I’ve just finished my Christmas shopping. With 1 week to go, I’ve hit buy on the last present for my loved ones.
Where have I done most of my present shopping?
From the knitted gingerbread man to the handcrafted concrete Christmas trees. Small businesses have been on the receiving end of my Christmas pound.
So, why is it the right time for your small business?
1. It’s Easy to Get Started
You can get started with the aid of many online tools.
Even before you start looking at a website or social media, there are masses of free tools available to help you with your first steps.
Google, who was once a small business, provide a lot of tools to get you started.
If you sign up for a Google Account, you get access to a free email account through Gmail as well as all the ‘office’ software that you’ll need – word processing (Docs), spreadsheets (Sheets) and presentations (Slides).
In the UK, you can start up as a Sole Trader with the minimum of fuss. Once you’ve got you basics of a bank account, insurance and HMRC out the way, the world is your oyster.
2. You Can Cater to Choice
When you’re in a small town, there might be a limited demand.
But, just a click away there’s someone who wants what you’re offering.
The internet has opened so many industries that previously had limited competition. A customer now has a multitude of routes they can go down to look for the item they desire.
It’s also allowed businesses to specialise in niches. Whilst there might only be 3 customers in your town who want to buy purple spotted waistcoats, you can be sure there are many more online.
3. People Want Personality
People want to buy from other people.
Customers value personality when they buy a service or a product, it gives them a human connection. Even if they buy online or over the phone.
There’s more to personality than personalisation though. As lovely as it to have a gift with a name etched on it.
Personality is the “combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character”. So it’s the sum of the parts that make up the whole package.
Individuality will help you to stand out and be remembered.
A popular Christmas TV advert this year has been Kevin the carrot. A series of film take-offs with an animated carrot for one of the smaller supermarkets.
4. The Delight is in the Detail
Shopping is an experience in itself. So small businesses can offer a great experience to customers to win them over.
From a beautifully wrapped handmade decoration to a specific cut of meat for your favourite recipe. It’s in your gift to focus on the personal touches that will be remembered.
People recall the small details much more than the main features.
An extra step you take or a freebie you throw in may seem small to you. But they can make a major difference to your customer’s experience.
The small personal details are also the ones they’re most likely to talk with their friends and family.
They make it unique and memorable.
5. You Have a Great Story to Tell About Your Business
And behind every small business is a great story.
The passion, dedication and enthusiasm of its owner.
A leading character, who faces many challenges and obstacles. But in the face of adversity, the hero carries on and triumphs!
The story behind your business demonstrates your authenticity. And by the nature of what you do and what you create, you have authenticity by the bucketload.
If you can weave your story into what you do you’ll help to create a connection with your customers.
6. You Can Generate Excitement and Enthusiasm
How did you feel when you started your business?
There’s a magical feeling to being in charge of your own future. Running your business opens up so many possibilities.
You’re able to create, style, fashion, finish, serve any and every way that you like.
That enthusiasm is infectious. It’s not something that can be bottled or mass-produced. The reason you have it is because your business is your own.
It’s part of you.
When you spread that excitement from your business to your customers you generate a real buzz.
7. You Can Adapt and Change
Jack be nimble.
Jack be quick.
Now there’s a small business owner.
You can use your size to your advantage. As with David and Goliath or Tom and Jerry, your size can be your greatest advantage.
It allows you to navigate the twists and turns of your business’ journey with less risk. Or without ending up in a ditch.
With smaller product lines and lower stock, you’re able to alter your course. You can take on feedback and use it to steer between rocks or respond to an unexpected crosswind.
Should the time come when you need to make more drastic changes, you can do these at speed. Without the need for consultations or long discussions.
8. A Return to the Good Old Days
There is huge growth in nostalgia in the UK and elsewhere. As a small business owner, you can use this to your advantage.
People want customer service which has long since vanished from large corporate organisations. They want to see a face they recognise and a name they can ask for.
Whilst nostalgia is often romanticised, there are many opportunities that small businesses can tap into.
There’s not been a better time for your small business. People are looking for businesses that offer them products that are personal to their wants and desires. You can respond to the desire for different choices.
The first steps for a small business are easy to take and your environment allows you to respond to the changes around you.
The reason you got started in the first place is one of your best selling points. Direct your energy and passion outwards. Harness what worked in the past and use that to show off your strengths.
What advantages have you got for your small business right now? Tell me about them in the comments.