Whenever we ask small business owners what their No 1 concern is … it’s always: ‘How to create a brand or reputation that attracts customers to my business’.
The problem of course is that customers have so much choice – they’re busy and bombarded with conflicting messages and often don’t know which way to turn.
Indeed, many of the web’s most successful sites, such as Trip Advisor were created because of this problem.
But, as these types of businesses succeeded in gaining visitors, they started charging more and more to generate leads for the businesses that wanted them: so, you end up back in the same old leaky and unprofitable boat that everyone’s in.
You have to pay for your leads through adverts and commission, or you have to attract a customer’s attention through offers and deals.
So you end up giving away most of your profit before you’ve even started.
And for small businesses this problem is particularly acute: you can’t outbid your bigger and better funded competition, so you end up with the worst of both worlds: high costs and low numbers of new customers.
But, of course, there is another way: it’s obvious … but much harder to achieve.
Because you have to slow down and design your systems from step one to generate reputation and referrals – so you don’t have to pay for your leads through adverts, commission or deals.
But don’t take my word for it: here’s a simple and great example in action:
Here’s a great example of a company getting it right – Victorinox
I’m a great fan of Swiss army knives and have one on every keyring. I genuinely can’t recall any day when I haven’t used one for something, and, over the years they’ve saved me countless time and hassle.
Also over the years, they’ve needed the occasional repair. Luckily, they’re guaranteed for life, so, if I need one repaired I can send it off and it’s repaired for free.
I have been so impressed by the quality, durability, style and ease of use of my penknives that a few years ago, when we needed some new kitchen knives, I said to my wife: ‘Let’s not bother shopping around, let’s just see what we can get from Victorinox’.
Now almost every kitchen utensil we own is Victorinox! From knives to peelers, from graters to tin openers. They all work perfectly and are a joy to use.
The point here is that we are dedicated to the brand of Victorinox, not because they are the coolest, or the best offer or the best marketed … it’s because they just do the job perfectly first time every time, and we never need to worry because they’re guaranteed.
So by always buying Victorinox we save time and aggro and always gets tools that are a joy to use!
On top of this, I’ve bought Victorinox knives and tools for all my family, friends, godchildren and nephews – and they’ve gone on to also be raving fans of the brand.
This, in my opinion, is the essence of creating a long-term profitable brand and business, and can be copied by any small business – after all, Victorinox started as one small knife maker in a shop – the key is:
- Mission: what can we be great at?
- Customers Real Needs: what do customers REALLY want from a knife?
- Go the extra inch: continual improvement and development.
- Measure: feedback and innovation to produce a consistent and continually improving customer experience and thereby improve and grow.
So, if you genuinely have the guts to slow down and start redesigning your systems inch by inch, you can copy the success of Victorinox for YOUR brand.
No matter what your business is – you CAN create a brand in small business that attracts customers to your business.
If you’re a pub or coffee shop, you can have the most attractive reputation in your area or market.
If you’re a professional services supplier, you can become the ‘go to people’ for helpful advice and care in your specialist area.
If you’re a plumber, electrician or builder, you can become the people that everyone wants working for them, and who will wait for you to be available and pay you a premium to work for them.
Yes, you can!
The only problem you have is believing you can and taking one action every week to make yourself that amazing business that attracts customers WITHOUT having to give away your margin in commission, adverts or deals.
And if you really want to do that, then make sure you’re signed up to our weekly free tips list, and perhaps even contact us and arrange a couple of hours to discuss what simple steps you can take for your business to start moving down this road today!
Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for leaders and managers in independent businesses.
Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers who have limited time and resources and want to grow their business … all without sacrificing principles or profits.
To find out more, please click here