The following is a guest post from Carol Wilson.
Web 2.0 has enabled millions of consumers to communicate on a grassroots level that has helped small companies tremendously.
At the same time, however, not enough small businesses leverage the power of being small. Here are a few tips:
1. Reach as many customers as you can through one-on-one interactions.
The great thing about the quickly growing “social” web is that you can have one-on-one interactions on a large scale. One of the most important things that a small business can do is have a person who consistently approaches customers, in a non-snake oil type of way, on all the platforms that your clientele may use, whether it’s Facebook, blogs, forums, review sites and more.
Don’t just act as a PR rep—provide useful information.
2. Retain the mom and pop persona in your marketing campaign.
Educated and informed consumers are beginning to understand the relentless profit-seeking mentality of big corporations. They will stop at nothing to make an extra buck. If you frame your business as a reaction to this, you’ll be sure to have success.
One example of a company (even though they may be now very big) that kept the mom and pop persona successfully is Bear Naked Granola, which began as a two-person operation in a garage. In 2007, Bear Naked was sold to Kellogg, but it is a product that is still branded as non-corporate.
3. Be honest; your customers will appreciate and remember you for it.
The review culture that the Internet has spawned aggressively seeks transparency and honesty. If you try too hard to “sell” your products or services, without acknowledging potential flaws, your consumers will know and will quickly lose trust.
And on the Internet, a bad reputation spreads like wildfire. Small businesses have a reputation for being honest compared to the big dogs, so keep this reputation sacred.
4. Leverage the full potential of your employees.
Another advantage to keeping your business small is that you avoid bureaucracy and are able to scope and tease out the full talent of your employees. So many extremely intelligent workers get lost in a sea of paperwork. Keeping your business small means keeping your workforce small, and keeping your workforce small means becoming intimately acquainted with their true strengths and weaknesses.
This is a guest post from Carol Wilson, who writes for business insurance. She contributes articles about a variety of marketing, business, stock market, and small business topics. She can be contacted at: wilson.carol24 @ gmail.com.