Inventory offer real-time syncing, barcode scanning, and simple user dashboards — all for free. A paid option (you can get a free trial, too) like SOS Inventory is compatible with QuickBooks Online and supports multiple locations and online integration. Choose the app that’s the best fit for your business. Then, start spending time on things other than inventory.
Consistently Deliver on Customer Service
While an excellent product and flawless ordering process can lead you toward success, what really keeps customers coming back is the service. In fact, seven out of 10 US consumers are willing to pay more for better service. So how can you ensure top-notch service within your organization? It starts with your people. Contrary to what many business owners believe, an industry expert may not be your best bet when hiring. Instead, look for people with soft skills to enhance your business offerings. Soft skills include communication, creative thinking, teamwork, and positivity, among others.
Once you have a strong service team, providing them with feedback, training, and support is vital to ensure their performance, says the Hartford. You also need a contact center platform that you can trust — AVAD Technologies offers a single, cloud-based solution that is scalable and versatile. Investing in your service team means investing in your customers, which leads to benefits on both sides.
Brand Yourself (and Your Company) Online
Many small businesses share industry information on their personal social media pages. But if your brand isn’t operating on its own platform, you might be missing out on sales. As HootSuite explains, a 2017 survey found that 59 percent of global consumers used social media as inspiration for their purchases. In 2020 and beyond, social media will only drive more sales — through ads and robust social networking. Investing in ads, developing a social media branding strategy, and hiring someone who knows their way around web copy are all smart strategies for growing your business’ online presence.
Embrace Your Niche
If you’re dreaming big and hoping to dominate your market, it might make sense to take a few steps back. After all, niching down can help your business address subsets of consumers who can prove even more dedicated than the general public.
Instead of catering to everyone, direct your efforts at attracting your ideal customer. After all, a committed following of 100 customers is far more lucrative than 200 who only occasionally window shop. And knowing who to market to is an essential first step. You can niche down in your market, geographic area, price point, or even with exclusive offers like memberships. Consider who your ideal buyer is and then develop promotions and deals to attract them.
Running a small business is no small task. But with the right mindset — and tools — you can grow beyond your wildest dreams. You may even be able to lure customers away from more recognizable names in the business and keep them coming back for more.
Let AVAD Technologies be your partner in the process. Start today with a 30-day free trial on business calling plans.
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