standing out
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By Kara Masterson

If you are going to have your own business and expect to be able to compete with the big companies, you’ll need an edge. You probably don’t have the same personnel, cash flow, and other resources that the competition does. That said, here are tips to make your business stand out:

Make A Good First Impression

You want a good review on sites like OpenTell and Yelp, but that’s not all. When it comes to new clientele, it is essential to leave both a lasting and positive first impression. Always do what you say you will do–be it delivering on time or keeping all your promises in general. This will establish what the experts call “a reputation of reliability and great service”.

Branding must be clear. Make sure your branding strategy is consistent throughout your advertising campaigns especially considering some customers may learn about your business via online marketing. Potential customers need to know your name and what you offer.

Find Your Own Niche

You need to figure out what you can offer people that the big companies cannot. Finding your business’ niche means you will have to study customer behavior, current trends, and market research. This will require time and resources, but it’s a good investment that reportedly will provide your business with new market opportunities.

At the same time, you also need to determine how to make your company more attractive than your competition. Figure out how value to what you offer potential clients. Establish how to mold your services to fit the needs of potential customers in a way that is unique.

The Human Touch

No, this isn’t about the Bruce Springsteen album. This is an important business practice. A small business should be able to spend more time and resources on “the human touch” or personalizing customer service. Develop a relationship with your clients and get to know them.

Use current social media and extend your reach. Pundits state that amassing a market share online is cheaper than and just as important as traditional advertising. Marketing on social media is easy and allows for what is called “a more conversational tone” which aids in creating a friendlier customer-centered branding.

Be Flexible and Agile

Big corporations are cumbersome. Just deciding to do something is a long, complicated, red tape-wrapped process that requires multiple signatures and lots of time. As a small business, you have the advantage here. You can respond to trends in the market a lot quicker.

Not only can you react quicker to consumer demand, you have the ability to take more risks. You can more easily alter or even reboot any business plans that are not working for you. You can also be more competitive in that you can respond quicker to market demand and take the time to truly listen to the needs of your clientele.

Get a Small Business Loan

Quite often, in order to offer specialty services or be responsive to changing and growing, one needs access to more capital. The best option, according to experts, is an unsecured loan. With a loan, your business can get the capital needed to meet the specific demands of your business. Finally, unsecured loans require no collateral or personal assets. It’s just all about your specific aspects of your small business. Small business loans may have a lot more advantages than you may have originally realized. All you have to do is take the time to do your research and find the best loan for you.

There you have it, fledgling entrepreneurs: five tips for making your business stand out. If you follow all of the above suggestions then you will soon be better prepared to take on the big boys. Good luck with the competition!

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.