Consumers have so many choices about where to spend their dollars these days. So whether your small business is a B2B or B2C, you need to stand apart from the competition. According to the Authenticity Gap survey conducted last year, consumers are losing patience with the companies they do business with. Is it possible to gain their favor by being the type of company they want to do business with? Yes, here’s how:
- Be authentic. Consumers tend to think of small businesses as naturally authentic—or more authentic than big businesses. After all, what’s more authentic than an entrepreneur trying to achieve the American dream? Tell your story on your website—everyone one loves a real success story.
- Be a local. This is especially important, if you do business locally. Make sure you’re listed in all the local directories. Get involved in your community. Your city’s website most likely has an events calendar; local businesses can set up booths at events and sell or give away products and services. Sponsor a local sports team or volunteer your time at a local charity. Participate in small business events. Get your “Shop Small” logo from the Small Business Saturday website and put it on the front page of your website.
- Be an expert. Speak at local events and to networking groups. Teach a class at the community college. Establish your expertise so local newspapers rely on you for expert insight and answers. Record an online video to put on your website and load it on YouTube as well. Want to take questions? Set up a Google Hangout or webinar with your clients.
- Be charitable. If there’s charity close to your heart, check its website to see how you can help. Or, contact your city’s Chamber of Commerce or business development office to see what local charities are active in your area. You could offer a certain percentage of every sale to the charity or donate services or goods.
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