How to provide added value for your customers, over deliver, offer bonuses, discounts, under-promise but over deliver, give something for free. Both online and offline businesses.
Let’s admit it: Being an entrepreneur nowadays entails more than a deep pocket and loads of good luck, factors which are mentioned in most small business tips and home business ideas. For instance, starting an online business or opening a retail franchise outlet requires a combination of skills, hard work and a will to succeed despite challenges along the way.
However, being the new “shop on the block” poses a lot of challenges. This is the case especially when you are going up against companies who have already gained a foothold in the market.
But don’t despair. The good news is that being a newbie also has its advantages. Here are 10 tips on how you can go head-to-head with competition, and eventually establish your own market niche.
1. Develop higher-quality, long-lasting products. You definitely don’t want to start a price war with your competitors. This can be a recipe for disaster, particularly for start-ups. So, go for quality. Once you’ve got a superior product, you can justify your demand for a higher price although your competitors are offering rock-bottom prices.
2. Make your product easy to use. Whether you’re selling revolutionary software or high-tech gizmos, always remember that the simpler they are to use or manipulate, the most likely they will become a hit. Not everyone likes a long learning curve, so make life easy for your customers.
3. Design safe products. As the saying goes, safety should always come first. This is especially true if your clients are parents with small kids. You must ensure that the tool or gadget you are designing has built-in safety features, which your customers would very much appreciate.
4. Build for speed. Time is invaluable, especially for individuals who are always on the go. Your products must therefore not only be easier to use, but quicker to set up and assemble. Always keep in mind that speed kills. And we mean that in a positive way, of course.
5. Make your stuff light and compact. Everybody loves a product which they can stuff in their cargo pants’ side pockets, or fit into their belt bags. Size definitely matters, especially for those who like to travel light, and don’t want to be inconvenienced by lugging around a half-ton suitcase.
6. Offer better customer service. This may be one of the best small business tips and home business ideas we can give you. And you don’t need to invest a fortune on this, especially if you are starting an online business. All you have to do is smile, listen to your customers’ suggestions, and immediately act on their requests for assistance if possible.
These are things that some “big” companies can no longer give, but on the other hand, can provide start-ups like you the opportunity to “personalize” your service.
7. Set favorable opening and closing hours. Your store hours should be aligned with the schedule of your clientele. For instance, if your coffee shop is situated in a corporate area, you should be open at least an hour before people start trickling in to their offices.
8. Provide online ordering options. In this age of Amazon and Alibaba, more and more people are doing their shopping online. Although you may have a physical shop, setting up an online ordering system will work to your advantage, and give you an edge over your competitors who prefer to do business the more traditional way.
9. Create a simple but efficient website. As we said earlier, a lot of customers now prefer to do business online.
Therefore, having your own website will help you tap into this lucrative online market. But in order to maintain a regular happy client base, you must make your site’s navigation easy and convenient to use.
10. Offer freebies. Although you aren’t Walmart or The Home Depot, this doesn’t mean that you can’t give out freebies. And by freebies, we don’t mean heavy duty umbrellas or flashlights. They can be ball pens, stationery or sun visors. Remember, it’s not the value of your freebie, but the thought behind it that counts.
We hope that these small business tips and home business ideas will guide you in your goal of starting an online business, or opening a coffee shop or cellphone accessory shop, and obtaining a nice profit soon after.
Or better yet order a copy of an online business idea that has proven to work.
Every success to you,