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How A Small Business Can Take The Market By Surprise

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

As a small business, you might feel a little intimidated by the big companies that already exist in your industry. After all, those organisations have spent years or decades establishing their brands and building loyal client bases. How are you going to get the target market to pay attention to your new business instead? Well, it’s all about doing something bold to stand out. You need to capture people’s attention and make sure that the industry starts talking about you. Here are some ways in which a small business can take the market by surprise.

By exceeding customer expectations.

This might seem like a strange piece of advice, but you should try under promising if you really want to impress clients. If you under promise and over deliver then you’ll make a big impact on clients. That’s the best way to really take the market by surprise. If you over-sell your services then you’ll either end up with disappointed customers or mildly-satisfied customers at best. Building a reputation is all about leaving a lasting impression. Perhaps you could send an offer to customers after their first purchase that promises a 50% discount on their next purchase or a voucher to use on any items in your store. This will definitely surprise your first-time customers and incentivise them to return to your store again. Any successful business needs a loyal client base, and that’s best achieved with customer service which exceeds expectations.

By creating a relatable brand.

In the modern marketplace, consumers are interested in businesses with ethical values. If you really want to take the market by surprise and start turning heads in the industry then you need to work on your brand’s value. You need to stand for something that really makes an impact on your target market. For instance, you could promise to donate a portion of all profits made to a big charity. Choosing something relevant to your industry is always a good way to capture the attention of your intended audience. You might donate a percentage of your profits to an animal hospice if your business sold pet-related products, for example.

In a more general sense, you might also want to become an eco-friendly business. Talk of environmentalism is highly prevalent in 2018. It’s a hot topic in our present society, so you could really capture the attention of potential customers by making it clear that your business will do all it can to reduce its carbon footprint. You could reduce your energy consumption in the office by insulating the walls and windows or utilising more energy-efficient technology. You could also reduce paper and plastic consumption. Reducing the resources you use will save money and help the planet, so you’ll be aiding your company in many different ways. But the key thing is to show that your brand stands for more than making a profit. That’s how you’ll take your target market by surprise. Potential customers will pay attention to a business they’ve never seen before if its brand is more captivating than the existing companies on the market. That’s how businesses overtake one another in industries.

By standing out online.

Another way in which your small business can take the market by surprise is to create a strong online presence. You need to start showing up on people’s radar when they browse the internet. It’s all about creating content that pushes you ahead of the competition. In 2018, traditional methods of advertising don’t have the same pull that they once did. Consumers don’t like being told what to buy; they like searching for the goods and services they need for themselves. That’s why modern marketing is all about making sure potential customers find you before they find your competitors. If you want to take the market by surprise then you need to start showing up before the big and reputable brands on search result pages. Even if somebody has never heard of your small business before, they’ll appreciate that you’re on the first page; people always like to click on one of the first few links. Search engines rank results based on relevance, after all.

Of course, search engine algorithms also rank websites based on their content, so you should work on your small business’ website if you really want to get on people’s radar. It’s all about optimising your content for the best results. Keywords are always important, but so is a professional design. You need to make sure that your layout will look good on all manner of devices. After all, new smartphones and tablets are being released every year. Your website needs to keep up because that’s how search engines decide which sites are the most relevant. Plus, it’ll impress the visitors who end up on your homepage. Impressed visitors will convert into paying customers. You might want to do some research to find web developers who specialise in cutting edge websites. After all, every business is trying to improve their website for the best results on search engines – you need to make sure that yours will stand out if you really want to take potential customers by surprise.

By employing the best possible candidates.

We’ve already talked a lot about making a great impression on customers or potential customers with a great brand, great marketing, and great customer service. Of course, each of those elements depends on a great workforce. If you really want to take the market by surprise then you need to make sure that the employees working for your company are better than the employees working for the competition. Professional products and exceptional customer service are both qualities that will make your business stand out in the marketplace. You’ll certainly get people’s attention and take them by surprise. You need to keep training your workers to make sure that they have the necessary skills to excel in the modern age. Succeeding as a small business isn’t just about competing with other brands – it’s about competing with other professionals.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

2 Comments

  1. Ryan G

    As the owner of a small business myself myself (tattooist) I’ve always found exceeding what the customer expects keeps people coming back to us.
    In my line of work this is critical given how competitive it is.
    Great article and fantastic points.

     
    • Simon

      Thanks for your comment Ryan. Yes I agree – going above and beyond expectations is a great way to differentiate your business, particularly if the competition is complacent!

       

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