Small businesses have certain advantages over bigger businesses: They don’t have to deal with complicated leadership structures; they can respond more quickly to change; and they often have a more defined vision, to name just three. But there are still some ways acting “big” can help a small business. Here’s a look at how.
Having a professional-looking website can boost the profile of a small business. It also unlocks a huge market: More people than ever go online when they need to find a product or service. Any small business that does not have a website–or one that looks unprofessional–runs the risk of missing out on customers or looking like they don’t take their work seriously. If you don’t have a website, invest in one, and if yours looks outdated, consider hiring a professional to make it sing.
Develop a Social Media Presence
There’s a reason jobs now exist that are entirely devoted to social media. But how can a small business make effective use of social media channels? Michael Fertik, a Forbes.com contributor, offers the following advice: Establish a regular, sustainable pace for content updates; shoot for quality content rather than a massive amount of it; and identify and engage bloggers “that your customers read” with “robust followers.”
Invest in Marketing
The decision to invest in marketing is a big one, but it can reap giant rewards for a small business. After all, the best product in the world won’t make any money if no customers know it exists. For small businesses with less than $5 million in revenues, the Small Business Administration’s Managing a Business blog recommends allocating “7 to 8 percent of their revenues to marketing.”
To do these efforts correctly, you’ll probably have to spend some money. But they’re worth it: Marketing, efforts, a solid social media presence, and well-developed websites are all features of big businesses that a small one can emulate to great effect.