Your Small Business is at an Advantage: Here's How to Maximize it
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive surge of small to large-scale companies migrating their businesses to the online platform, and while this has opened up new opportunities for businesses to reach a wider audience, it also brought a dangerous saturation of identical products sold by different people. In short: the competition in the digital market poses threats to small businesses that are yet to make a name for themselves.
So, in the virtual world wherein competition has turned homogeneous, how can we say that small businesses are at an advantage?
1. Personalized Customer Service
Large Businesses tend to have a “one-size fits all” approach in handling their customers. On the other hand, small businesses can have the advantage to know potential customers better by actively engaging to their needs and developing a custom solution per every customer. With this, they continually provide each customer with a unique experience that could make (or break) their business, depending on how they handle their operation.
Not to mention, Eric Weiss mentions that one of the ways small business owners can stand out in customer service is by being present in every level – attending to all customer needs from their very first inquiry, up until they provide feedback.
How to maximize this
Utilize an automated chatbot
One way to take advantage of this is to keep your customers connected to your business even after workhours. Chatbots like YezPo are available 24/7 to answer all your customers’ inquiries, and even take their orders for you while you go about your day.
Investing in chatbots would come in handy for when you’re out for the holiday and wouldn’t want to leave your costumers’ inquiries unanswered. Although, a common problem business owners have with chatbots is that they aren’t engaging. But, with an intelligent chatbot like YezPo, you can create personalized canned replies, and even include images!
Solutions like Info Alchemy Foresight are able to produce real-time, personalized recommendations for your customers based on the products they click, search, and engage with online. For example, your customer searched for pet toys, Info Alchemy Foresight’s system will generate recommendations that they think your customer would be interested in. Not to mention, it will also accurately forecast what products in your inventory are mostly “wishlisted” for demand planning.
By being able to know what your customers want, and continually provide it to them within a few minutes, you could easily increase the customer traffic and engagement on your chosen platform, and even increase your leads and sales.
In turn, your customers wouldn’t have the problem to scroll through different platforms just to look for one item. Instead, they will have the notion that your business is their one-stop shop for all their needs.
2. Fast and Flexible
Unlike small businesses, large-scale companies tend to put importance in consistency and by-the-book operations, and while having an organized every day process is always a good idea, there is a fine line between being consistent and not being able to adapt to the new trends. Because of this, not only do they fail to connect better with their market, but they also spend too much time thinking of the next step, rather than catering to their customers’ obvious needs.
Because of the personal connection of small business owners and their customers, they can immediately act on feedback and bring new products and services based on their customers’ wants.
How to maximize this
Use applications that do the work for you
We all know it’s hard to run a growing business with little manpower – it would require you to do most of the work outside your expertise, considering the small amount of people you can hire. But it’s important to keep in mind that providing the best and unique customer experience is the most important aspect in creating meaningful connection with your customers. Luckily, there are solutions like imonggo Store and imonggo E-commerce that gives you a helping hand by automatically counting your stocks and updating your inventories, sales reports, and invoicing. These solutions also provide a built-in customer loyalty features like discount codes, points, etc. that would not only attract new customers, but would help you acquire customer loyalty as well.
Another way to be more resourceful in handling business operations is utilizing applications to track your employees’ attendance and their leads, instead of spending time trying to keep track of all the data manually. Solutions like Abizo MARK, PocketWiSE EDTR+, PocketWiSe SFE, SOLE CRM, and SquadZip are designed to provide assistance in going through the day-to-day operations smoothly and rapidly.
By investing in solutions like this, not only will you have more time to personally prioritize your customers’ needs, but it will also make your day-to-day operations more efficient.
In a dangerously saturated market, small businesses have the advantage to stay unique. You might think, “well, businesses have their own uniqueness despite their scale”, and while that may be true, most large scale companies focus on mass-producing products that may be seen as “impersonal” and bland. The uniqueness of small businesses come from their ability to produce products and services out of customers’ personal feedbacks, and have the freedom to innovate for a better and more personalized customer experience.
According to Accion Opportunity Fund, small businesses should give customers a way to provide them feedback, whether it be in a form of sending emails, posting reviews on social media, or rating their products. This would give them the idea that they are being heard, and that we put importance on providing them a better experience.
How to maximize this
Have your own platform
There is an evident increase of online businesses in e-commerce platforms, and while this can easily attract customers, the amount of identical products coming from various competition just makes raises the stakes to establish your business in the market. Think of a time when you scrolled through your favorite e-commerce application. Do you remember which shop you bought your most recent purchase from? How many shops sold the same item?
A misconception that most companies get is that it’s harder to reach your market in an isolated platform, but solutions like Easybuilder.pro helps businesses build their own websites, without the need for programming skills. Much more, easybuilder.pro also has a built-in social media integration, which debunks the idea that you wouldn’t be able to reach your market outside e-commerce platforms. Instead, it generates product advertisements to your target market on their favorite social media platforms!
Create your own app
It would be much easier to reach your market if you can save them the time to search for your website or social media page, much more to have your very own application installed in their mobile phones so they can easily scroll through your offers. Amazon Lightsail is designed to provide these solutions for you, as well as web applications, website domains, software, and many more that could integrate your business online.
Growing your business isn’t a piece of cake, but it doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult and intimidating. Being aware of your competition helps in deciding how you can attract your market better, but focusing on your advantage and how to maximize it would give your business a unique and fresh image that could differentiate you from your competitor, and from the ever-growing market in the digital landscape.
By using new technology to make your small online business more effective and efficient, you can dive into more important aspects of business operations without having the need to worry about manpower, invoicing, replying to your customers, or building a brand image. In the end, it all boils down to creating a unique customer experience that would drive your sales, and more importantly, help grow your now-small online business, into one of the most well-known and trusted businesses out there.