Four Customer Focused Ways to Beat Big Business

Lamborghini Murciélago Edo Competition

Lamborghini Murciélago Edo Competition (Photo credit: Chris Wevers)

Four Customer Focused Ways to Beat Big Business

By LeeRoy

You’ll often hear business advisers tell small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) not to bother tackling their larger competitors. The big boys and girls have so much reach, so much advertising power, and so much capital that fighting them is like going after a Sherman tank with a pea shooter.

I’m here to tell you they’re wrong. Small business can stand in direct competition with big ones and come out on top. They’re more flexible, they’re hungrier, and they’re more likely to achieve consumer goodwill. Have a look at these four simple suggestions for cracking open the target market of your dreams.

Play to your audience

Consumers don’t like big business for the same reasons you don’t like big business. There’s a reason “faceless corporations” got that name. A large company has no soul, no personality. Find yours, and sell it with everything you have.

Your personality is the thing that sets you apart from the supermarket, or the global brand. Give your customers the one to one service they can’t get anywhere else. Respond individually to emails. Make it easy to talk to a real person on the phone, or in your store. In a world where even the simplest phone call to a bank means navigating dozens of automated menus, the personal touch is a selling point that really works.

Price yourself into the market

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that small business = higher prices. You don’t have the overheads your corporate competitors do. Cut your prices to beat them and you’ll get more sales. This is the number one rule of supply. Price matters. If a consumer can find your product, or a comparable one, somewhere else for less, that’s the one he or she will buy. Offer a price promise. Refund the difference between your own products and those your consumers find cheaper elsewhere.

Become community minded

What’s the point of being a small business if you don’t make your presence felt in the neighbourhood? When small is your selling point, it’s important to get out and about, to get noticed, and to make friends with the consumers you are courting. Sponsor local events. Develop a brand culture that emphasises the accessibility and local nature of your products and services.

Be reliable

One of the key things that consumers identify as being wrong with big business is their reliability. How many times have you heard a friend complain about a product guarantee that didn’t do what it promised, or an item that failed as soon as it came out of warranty? Just by making and keeping simple promises, you can outline a real difference between your business and the larger competitor. Deliveries are an excellent example. Keep yours reliable by insuring them (Coversure Midlands Ltd has an appropriate product) and you’ll retain positive consumer expectations.

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Perception of financial planners slowly improving


Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Perception of financial planners slowly improving


Financial planners are being better perceived by clients but there is still history to overcome.

Financial planners aren’t bad: they’re just misunderstood. Financial planners are, like lawyers, one of the professions consumers disdain.

Long pilloried as being the used car salesmen of the financial world, there is widespread confusion in the minds of the public about the role financial planners play.

Consumers often think financial planners are untrustworthy, lacking in qualifications and only in it for the commissions attached to the products they sell.

In reality, what financial planners do is help each client meet their financial goals, taking into account individual circumstances and aspirations and the options that are available to them. They do not have a nanny role to help the client abstain from acquiring conspicuous goods, but they offer advice regarding bigger expenses.

Part of the reason the industry attracts such flack is that although many financial planners are honest and reliable, the whole industry has been tarnished by the behavior of a few bad apples.

Recently consumers are becoming more satisfied with the work of financial planners. Recent research shows that one third of respondents had noticed an improvement in the overall quality of advice given by their financial planner.

Although these results show a positive improvement in consumer satisfaction levels concerning advisers, financial planners cannot rest on their laurels.

There are still issues with the level of complexity of information contained in financial documents and that financial planners are still facing a trust issue.

The industry has a long way to go to cut the wheat from the chaff; lots of guys have got fat and happy based on the growth of the industry, without providing the advice that clients need.

There are also problems with financial planners not taking enough of an interest in their clients.

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