Succeeding as an entrepreneur doesn’t just boil down to being a good leader or working hard. It also involves making a business that stands out from the rest. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re targeting. Even the newest industries will have a lot of indirect competition, either pre-existing or soon to exist thanks to one mega-corporation or another. You can get lost in the crowd of competition, and a forgotten company isn’t going to get any business.
Stand out from the crowd and you’re halfway to success. But how do you do that?
1. Give It the Personal Touch
Early on in your business’s lifetime, you’re likely going to need to talk to your clients and suppliers yourself. This is not a bad thing – in fact, this could be an incredible opportunity to show them that your business has a charming face behind it. Trusting a faceless entity is difficult. Trusting you and your charm? That’s far easier and can earn your company loyal customers.
2. Be Unique
Experienced entrepreneurs who have worked with little to no capital will know that much of marketing will come down to positive word-of-mouth. To trigger that, you’ll need your company to stand out as much as possible in a good way. How exactly you’ll do that depends on your resources and the people you have available. What is important is that you’re not unique for the sake of being unique, but because you’re offering something that people can’t get anywhere else.
3. Have Integrity and Show It
Trust is hard to earn as a business and it’s only gotten harder throughout the years. Consumers are savvier. Information is readily available, making it easy for bad news to get around quickly, and there are a lot of other businesses out there that a person can jump to after a bad experience with your company.
Here’s the thing – you’re going to disappoint someone at some point. It’s inevitable and it’s okay. What is important is that you establish a pattern of honesty so that customers are disinclined to believe that you cheated them.
It can be difficult to admit fault, but you have to do it. Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring them outright isn’t going to make them go away. In fact, responding to a problem inappropriately is a great way to give people ammunition that they can use in the future. You’re not going to please everyone, and some people are going to get mad no matter what you do, but you still have to act accordingly and stay transparent.
4. Make Your Company Accessible
People don’t want to talk to faceless entities. The want to talk to other people, people who will understand their needs and concerns. What you need to do is to make your company easy to contact. Have contact information readily available and properly promulgated.
Whenever someone makes contact, don’t just solve their problem. Ask them about other concerns and what they want to see in the future. Make sure that whoever gets to talk to your customers is well trained in customer relations. One misstep and your company could easily lose a customer.
5. Keep Up to Date and Relevant
Many businesses have trouble keeping up with the times, for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s due to complacency, other times it’s due to a boss who doesn’t keep track of how the industry is progressing.
Since you’re the head of the company, it’s up to you to make sure that the competition doesn’t leave you in the dust. Start by talking to your customers and trying to figure out what will satisfy their needs, both current and future. The latter is especially important – if you can get ahead of the curve, you’re doing fine.
The most important thing to remember is to care for your customers. A company led by an entrepreneur who has the needs of the consumer first will inevitably become memorable. They’re your target audience, after all. You will always want them to like you, and the quickest way to get there is to give them what they want and what they need. It’s the one thing that will never change, no matter how technology marches on.