Australia is a nation of small businesses. According to accounting software firm, Xero’s Boss Insight 2020 report, there were 2.2 million business owners in Australia in late 2019, a spike of 700,000 in 1991. Of these, more than 1.4 million businesses are sole traders, while 600,000 are micro businesses with up to four staff.
The numbers show that small businesses contribute a lot to the economy. It is, however, a shame to learn that small businesses, specifically those hiring less than five employees, are more vulnerable to failure because of inadequate cash flow. In addition to cash flow, small businesses also fail because of poor strategic management and trading losses.
Small businesses generally have more difficulty competing with large corporations in luring clientele because they have modest marketing budgets, if they have one at all. This does not mean, however, that SMEs do not have the capacity to grab a share of the market.
Providing quality services and products cannot be overemphasized. Customers will never say no to good quality. In fact, customers come back and stay because of good quality products and services. We have previously mentioned that customer service, not discounts, is the key to boosting sales.
“Small business owners should uphold a passion for quality and service to reinforce their reputation in the community,” according to Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) Chief Executive Peter Strong.
Business.com emphasized that quality products do not just mean good or durable products. It also means good products that work with your target customers or clients. It means good products that solve the problems of your customers.
The next logical step is to identify your target customers and build trust with those customers. Through time, customer behaviour and attitude change and you, as the business owner, should account these changes in the way you interact with your customers.
SmartCompany suggests staying in contact with customers in order to establish stronger relationships. To illustrate, brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques used to be the trend. But this has changed nowadays with the advent of online shopping. If you are out of contact with your customers and refuse to change, you will not be able to capitalize on the online shift of doing commerce.
SmartCompany specifically points out on hairdressers using the visually-rich medium of Instagram to promote themselves and gain new customers, while taking to closed Facebook groups to share business information and industry tips. Small businesses providing advisory services may use LinkedIn to connect with prospective clients and like-minded professionals, SmartCompany added.
Establishing strong ties with the community is not just donating to your local charity, it is more than that. Being well-regarded in your community could mean taking care of your employees and supplies, paying them on time and fairly. Doing good for your community also does not always involve shelling out cash for any or all sponsorship request.
SmartCompany suggests combining business with local initiatives. Instead of giving cash for prizes to local events, SmartCompany says it might be better to donate gift cards for your store or business. This will bring people to your door.
Establishing community ties also involve taking good care of clients because this can lead to referrals and referrals are one of those valuable marketing strategies that you need not spend for.
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