Universally, small business owners strive to grow their companies. But while dealing with all of the day-to-day operations and complications they face, it can be difficult to formulate and execute a growth strategy. Fortunately, with a little vision and direction, you can grow your small business.
Perhaps nothing is more important to a growing business than developing a brand. Your brand is the all-inclusive customer experience, from the visual appeal of your logo, website and storefront to the services you offer, your customer experiences and communications, and the tone you take with your social media and blog posts. Your brand shapes how your customers feel about your company and doing business with your company, and it affects how your company is viewed within your community and your industry.
While it can seem overwhelming to determine and grow your brand, there are a few simple considerations that can help you determine your branding strategy:
- Know your customer base: You can’t be all things to all people. Understand which customers will be attracted to your services, and direct your messaging to them.
- Know your niche: There’s something you do that competing companies don’t. Know what that service or business approach is, and sell that difference to your customer base.
- Make yourself known: This isn’t just about making sure potential clients in your community have heard about your business. All small businesses have a story and a personality. Make sure your community and your customers know the face and the story behind your company.
- Develop a consistent voice: Your brand should have a purposeful tone in all of your communication. That tone should be reflected in your marketing materials, on your website, in your advertising and in your social media posts.
A small business depends on word-of-mouth referrals and on building a reputation within a community. Those referrals and that reputation rely on your business and your employees delivering the best products and services possible to your customers. Show your customers that your company will deliver value. Be reliable by delivering on promises you make to your customers. Exceed their expectations. Never guarantee something you can’t deliver. As your business grows, listen to your customers to determine how your products and services can better fill their needs.
If you don’t believe in your products and services, no one else will. You have to advocate for your business, not just sell it. Be passionate about your business, and share that passion with the people you meet by sharing your company’s story, your mission, the value your company provides customers and all of the other elements of your business that make you excited about it.
While it is easy to get caught up in the day to day, the best thing you can do to grow your business is to occasionally step back and evaluate all of these things. Make sure you take the time to consider your desired brand and how you are developing that brand, how you company is providing quality and building a reputation and the community, and how you are sharing your passion for your business with others. Growth won’t happen unless you make a conscious effort to work toward it.