Overcoming Misconceptions to Build Value in Your Small Business

Surprise your customers and they will come back for more.

          As a small business owner you have it hard enough as it is, ever changing prices, regulations, and competitors, can put a damper on your dream.  But do not worry! Here are several steps you can take to ensure your success, even when up against a consumer base with misleading ideas about your business.

1. A small business cannot provide the same level of ability as a larger one.

          While it is true that your business may not be able to offer every service a customer may require, you can prevent disappointment by focusing on one service and doing it well.  A lot of the time small business owners try to take on more than they can handle, and end up paying for it with low customer satisfaction and long work hours.  Instead, put your energy into becoming the best at something specific.  Not only can you streamline your process, saving time, but you will increase the value of what you offer.  Over time you will be able to work less and achieve the same results as you do now.  The best part is that you can shift your focus to other offerings once your primary product, or service, reaches maturity in its lifecycle.

2. Most small businesses are staffed with individuals who have no experience.

          Sometimes it is what you know, and not how long you’ve known it.  Many successful startups were begun by creative thinkers who saw opportunity in innovation.  The only thing you learn from repeating a task continuously for years, is how to repeat that task.  Also, great performance is measured by previous success, not experience.  That is why your testimonials are so important.  Maintaining an awareness of your customer’s feedback and satisfaction is not only for quality control, but can get you a big account if the words are right.  Help drive your success, and perceived value, by asking happy customers to complete a survey that uses specific terms to describe their experience.  If your market cares about how quickly the job is completed, then show how effective you are by giving your customers the ability to remark on the speed of your employees. 

3. Small businesses have higher prices.
          While you may have higher prices then the larger competition, you can fill other needs that the bigger stores cannot.  With consumers constantly inundated with cheaper alternatives they are quick to respond to quality when they experience it.  Don’t focus on trying to beat the big guys on the price tag, instead relook the details of your operation for opportunities to add value through quality.  Your packaging, brand image, and even the monogramming on your shirt, can affect the perceived quality your customer has of your business.  By spending a little more on the smaller things, you can ask for more on your price and customers will be happy to pay it.  Look into ways you can increase your customer’s experience from start to finish.  If you can create a quality experience, in addition to a quality product, then your customer will want to return again, and again.