When you own a small business, there will be times when you feel out of your depth. You will look across at your biggest competitors; the big brands that are household names; and you will wonder how you can possibly compete. You’re doing the best with what you have, but you can’t come close to the resources, staff, and money they have to spend on research and development. As a result, it can feel like you’re never going to be able to catch up, and there will always be a slice of the market that is out of reach for you.
While some of these thoughts may ultimately be true, there are a few ways that your small business can keep up with the big guns. Emulating the tricks that have led to their success could change your business outlook, offer something new to your customers, and ensure that you feel 100 percent confident about where your business is heading. Here are three tools that big businesses use that you can translate into your small business setting…
1. A Delivery Saver
Delivery plans have become more and more common in recent years. Customers pay a set amount and then, for a year, they receive free delivery on all purchases. This is definitely something a small business can operate, especially for your local customers. Invest in low cost vans and hire a driver to help with the logistics, and soon you’ll have customers happily signing up. These plans are hugely beneficial to businesses; did you know Amazon could offer their Prime delivery for free and they’d still make a profit on the scheme? Customers are, simply, more likely to shop from companies they have a delivery plan with. Take advantage of this and introduce your own plan; your customers will be delighted.
2. One-Click Purchasing
Amazon is set to lose its one-click payment method patent soon, which means that this oh-so-convenient ordering method will soon be available for you to use. One-click ordering is great for customers, and can lead to more impulse purchases– great for your bottom line. Keep an eye on when the technology becomes available and implement it when possible.
3. Loyalty Programmes
We all associate loyalty programmes with big businesses, but there’s absolutely no reason why your small business can’t do the same. Loyalty programmes tend to pay for themselves, as customers want to keep coming back so that they can earn more rewards.
These systems are not particularly difficult to set up. If you have an online store, then a huge number of software systems allow customers to earn ‘points’ on every transaction– check and see if yours has the facility. If you’re a bricks and mortar store, then a simple punch-card method most commonly used by coffee shops is just as effective.
While you might be a small fish, the above options show that you’re more than capable of swimming in a bigger pond. Why not give one a try and see what it can do for your business?