Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the high street and online market. While we all make use of our fair share of large companies there has been a marked resurgence in the popularity of independent businesses in 2023 and the years leading up to it. It may not be possible to conduct all our business with small, independent businesses only, but more people than ever before are looking to shop with small, independent and local businesses instead of the familiar retail giants such as Amazon.
The consumers’ desire to connect with smaller companies that offer them a more personal experience has been compounded by recent world events. The global coronavirus pandemic was an isolating experience for many, and since lockdowns have eased, a lot of consumers are paying more attention to the quality of their social and business interactions. Where customers once favoured the detached convenience of certain online retail giants, they are now craving a more human approach that SMEs are well placed to provide.
In many ways, there has never been a better time in recent decades to be in the SME spot in the market. Your customer base is likely to be more energised and engaged than before as life and business return to normal post-lockdown, market trends already suggest a preference for small, independent businesses that offer a high quality product, and a desire for more personalised brand engagement.
Owners and managers of SMEs should start planning their course of action now in order to take advantage of shifts within the market, and take this time as an opportunity to put an ear to the ground and gather vital market data. All SMEs are different and will need a tailored approach, but these are some solid ideas to give you a head start in 2023.
Keep your business organised
Organisation is key to the success of any SME, and as a business grows there is a tendency for clutter to accumulate. This can mean physical clutter that can make the workplace an unpleasant place to be, or less literal clutter such as outdated computer systems or hardware, old processes that are no longer fit for purpose, or strategies that have failed to move with the times.
When these things begin to accumulate it is the responsibility of managers and business owners to put on the brakes and take stock of the current situation. Part pof moving forward as a business is knowing when to let go of the old ways and make room for new, more efficient strategies and systems. A well organised business makes it easy to keep track of all the moving parts and makes transitioning to new systems and processes simpler.
Reconnect with your customers
Your customers are much more than simply the people who pay for your goods and services; they are a community of people that have chosen your brand for a reason. Whatever that reason was, and it can vary from person to person, you need to make sure that you keep that spark going in order to keep your community engaged and on your side.
Personal touches such as bespoke boxes and packaging are a simple way to show that your company is different to others, and that your brand puts in the extra work to make sure your customers are well taken care of. Customer loyalty can go a long way to forming a strong brand and building a credible reputation.
Know when support is needed
Every business, SME or larger, will have times where additional support is needed in order to keep things running smoothly. There are countless reasons why a business might need additional support, and knowing when help is needed and where to look for assistance should be a key part of your business strategy.
As your business grows it will become increasingly important to have a board of trusted members and advisors that can weigh in on the most important decisions. It is also an excellent idea to invest in ongoing leadership training to help supervisors and seniors to become more effective leaders. Steps such as these are what will help your SME to reach its goals and stay relevant in a saturated market.