Tips for small business owners

Having a great idea is not enough. The ability to market it and making it reach the audience is the key. There might be many players in the market fighting for the same pie, but how you get your value across defines your success.

Small scale entrepreneurs face many hurdles in getting customers, getting the cash flow going and ultimately building a profitable business enterprise.  One of the most critical aspects the entrepreneurs have to deal with however is marketing their product.  Going all out in the market and fighting for the same pie with big players might get very challenging and exhausting for small businesses. Therefore it becomes all the more important for these small players to have a unique selling proposition.

Few decades ago the traditional push marketing platform was the only one which was used by small businesses. Then, marketing avenues meant newspaper inserts, small hoardings etc. This was more of a push marketing strategy and it meant that targeting was not very focused.

Today however, marketing has changed and has become more of a pull strategy. The noise and the clutter have also increased drastically. Due to this it has become all the more necessary for smaller businesses to carve a niche for themselves and get more consumers organically.

The first step to define your USP

Below is an outline of how it can be done

  • Get in the shoes of your customer: It has been often seen that the entrepreneurs fall in love with their product and forget that it’s not their need which is to be satisfied but their customers need. Be a consumer of your product and think like a consumer. For example, the founder of Revlon, Charles Revson, always used to say he sold hope, not makeup. Likewise some airlines sell friendly service, while others sell on-time service. Knowing what the customer is looking for helps in a great way to define your USP.
  • Know what motivates your customers buying behavior: Price is not always a deciding factor in this competitive world of business. Many things are at play in the consumers mind before he /she decides to consume or buy the product. Design, look and feel, packaging, service and the attached benefits etc. all are taken into consideration by the consumer for buying.
  • Study the competition: As a small business grows, entrepreneurs need to find more customers and therefore studying the competition becomes essential. Visiting the competitors store or website once in a while and getting a feel of what the customers like may help to tweak the product or the experience for the ultimate buyer.
  • Test your product before launch: Apart from the above measures, the entrepreneurs should conduct exhaustive tests of their product before finally launching in the market.
  • Networking: Networking is the cheapest way to get in the market, know the players, know the consumer, expose your product and be in touch with the latest in the market. Personally being present and talking to people always has a high recall value.

Once the Unique selling proposition is established there are a few do’s and don’ts for a small businesses.

  • Don’t get in the price war as big players are better at it because of economies of scale.
  • Provide Value added service.
  • Try to be personally in touch with your consumers.
  • Attend Seminars and join networking communities.
  • Get a good website with authentic testimonials as people do check the authenticity of the product or service.
  • Take part in small events and promotional activities.
  • Do not be in your comfort zone thinking that customers will walk in without any effort.
  • If possible attach a friend with you to work with. Working alone can become tedious. Find a co-founder.
  • Most importantly talk to people who have gone through the same hurdles. Ideally, get a mentor for yourself who is more experienced and can understand your challenges.

Growing your business and reaching your goal would be easier if this is practiced.




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