The US Small Business Administration kicked off National Small Business Week on April 29 in honor of all the small but mighty companies across the country. It’s a week that shines a spotlight on small business owners and employees, which make up over half of working Americans.
Running a small business can be rewarding but it has its own set of challenges – one of which is limited time and resources. It’s tough to do it all. For those wanting to take their small business to the next level, here are 3 opportunities worth trying.
A personalized customer experience is a fast-growing business trend in 2018. Customers are demanding a unique experience (from service to retail) if you want their brand loyalty and business. Forbes reported on this growing change: “people want experiences that are actually relevant to them.” That means one-size fits all service won’t work.
Personalization can be integrated into everything from sales to product training to communications. When you’re a small business, it’s hard to find time to tailor your service, but it’s becoming more and more necessary for long-term success.
Having the right software can help you save time incorporating more personalization into your business plan. For example, our Mobile Office Manager includes an Opportunities feature that allows technicians in the field to submit potential recommendations for your current elevator customers. You could then have a sales rep follow up with them with personalized recommendations to improve their products. A personal call or email from your sales rep could lead to a much bigger return on investment than a generic communication on the latest products or services that may or may not be relevant for that customer.
Leveraging social media to help build your brand and reputation probably seems like old news. However, focusing your efforts on the right network for your products and services, explained USA Today, is what will make all the difference for small businesses.
Facebook is used by 80% of adults online, making it a top choice for brand building for small elevator companies. It’s versatile for communicating with customers; you can share relevant content including product updates, services, customer information, blogs, and more. Regularly posting quality content will not only help your engagement rates but also your SEO ranking. What’s more is Facebook offers you free reporting tools to see what content had the biggest impact on your followers, so you can give them more of what they like. Plus, customers have an opportunity to communicate with you. They can write feedback and share ratings, giving you more credibility, or message you directly about customer service issues or sign up.
Also worth considering is LinkedIn and YouTube. LinkedIn allows you to connect with other industry professionals and post news about your company, which is helpful in establishing your presence within the elevator industry. YouTube can be used to post and share educational, sales, or marketing videos for your customers (which can also be embedded into your website).
In order to maintain a competitive edge, small businesses need to stay ahead of the curve. One way to do so is through social learning, such as conferences, associations, summits, and other industry events. “We learn something every time we observe others, ask questions or share knowledge resources,” Entrepreneur reported, when writing about the increased trend of social learning in businesses.
Social learning can happen at the office between coworkers and in the field between technicians, but there’s an added level of value when it happens among industry peers. Hearing what elevator companies or experts are exploring and prioritizing can help you assess bigger picture questions for your company. For example, many elevator industry professionals recently attended the National Association of Elevator Contractors Conference this past April. They attended seminars and discussions and socialized with their peers to learn what’s new and noteworthy in their industry. (ESS President Anita Seymour led a roundtable discussion on ERP software this year as well, which you can read here] .)
Social learning is also a great way to gain knowledge about tools that can better your business, such as conferences on marketing, finance, and design.
Looking for another way to get ahead as a small business? Having the right software can make all the difference. Contact us for a free trial of Mobile Office Manager and Mobile Service today!