While we may hang the “Small Business” moniker on what we do, the truth is, there should be nothing small about it, at least from the point of perception.
I know a company that consists of the owner, a part time sales person (who works remotely) and an occassional contractor. If you were to call them, you’d get a standard voice mail system offering to direct you to “your parties extension” or offering an employee list by department or last name. His site is well designed, and offers not so much as a hint that they’re a one man shop. When you talk to him, he’s always referring to “our associates” and always says “we’ll” in place of “I” where it’s clear to me it’s virtually always “I.”
The upside for this guy is that he’s able to command a higher price, and is thought of in the top tier in his business niche, yet it’s a one man shop. He’s regularly able to beat bigger competition *and he is able to do it at a significantly higher price point than his competition.*
I’ll admit it here and now: he cleaned my clock. The customer dinged me for having “too low a price.” And months later, I look at the site and I find my competitor’s scope of work didn’t include some very key elements that I had in my price. Basically the customer bought a whole lot less work, for a whole lot more money, about 300% more money.
So let’s put some thought into what we can do to make sure our small businesses don’t look small:
- Act Big – Chutzpah can make a difference.
- Look Big – Your website, print offerings, business cards, etc. should all be first class. You’re creating an impression, and it isn’t a case of trying to fool anyone, it’s you setting a standard of excellence which you’re going to work towards every single day.
- Big results – Get some relationships with the right companies that will allow you to subcontract work to them if needed. You can’t do it all well, so build an extended network that will cover the areas of work you don’t. For me, I have a company to whom we’ve sent ecommerce work. I hate ecommerce…
- Talk Big – Don’t be a blow hard, but you’ve got to be confident in yourself, and you need to impress that confidence in your customers. You are the expert, there to solve their problems, act accordingly.
Small Business Marketing Strategies for Tackling Big Competitors – Will Dylan at Ezine Articles
Small Business Marketing Rules of Thumb – Jay Lipe at Smart Marketing