Small Business Marketing: Would You Do Business With You?

would you do business with you?Think about it, would you do business with you? As small business owners, we wear a lot of hats each day from trying to run the daily operations of the business, building and maintaining relationships with potential and current customers, taking care of client customer service needs, inventory, blogging … the list goes on and on. While this is all very important, it is also imperative that you answer the question “Would You Do Business With You?” You can have the best business name, most incredibly designed logo, hired top of the line advertising & marketing agency but if you yourself would not do business with you, then why would/should anyone else? While many will jump up and say of course I would do business with myself, I mean why else would I be in business? We know it is not that simple.

What is Your One Thing

When we are promoting our business, it is very clear that we are not alone in our industry. Many times the choices for consumers can be almost overwhelming. How can they decide? Friends, family and networks are asked and give recommendations based upon having worked with a company or from information they received from trusted sources. Are you one of those recommendations? When you think about what differentiates you from your competition and what you do better than anyone else, is this same as what people who are recommending you are saying? What about those that find you through search or your blog, are they receiving that message? Do you know what your competitors boast as their one thing? Is it the same as your one thing? Do you know what people are saying is your competitors one thing?

Your one thing does not have to be one of Top 5 Most Common Competition Differentiators as we saw years ago with Avis, where the came out with “We Try Harder.”  It was so well done as what else could they say? We rent good, clean cars, have a very attentive staff that works hard to get you in and out quickly? And which one of the car rental companies were not saying that? Is your differentiator this impactful? The family owned pizza palor has pizza as does the guy down the street. They may have just about the same menu, the same ingredients, geez they could have the same food vendor and ordering the same exact products but let’s say they have pre-packaged italian ices and you have made to order scooped gelato or snow cones where the syrup is self serve? Forget the pizza or meatball sub, you have self serve syrup snow cones. See how the mindset was completely changed and in an instant removed any competition?

A fine dining restaurant that stores a high end special bottle of wine from one of its best customers. People think they would be losing money as why wouldn’t the restaurant just order that bottle of wine for them and charge for it? While that may increase profits a bit, holding it for the customer invites them to come in and drink their bottle of wine while enjoying a wonderful meal. Think they are going anywhere else to eat when their bottle of wine is at your restaurant?  A kiosk or retail store at a mall that has a coat check during the winter months so that shoppers do not have to hold them. This makes you the most visited place and while there they will look at your merchandise, keeps people at the mall longer as holding bags and a winter coat gets heavy and pretty much ends that shopping day.

Referrals, Referrals and More Referrals

Referrals come from trusted sources. Word-of-mouth, to search engine referrals as you have relevant content and back links, to your ad in a newspaper as people are reading the paper as a trusted source and are finding you from there. As a business owner it is what you strive for, a business that grows from referrals. We monitor brands online to see what people are saying to be sure that this is in line with the brand persona, brand message and also protect the brand image. Many small business owners are not monitoring what is being said online and missing critical information as to how the brand is perceived, whether that be positive or negative. Referrals are powerful and can instantly boost awareness as we recently saw with Blogging Basics 101 where Mashable linked to their article what to do when you’re picking the perfect name for your startup (loved Melanie’s reaction as yeah, I would have died too)!

So, would you do business with you? Do you know what people are saying about you? Is this what you want them to be saying? Is what makes you different from our competition as common as the summer weather forecast of abundant sunshine in Las Vegas or as eye-opening and memorable as 10 feet of snow in Phoenix in May?

photo credit: Dan Fauxsmith