We love Small Businesses at Patch, and apparently the majority of the U.S. is with us!
According to a survey by the Pew Foundation, 71 percent of Americans view small businesses more favorably than all other institutions, including religious organizations.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) proposes that this is because small businesses model integrity, community involvement, and customer service. With a small business, you’ll rarely get the kind of runaround you could get attempting to get in contact with a larger corporation. Small businesses are ideally positioned to listen to their customers – and develop meaningful relationships as a result.
But it’s not enough for your business just to be small. If you want to bask in your neighbors’ sunny outlook on small businesses, the SBA suggests you follow ten great tips to grow a stand-out business that’s more than just a storefront – it’s a brand.
Here are three of our favorite pieces of advice from the SBA:
1. Build a community around what you do
You may have a lot of loyal customers, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ve built a community to serve as advocates for your business. Engage your customers with online specials, offered to your social media fans or newsletter subscribers, and get involved in community events. You can also host your own events or workshops if you have a physical location, to make your customers feel even more involved.
2. Make sure your customers know the face behind the product
A human face is more compelling than any product or service – make sure to be a part of your brand, especially early on, so that your customers trust your services and know that if they ever have a complaint, suggestion, or praise, they know where to share it. It’s also a great motivator for employees to have an actively-engaged owner. If you show enthusiasm for your brand and are willing to put your own image and reputation on the line for its sake, people within and without your organization will notice.
3. Have a distinct voice
Entrepreneurship is taking off in the digital age, and small businesses are proliferating – you’ll want to make sure your business stands out from the crowd in some way. But it’s not enough for your brand voice to be distinctive alone. You’ll want to make sure that the brand voice is consistent. That means the way you talk on social media lines up with what you say in your ads and even how your employees talk to customers.
To read the original article, visit SBA.gov.
This article is sponsored by Wells Fargo Works. Watch the video series, then enter the contest where you could win a similar experience, including $25,000 for your business. Watch the videos and enter the contest here.