Are you a micro, small or medium business struggling to make it big? Have you just recently started and are you looking for ways to make a name for yourself? Or have you been around for years, but you’re still waiting for your big break?
There are a few key characteristics most big brands share that you can apply to your business to make it seem like you’ve been in the game much longer, or that you know your stuff better than most. Channel your inner Big Name Brand by following these tips:
- Have a product people love. It comes down to this: big-name brands are what they are because people like the products or services they offer. There are many ways to make sure your product is loved by customers, but the most effective is to do a little market research and, following that, some product development. Market research will tell you what customers are after, who they are, where they come from, and why they’re buying. Afterward, you can apply this information to your product design and development.
- Be professional. This should go without saying, but if there’s one thing big brands have in common, it’s being as professional as they can be when dealing with customers. It’s especially important these days, with social media being an outlet for customers to vent or express their complaints. Unfortunately, many customers would rather post about your brand than complain to you directly, which is why you need to avoid complaints as much as possible. Before they can even start venting, treat your customers politely and efficiently—it’s the right thing to do.
- Be approachable. This is a two-fold step. First of all, you need to be approachable to your team by being there for them to report to, receive instructions from, and get feedback from. This way, you’ll know your business inside out and stay on top of all matters. Secondly, you need to be approachable to your market. This doesn’t mean you yourself have to answer every question and deal with every concern, but your brand should be represented by someone who’s always ready to respond in a prompt, respectful and friendly manner.
- Prioritize your packaging. Do you notice how no big-name brand would use a plain paper bag as their packaging? Save for grocery stores maybe, this is because packaging plays a key role in your marketing campaign. Not only does it function as another form of advertising, it’s also a way to enhance your product’s look and feel. Packaging is one of those things that make your product look professional and well-planned, rather than simple and haphazardly put together. It should also go without saying, of course, that the packaging should be neat and beautifully constructed.
- Look out for opportunities. How can you reach big brand status if you’re missing every opportunity that goes by? Opportunities don’t just fall into your lap; you usually have to go after them. Attend that networking event. Get to know that new client. Consider that possible partnership. The best thing about opportunities is that once you go after one, new ones seem to pop up right after. So consider all those opportunities carefully and without regret. Who knows? The next one might be what you need to become a household name.
- Be smart with your advertising. Many small business owners think they’re not in a position to do advertising because it costs money. But there are so many ways to advertise these days, both online and offline, and many of these don’t even require payment. Start with something as simple as social media, or try content marketing by making a blog. Once you’ve built up some capital, you can try out paid advertising. Most if not all of these are cheaper than buying a commercial space offline, and might be even more effective.
- Pay attention to detail. Big companies usually hire people to do quality checks, but if you’re on your own or working with only a small team, then this responsibility might fall to you. Check the grammar on your social media posts. Make sure your products are presented, folded or packaged neatly. Train your employees so that the services they offer are top-notch. Things like these might seem a bit over-the-top, but it’s exactly the kind of thing customers expect in a brand that values them and their wellbeing.
- Stay on top of your game. When trouble starts brewing, don’t panic. Every business has gone through the ups and downs of life. It’s times of adversity that separate long-standing businesses from those that crumble under pressure. Be prepared for disasters. Understand your team’s needs and shortcomings. Be proactive in the face of hard times. This way, you’ll know you’re prepared for even the bigger blunders that come with owning a big-name business.
- Take risks. No big brand has gotten where it is today without a little risk. Just like opportunities, you won’t get anywhere unless you carefully examine and consider the risks you’ll need to take to succeed. Speak to an expert, consult your team, or do some research to make sure the risks you’re taking aren’t too much for your business to handle. But do make smart decisions and take the risks that the world needs you to make, and you’ll be rewarded more than you can even imagine.
- Have a reliable online presence. In this increasingly technology-driven world, it’s rare to find a business that doesn’t have an online presence. But once you do, it’s usually an indication that it’s very small, too new, or just doesn’t care about its customers. Don’t be that business. Have an online presence, be it your own website, a Facebook or Instagram page, or an online shop. It’s a great way (if not the most common way) for customers to find you, and certain add-ons allow special services like buying products online, reserving spaces in restaurants or shops, or consulting business owners.
You may not be in the big leagues yet, but there are ways to present your business like it belongs up there with the biggest brand names in the industry. In time, you just might be rewarded with what you want—your own brand among the businesses that make history.