To quote Shakespeare “how far that little candle throws his beams!” Written hundreds of years ago, these words often put me in mind of how now, more than ever before, a tiny business can magnify themselves on the world stage, competing against much larger entities. Small business owners are now able to shine their candle from multiple corners of the globe, competing successfully for their market share, simply by applying a few strategic tricks to their bag.
I speak with some authority on the subject since a few short years ago, I took my first tentative steps out into the world of entrepreneurial business. Though my beginnings were somewhat shaky, I soon learned that illusion plays a big part in how we are perceived and I used this to my advantage. Using my own example – selling imported goods to Australia, let me provide you with a few handy tools to raise your business profile on the global stage.
Creating the Illusion
My first challenge when creating my start-up was to establish a brand people could trust. There are so many fly-by-nighters out there that I needed to exude an image of stability, reliability and success. Since I was trading internationally, I needed a global presence and the only viable option for me was to establish a virtual office, with a prestigious address, dedicated receptionist and meeting facilities across the globe. I was thinking big but it was the only way to project my image successfully and promoting my address as a P.O. box or worse still my home address was going to kill any trust from day dot.
After some research I came across Servcorp Offices whose facilities best matched my requirements. This was my springboard and I was ready to face the world, with my virtual office announcing me as a vibrant, successful and growing concern.
My next port of call was to address my website. With the internet being the fastest advertising growth medium in history, this was one area I wasn’t going to skimp on. I required the best in eCommerce, Digital Design, SEO , copywriting and a range of other services. There are a myriad of options to choose from and it can be tempting to try to economise but, if you are not sure, go for a Web Designer you can trust and who can provide references. Depending on your needs you will be looking in the range of $2,000 up to $15,000 for your website but since 55% customers spend only a matter of seconds on a given website, you need to catch their attention and provide a red carpet, streamlined service to avoid losing them to the competition.
Selling a Name
Creating a Brand name which is instantly recognisable has become both imperative to it’s success as well as far more achievable than ever before. 45% of a Brand’s image depends not only on WHAT it says but also, and perhaps more importantly, HOW it says it. Cool logos, associations with an aspirational lifestyle, quality, service and reliability are just a few of the ways which are being utilised to create Brand consciousness.
Online reviews are now read by a staggering 92% of consumers prior to deciding whether to purchase goods. One poor review can spell disaster whether you are selling a product or a service online. In many ways it is a wonderful thing, since service industries such as mechanics were once at liberty to behave as they chose. Online reviews are now acting as consumer watchdogs, providing transparency to a formerly shady industry. While I must concede that the validity of some of these testimonials can (justifiably) be called into question, their influence, however, cannot.
Whilst the above outline is far from comprehensive, I hope it has provided you with some inspiration about ways to utilise the array of methods modern small businesses can employ to compete on the world stage. Focusing one’s budget on the things that will reap the highest rewards can give you the platform to raise your enterprise above the rest allowing you to soar to new heights. Best of business luck!