Small business is big business in the USA. If you have just opened the door to an on-line service or brick & mortar storefront, you are part of the American Dream. Welcome to the club!!!
According to the Small Business Administration, SMB make up:
- 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
- 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
- 49.2 percent of private-sector employment,
- 42.9 percent of private-sector payroll,
- 46 percent of private-sector output,
- 43 percent of high-tech employment,
- 98 percent of firms exporting goods,
- 33 percent of exporting value.
In other words, you are not alone. And… that is a problem. Lots and lots of competition. How do you differentiate yourself from “the other guy?”
I just posted to Facebook an article that offered 5 suggestions on how to make your business stand out from the competition.
- Have a Superb Customer Service
- Solve Problems Your Competitors Aren’t Solving
- Niche Down Your Target Market
- Brand Yourself Differently
- Focus More on Deliberate Innovation
Then I thought about it; there must be more than five. But, it is a good starting point. Here are two more.
Video. Learn it. Use it. Gone are the days when you needed to break the bank to buy expensive TV ads or hire a film crew to stage a commercial in your store. Facebook, Periscope, YouTube and others offer not only taped video but live broadcast options to promote a sale or event.
On-line payments. Forty-six percent of SMBs don’t even have a website, let alone the capacity to take payments online. If you are a brick & mortar business, do not fear the electronic transaction. Used to be cash, check or credit card. Now we have pay pal, gift cards, and pay with mobile phone.
On top of that, modern shoppers (read that as Millennials) don’t have the time (or inclination) to wander through a store and wait in line when they can just look on-line, purchase and await delivery or just pick up the awaiting item at a service desk.
And I won’t even get into “bots” and how they are changing “business as usual” (but I will soon!).
Welcome to the brave new world of small business owners, entrepreneurs, homepreneurs and mompreneurs. One small step for you, one giant leap for your customers (past your competitors to you).