We live in the era of Starbucks, Walmart, 7Eleven, – I could go on and on. We, local business owners have big giants trying hard to put us out of business left and right. Their customer service is getting better (at least at Starbucks) their prices are lower than ever (not talking about Starbucks this time) and they have it all down – systems, recipes, social media, email marketing – all of it! But what about us? The local small business?
How are you doing it wrong that prevents you from standing out amongst your competition? Especially the big sharks?
Let’s look at some of the things that I personally experienced the past month.
How do you like your coffee? Different every time? Nope – not me. But that’s exactly what I get when I go out of my way to support a local, family run coffee shop. My husband warned me not to go there – but of course I have to experience it for myself. My first try – the white chocolate mocha (my favorite, by the way ) was PERFECT. It had just enough sweetness and creaminess. I was a bit relieved that my husband was wrong this time (because he is ALWAYS right) But the second, and the third time I got their coffee – it was different every time and definitely not what I expected. (told you, my husband is always right!)
Do your customers and clients experience a similar dilemma when they choose to support you? It is SO important to be consistent with your products or services. Whether you are selling coffee or cupcakes – be consistent in your recipes, and while we’re at it – you must be consistent in every aspect of your business.
Just because you had a rough morning – doesn’t mean that I did. When I walk in to your boutique with a beaming smile, ready to give you my business but I am greeted by a mumbled, – “hey, how is it going” my day is ruined, just like yours. Congratulations. I think – Oh my goodness, was it me? My outfit? My hair? Will I ever come back? You bet I won’t! Loosing a customer on your bad day is much easier than gaining a new customer on your good one. <—Tweet that!
Always put a smile on your face and be cheery with your customers. Besides – that is one of the ways you can separate yourself from the big boys.
Know your prices
This is very important for service professionals. Especially the ones who give price quotes. If you gave a quote to your client – that’s it – it’s written on a rock. If you underestimated the cost – that’s your problem, learn to quote properly next time. This might sound harsh – but try putting yourself in your clients shoes. Would you like to be given a price – decide on working with them – and later be called with a new quote? I highly doubt it!
Know your prices, have a system on how you calculate those prices, and your customers won’t have a reason to go with someone else, or better yet, will recommend you to their friends and family.
Thank you so much for reading! But before you go – I’d like to ask you a question – how are you doing it right? What is the one thing that makes you stand out in your local business? Please tell me in the comments below!
Image Steven AnCel