Ten Steps to Building Up Your Small Business Brand
After spending four years at the Columbus Chamber, I came to love many things about our city. One of them being the small business community. Each business I spoke to had such a rich story and I truly enjoyed watching them grow and speaking with many business owners.
But for those out there interested in starting a business, where do you start? Starting a business can be a difficult and sometimes scary journey, but it is well worth the effort. In 2014, the Pew Foundation conducted a survey that revealed 71 percent of Americans view small businesses more favorably than other institutions because they are seen as a positive influence “on the way things are going in this country.”
Furthermore, in March 2015, the Small Business Administration published tips on how to start and build up your business’ brand. The SBA’s article, written by Caron Beesley, elaborates on the Pew Foundation’s survey by saying small businesses are trusted on their integrity, community involvement and customer service. These may be small things, but they can make a world of difference to customers.
Beesley then provided ten tips on how a small business can build themselves up and grow their appeal:
- What is your brand?
- Stand out
- Have Great Products and Services
- Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product
- Get Your Name and Logo Right
- Have a Distinct Voice
- Build Community Around What You Do
- Be an Advocate for Your Business-Not Just a Salesman
- Be Reliable
- Have a Value Proposition
Looking closely, there are some common threads among the ten tips for small businesses. The first tip asks businesses to figure out what their brand is; who you are is much more than your logo and your products. Nor is it just what you do, but rather how you go about doing it. As the SBA’s post says, “Standing out means being different. If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what it is that makes what you do unique.” Meaning the business needs to think about how it markets itself, the products and services you produce and how that gets people talking. The SBA also encourage owners to take center stage in the operations of the business and interacting with customers, making sure they know you and connect you and your energy with the business.
As the owner, invite people into your business and show them your passion! Advocate for your business! Whether that is by telling your story, showing what the products do for your customers, how you conduct your business, or what your company’s mission is just be passionate about your work and that will carry over. But make sure you have standards for your brand and are living up to your promises, it will help create customer loyalty to your business.
To build up your business and grow your brand,
- Figure out what makes your business stand out among competitors and make sure your customers know what it is that makes you stand out
- Make sure you not only are present in the business and your customers know who is behind the company, but advocate for it and be it’s biggest cheerleader and salesman
- Establish standards and promises for the business, build trust using great customer service