By Eileen O’Shanassy
Owning a small business can be a great career option for anyone with entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, many small businesses find it can be very challenging to earn a profit while operating in a competitive industry. You have to gain a foothold, get to know the competition, and find ways to stand out very quickly. Knowing what you’re up against is only the first step to making your small business successful. Fortunately, there are several other tips small business owners can follow to help make money in a tough market.
The primary focus all small business owners should have is customer service. When you are competing against major corporations for the same customers, the one advantage you will have, is the ability to provide excellent service and to be flexible. You should find ways to provide excellent service to customers by finding unique solutions to meet customer needs. In many cases, having a reputation for quality service and product will often lead to higher sales, even if you are not able to win on price.
Find a Niche
When you are competing against major companies, you should also look for ways to develop your own niche. In most industries, businesses will try to offer a general product, which will help them to attract the most customers. However, small businesses can often do even better by offering a small niche within a larger field. Having the expertise in a certain niche will help you to build a reputation for quality and could even make your business more efficient, which could save money.
Plan for Scalability
While a business may start small, there will come a time when it could be worth growing. Unfortunately, many small businesses are not equipped to handle the growth when the time comes. This then leads to a lot of stress and higher expenses to handle the larger volume. Because of this, you should have a plan established to put into place for when the period of growth is occurring. This should include having a plan for finding capital, debt, and personnel. Make sure you have a backup of supplies or savings for supplies as well. For example, Frontier Business services provide internet and phone plans that can be upgraded as you grow. See if your other services can be modified to fit your growth rate.
Stay on Top of Marketing
Most importantly, small businesses need to stay on top of their marketing campaign. While it may seem time consuming or expensive, investing in marketing is very important as it will help to build brand awareness and gain you traction within the industry. You should also focus on both online and offline market in an effort to win more clients and customers.
Making money as a small business owner in a competitive industry can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several tips that can be followed that will help any small business owner turn a profit. Use these ideas to give your startup a leg up in the initial stages.
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.