Small businesses play a vital role in local, regional and international economies.
It is more important than ever for them to perform as effectively as possible to achieve long-term success.
Implementing our six ‘E’ small business tips will help your small business stand out, head and shoulders above the competition.
Small businesses are a bit like the ‘Kevin Hart’ of the marketplace, they might be smaller in stature, but their influence can stretch far and wide, they can generate surprisingly large amounts of money, and they often know how to pack a punch.
If you own a small business, you will understand the profound sense of accomplishment they can bring, as well as their vital role in a country’s economic prosperity. For instance, in Dubai alone, “SMEs make up nearly 95% of all companies; employing 42% of the workforce and contributing around 40% to Dubai’s GDP”.
Small businesses are often the most fertile environments for innovation, creativity, and originality; with many having been borne out of a desire to do something better or provide a solution as yet not considered.
For employees, an SME often provides a more significant opportunity for inclusion and growth, as many find themselves becoming part of the organization’s strategy and development and therefore are more invested in its success or failure. They are the antithesis of the giant, unfeeling corporate machine and thus not only appeal more to the millennial dominated workforce but are far more adaptable to the evolutions of operation and market trends in the modern world.
Now, that said, as every small business owner will tell you, running them isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The trials and tribulations can sometimes be overwhelming, and it can be a constant struggle to keep your company’s performance at the necessary levels, especially without the type of safety net a multi-national usually has. Fluctuating markets, geopolitical upheaval, and an over-saturated market that is increasingly dominated by global conglomerates and less-qualified competitors who can afford to slash prices make for a tricky path that can test the spirit.
To help you make sure that your small business stands head and shoulders above the competition, no matter how big they are, we have put together the best ways to improve small businesses – the 6 E’s; the secret small business tips to success.
The E’s of Small Business Success is a mixture of internal and external factors that you can implement immediately to affect positive change and improve your small business performance. Each of them deals with a different element of your day today, but they also interlink to contribute a more productive set of results and every single one of them will help you achieve your goals more successfully and improve your bottom line results, and isn’t that what this is all about?
Succeeding in an environment of fierce competition is all about brand loyalty. If you can empower brand loyalty in your customers or clients, then they will stick with you through thick and thin; better than that, they will also become brand ambassadors and promote your business for you!
If you connect with your consumers on a deeper level, you draw them into your brand story and give them faith in your ability to deliver.
You can encourage this type of brand loyalty through customer service and by going the extra mile, add a touch of something special to your delivery, surprise your customer with a discount just for them or a reward for repeat business – whatever that unique touch is, it will go a long way to winning them over.
Word of mouth advertising is effective for a reason. A study by McKinsey suggests that “word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” We often rely on recommendations from people in our lives, because an existing level of trust exists (although the opposite is also true if someone we don’t like recommends something, we might choose to avoid that!).
One of the biggest things that are recommended in this manner is the experience.
You’ll have heard people talk about the ‘horrible experience they had on the phone with this customer service person’ or the ‘trouble they had getting an answer to a simple question’ or even the ‘reassurance they felt that something was being taken care of by a helpful and kind individual.’ The reality is that modern, increasingly-discerning consumers care a lot about how they are treated and the experience they have.
If you want to stand out, you need to make sure that everyone who encounters your organization has the best possible experience, in every way.
Additionally, your employee word of mouth generation is just as important. Your employees will always be your most impactful brand ambassadors, as they will know you best. They are credible resources that will spread your perception to potential customers, potential partners and potential employees – make sure it is a good one!
There is a reason that many of the greatest inventions of all time were essentially linked to efficiency, from a quicker way to get around to an easier way to communicate. Efficiency isn’t just a buzzword overused by a ‘blue-sky thinking motivational team-building speaker’; it is what could make all the difference for your business.
Establishing greater efficiency within your organization could have lasting impacts in many ways you haven’t even considered. For instance, introducing a comprehensive, interactive HR system will not only prevent your HR team from wasting too much time on mundane tasks, but it will also allow them to focus on the far more important task of connecting and engaging with your employees to improve their performance. You can read more about why investing in your employees’ happiness and lowering your staff retention in this way can be so useful here.
A fully autonomous AI HR software such as Aqeed People will give your employees quicker access to the information that matters most to them, so they feel more comfortable and confident. By utilizing technological efficiency steps, even small ones, can have such a positive impact on your organization and end up saving you money and generating you a greater income.
Simply put, you need the perception of every current, old, new and potential consumer to be that you are the experts in your field, whatever that might be. You need to demonstrate that you have more expertise than your competitors.
You can do this is different ways, expertise doesn’t immediately come with longevity and size, all you need to do is to find the way that you can communicate why your specific knowledge, history, method or practice is the preferred option for the consumer.
Offer up your staff as resources within your industry, particularly to pertinent publications and consider building a bank of content of articles and discussions that offer relevant and helpful advice in your field, customers will start to think of your brand as the ‘experts’ and therefore the go-to choice.
i.e., don’t get stuck in the mud. Don’t give in to the status quo. Don’t be a stubborn oldie. Pick your cliché, they all work. The most successful small businesses know the inherent value in adaptability and constant evolution. The market, the consumer and the trends all change and evolve with the times, so why would you limit your company’s performance potential by resisting flexibility and remaining open to new possibilities and options? Change, and particularly the adoption of new technologies that increase your flexibility, will be transformative for your bottom line.
Last, but absolutely by no means least, comes engagement. Now this one is really, truly important, so we hope you are still paying attention! No small business, or any sized business for that matter, could survive without its employees; but no business will succeed without engaged employees.
If your employees feel engaged by your company, which means they feel heard, supported and encouraged, they will not only perform their jobs better; they will believe in the business and act as ambassadors for it in all that they do, from helping your recruit good people to recommending your service or product.
A Gallop study showed that highly engaged workforces perform 147% better than their peers.
If you can manage your organization to focus on employee satisfaction, it will be the most lucrative investment you ever make. You will need to work with your HR team on taking the time to connect properly with the employees and make sure that the whole company is focused on open, honest communication and the ideal work/life balance for your organization and staff.
HR software can remove many of the redundant and mundane tasks which allow HR, business owners, and GMs to focus on bigger and more important tasks.
If you think you could be doing more to improve your small business, then consider implementing the six Es. If your company can adopt a more innovative approach, they may start to see some game-changing results.