Is your audience taking your business seriously? You’re smart and capable. You’re hungry for success, you’re going places, and you have the track record to prove it. Not just anyone can accomplish what you’ve accomplished! You’ve bootstrapped your SME out of nowhere with little to no help. You diligently carried out your market research; you agonised over the minutiae of your business plan. Also, you have carried out a detailed costings and cash flow analysis for your first year. For some reason, your business still isn’t being taken seriously. You have loyal clients, but the company isn’t taking off in the way you hoped. It can be incredibly frustrating when your business doesn’t gain the traction that it deserves, but in a fickle and indifferent marketplace, you can’t always guarantee that customers will recognise the value that you bring to bear on your business.
CUSTOMERS (MISTAKENLY) MISTAKE BIGGER FOR BETTER
Your diminutive size may be a selling point for you; enabling you to offer a better quality of product and service, and a higher individual focus on your customers. Unfortunately, the broader populace doesn’t see it that way. They mistakenly equate size with quality because they mistakenly believe that the world of consumer capitalism is a meritocracy. It is a world in which customers walk right past their local, independently run cafe to go to Starbucks for hastily prepared lattes and heavily processed cakes. Your branding may well have pushed the “small” of your small business a little too far to the front and centre. By all means, offer the benefits that being a small business affords your customers, but your branding should demonstrate that your business stands shoulder to shoulder with the big guns.
THERE ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS THAT SCREAM “AMATEUR”
You’ve no doubt established an online presence for yourself, allowing prospective customers to get to know your brand. While this is an essential box to check in 21st-century business, be wary of any web design tells that may betray the size and nascency of your business. Customers are both fickle and flighty (especially when perusing your brand online). This includes using any pre-made templates provided by your web hosting platform. Sure, to our untrained eye they look plenty impressive but to those who know their way around HTML, they telegraph your lack of experience.
Likewise, if your mobile number and an @gmail email address are your only point of contact, don’t be surprised if some leads doubt your integrity. Invest in a receptionist service or virtual office. It’s a relatively tiny overhead, yet one that can make such a massive difference to how you’re perceived online.
THEY HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO KNOW YOU YET
You know your onions, but do all those legions of prospective customers know that? Content marketing can be your greatest tool in establishing yourself as a leading mind in your chosen field. Blog posts, video content, white papers and eBooks are all great ways of proving your worth to your target market while giving your brand a sense of personality and giving potential customers that all-important something for nothing. Contributed Article.