Hey Small Businesses, Stop Trying To Look Like Big Businesses
So you are a small business, it is just you and one or two employees.
Great! You are in a better position than most large businesses to market your business, grow your business and adapt to changes in your marketplace.
Customers want to do business with someone they know, like and trust. They want to know who they are going to call if things do not go their way. So use that to you advantage and get growing.
Why would people choose a one man/women show over a big company?
- The Buck Stops Here – Look problems arise and how you handle the problem, with speed and resolve is just as important as avoiding the problem in the first place. As a small business customers have the feeling they can pick up the phone and get their issue resolved ASAP.
- One on one connection – When clients/customers see your face in marketing material they immediately begin to have a one on one connection to you. I have rental properties and have my face on my website. On numerous occasions I have met potential tenants at showings and have people immediately say “I recognize you from your videos (or website)”. This helps put them at ease, make them more comfortable and advance our relationship.
- Better Service – If is often expected that if the owner is doing the work you will get the job done right. After all they are the expert.
- Better pricing – Customers expect better pricing since small businesses often have less overhead.
So Let Them Know You Are Small
Put your face out there, put your face on your marketing materials, put your face on your website, put your face in your videos. You are the expert in your field and make sure people know that.
- Start with your website. No one wants to see stock images of smiling people on a website, that is so lame. They would rather see you performing your offered service or working with the products you are selling.
- Consider using different pictures of you in action for each page of your website. Have the images geared toward what the page is about. Say you offer local plumbing and HVAC service company, have a picture of you fixing a toilet on the toilet repair page. And another picture of you fixing a central air unit on the central air conditioning repair page.
- Have your image and a quote on each page of your website. You could say something like “I personally guarantee you will be satisfied with my work. Or I will come back out and fix it for free.” That personal guarantee can go a long way.
Not “We” but “I”
When writing the content of your website or marketing materials talk about how “you” are going to help the client/customer not “we”. And make sure it is consistent throughout all of the text.
Offer your personal cell number – If you are going to give your cell number out anyway, proudly display it on your website or printed materials. You could say “If you a problem call my cell at 717-xxx-xxxx and I will be out right away.” Hey if you do the job right nobody will be calling you at off hours anyway.
Make it About YOU –
Make your about page about you, about your background. What do you like to do? What are your values?
Look you are not going to appeal to all customers. If potential customers make it to your about page they are getting serious about using your services. This is your time to connect with them. If you have an interesting back story let it be known. Where did you go to high school or to college? Did you grow up in the area? Have lived in various parts of the world? Help people to find the way to connect with you.
Put on the printed marketing materials.
If you have printed marketing materials, carry the message over to your printed marketing. Including your photo and pictures of you in action performing the services your offer.
Use Smallness To See New Opportunities
Listen for customer pain points – As you are working one on one with customers everyday listen to them speak, What words are they using to communicate their problems or pain to you? What words are they using after your job is complete. Use these words in seeking out new customers.
Avoid using technical terms you would use with counterparts in your industry but rather speak to your customers level.
Decisions makers in large businesses are often far removed from the one on one customer interaction, that overtime they lose sight of how to communicate to potential customers.
Seize the day – As the markets begin to change and new opportunities open up, when you are on the front lines, you can see the change. You and your business can act ASAP. The business world is littered with past businesses who did not recognize changes in their industries and either refused to adapt of did not adapt quickly enough to make the change.
Communicate, Listen, Act
Communicate to your potential customers you are the expert to call and when there is a problem the buck stops with you. Listen to you customers for ways to grow your business. Take that information and act on it to stay ahead of of the competition and grow your business.