Small businesses are essential to our communities and help to foster innovation in every industry.
But if you’re running a small business of your own, you may feel discouraged from time to time. Operating a business is hard work, and not every concept survives among big-box stores or other competitors.
However, if you can remember a few key things about what makes small businesses strong, you’re more likely to have a better business future — and feel encouraged and energized about your daily work.
Small businesses provide outstanding customer service
Nothing’s more frustrating than a request or complaint that takes forever to resolve, whether you’ve been on hold for a half hour or can’t see eye to eye with a live-chat support representative. In a small business, the ability to provide direct customer service can help customers breathe a sigh of relief more quickly.
It’s not just about resolving complaints, either. Customer service means going above and beyond expectations to provide a positive experience. Who’s better suited to provide that outstanding experience than a small business, where you can pivot as needed to better serve each customer?
Empower your team to provide amazing customer service, and those customers will love you back — and tell their friends.
Small businesses can engage in real time
Have you ever followed a business on social media, hoping a Twitter or Facebook post would tip you off to the next great sale or special event?
Wouldn’t it be great if your customers got as excited about your business?
If you’re not using social media platforms to communicate with your customers regularly, you’re missing out on a chance to build relationships and foster brand awareness.
Big businesses might have to go through rounds of approval before a single tweet can be sent out. At your small business, whoever’s at the keyboard has a bit more freedom to interact with your online audience. Then, you can carry that experienceover to your website or physical space to deepen the relationship.
Small businesses can impact a community
“If your business draws from the local area, becoming a presence in your community goes a long way to build relationships,” Rieva Lesonsky says. “Sponsor or participate in community events, volunteer for or donate to local charities, and get involved in making your city a better place.”
Participating in community events can get your logo placed on some swag or otherwise serve as a marketing tool. But more importantly, participation in such events offers a chance to get to know your community — from fellow business owners, to potential customers, to simply great neighbors you’ll be glad to know.
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