To succeed as a small business owner in today’s competitive market, you need to have good planning skills in addition to being flexible towards adapting to rapidly changing customer trends. Irrespective of the industry, your prime focus needs to be providing customers better service than competitors and striving to become an authority figure in your niche. In this article by NIBE, we’ll explore three important practices you as an entrepreneur should follow to make your business successful.

Know Your Customers

Before making any business decisions regarding manufacturing, product development, marketing, etc. it is crucial to understand what your customers want. Your first step needs to be investing heavily towards market research which involves collecting data regarding customer trends, preferences, likes, dislikes, and more. Through your research, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What customer problem does my product solve?
  • How much are customers willing to pay for my product?
  • Why are customers currently using competitors’ products?
  • What are consumer buying habits in my niche?
  • What are the key aspects that go into the customer’s purchase decision?

Depending on your industry and niche, findings will differ, however, according to research done by Wordbank here are some important statistics you should know about customers in the UK:

  • 59% of shoppers in the UK report price as their key deciding factor
  • 51% of customers trust that Amazon offers the cheapest prices and compare it to in-store pricing
  • 65% of customers claim to be loyal to a brand, making them consistent repeat buyers
  • More than 50% of customers expect brands should have loyalty programs

Be Ethical

Business ethics can be defined as a system of morals and beliefs which create a framework for its daily operations and expectations from employees. Your ethics also play a big role in setting goals, choosing partners, and making important business decisions.

In the same research by Wordbank, 68% of consumers in the UK reported scrutinizing a company’s ethical behavior before buying. This included their dedication towards sustainability, hiring practices, employee treatment, and supply chain partners.

Consumers prefer to align themselves with companies that are dedicated to being ethical. For example, you can be a clothing brand making clothes from recycled materials or a food brand creating organic alternatives to meat products. Focusing on being ethical and investing in sustainability can serve as a major distinguishing factor from competitors, resulting in increased business and revenue.

In addition to profitability, having a reputation as an ethical business in the market is a big plus for the long-term health of your company. It can open doors to opportunities such as:

  • Funding from investors who prefer businesses with high ethical standing
  • Coverage from local and national media outlets
  • A loyal following of customers supporting your business

Invest in Marketing

As reported by Cyber Crew, social media spending is expected to increase in the UK by around 20%. This is because digital platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Google have made it extremely easy for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. Advertising on any of these platforms can lead to thousands of customers learning about your business. Additionally, you can use these platforms to direct traffic to your website or let customers make direct purchases. 

However, marketing is not as simple as making an advertisement and paying to promote it. It involves thorough market research, building a strategy, and lots of experimentation to get right. To ensure you make the most of your marketing efforts, consider hiring a social media manager. Experienced managers are experts in following current trends, creating the right messaging for your niche, and utilizing platforms that provide you the highest return-on-investment (ROI).

When looking for good managers to hire, consider using reputed websites such as Upwork, where you can compare customer reviews, rates, and experience. Additionally, look for individuals who are data-driven as those will give you the best results. If you’re thinking how much do social media managers make? Expect to pay them anything between $14-$35/hour based on experience.

The keys to success for entrepreneurs of today are to be on top of current trends, be ethical and use effective marketing strategies directly catering to the needs of their customers.

Cheryl Conklin