How To Make Your Business Stand Out

For companies to stand out, the best team that goes beyond their customers’ expectations in happiness and satisfaction can make the business stand out among mediocrity.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Why is it important for a business to stand out?

It can be hard for small businesses to compete in the marketplace. After all, customers have many options to choose from. Why should a customer pick your business over another? In fact, a customer has many reasons to choose you over competitors. However, to realize why you are the best choice, a customer must first find you, notice you, and decide to work with you. This is the challenge of making a business stand out.

It can be difficult to get the attention of the same pool of customers when so many companies are doing the same things. The question is, what can a business owner do to make their company stand out from the others and draw in customers.

In this article, our business attorney discusses some unique ideas our clients made for their business to stand out among competitors. Though these are thought of as basic steps, the reality is that plenty of businesses are using them to great effect. When a business owner masters the basics, they can easily win over new customers from their competitors.

Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Create a great website

These days, every operational business must have a website. However, any old website is not going to draw in customers. Companies often make mistakes when engineering and designing their websites that turn customers away. A successful business website should have the following elements to make it noticeable and functional:

  • Mobile-friendly. A website should be mobile-friendly so that customers can visit the site using their smartphones or tablets. Also, Google has begun indexing the mobile versions of sites over the desktop versions. If a business’ website is not mobile-friendly, Google will not rank it very high up for searches, meaning customers may not see it.
    • Mobile devices have been shown to generate over 50% of website visits, so it is not a factor to ignore.
  • Easy to navigate. A website should be designed so that customers can easily navigate from one page to the next. The design should be uncluttered and clean, as well as organized. There should be separate pages for each service or product, as well as descriptions of what the company is and how to make contact.
  • Have calls to action. If a person visits your site, you should have a way to make them a customer. This may be encouraging them to call, email, or make a purchase online. It is important to include contact information on every page of the website.
  • Keep it running fast. If a webpage takes over three seconds to load, over fifty percent of people are going to leave the site. If your website does not load quickly, you could very well lose a customer to a competitor.

Step 2: Manage local listings

Local listings, by helping a company show up in search results and on map results, can help increase visibility. By making sure that your local listings have the most up-to-date and accurate information about your business, website, phone number, and hours of operation, you can stand out from competitors who do not have complete information listed.

  • Get on the top local listings. A business should be included in the top local listings to attract customer attention. The most important listings include Google, Yelp, My Business, and Bing Business.
  • Check information accuracy. Often, businesses do not bother to change old addresses or phone numbers. This costs them customers. It is important, therefore, to check that your name, address, and phone number are all current. Having these elements be accurate can improve rankings on Google; it communicates to the search engine that your business is trustworthy.
  • Optimize listings. A business owner can optimize their listings by adding pictures, videos, and branding. It is also possible to manage reviews. These optimizations, often overlooked by other companies, can help make your business stand out.

Step 3: Invest in local SEO

Search engine optimization, known as SEO for short, is the practice of using specific keywords to optimize a website and web presence. The key is to pick words that a prospective customer may type into a search engine. You will need to have a local SEO strategy for your business to show up in search results.

Local SEO incorporates several components of a business’ online presence, including the web content, the backend of the website, and various offsite elements like reviews and local listings. If you invest in SEO, you can outrank competitors in search engines like Google or Bing, which puts you a step ahead.

Step 4: Give attention to reviews

One of the best ways to improve a business’ visibility is to foster customer reviews. Almost 90% of customers listen to online reviews in the same way they would personal recommendations. This means that if your reviews aren’t fantastic, your business will suffer. No one wants to visit a nail salon where the top review is: ‘One star: I got a fungus from the foot bath.”

Be sure to actively monitor the business’ reviews by checking the main sites where customers are leaving comments. Often, these will match up with your top listings, such as Yelp. It may be wise to set up Google alerts so that you can see new reviews as they are posted.

A successful business is one that responds to reviews in a positive, helpful manner. You might respond to a negative review by addressing the customer’s concern, offering a solution, and following through. This practice not only wins over that reviewer, but also reassures other potential customers.

And it is never a bad idea to respond to positive reviews! Throw out a quick: “Hey, Kristina! Thanks for your feedback. We’re so pleased you loved your manicure. Come again soon.”

Getting new reviews posted can help build a platform of positive feedback that can assure new customers. Consider asking happy customers to post a note on Yelp or Google.

Step 5. Provide excellent customer service

One of the pillars of a successful business is good customer service, though it can be overlooked by many businesses. In fact, more than 50% of all adults are happy to pay more for stellar customer service. Therefore, take time to handle complaints, address customer issues, and prioritize the customer experience.

Take a look at these examples of greeting customers at a nail salon:

  1. “Oh, someone’s here. Trisha! Do you have time for a manicure? I’m about to take my smoke break.”
  2. “Hello! How are you today? Would you like to pick a color and have a seat over here? Your manicurist will be with you shortly. Would you like a glass of water or tea while you wait?”

Now, which of the above greeting sis more likely to impress the customer?

Step 6. Run sales during holidays

While it is a great idea to have regular sales on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it is also recommended to have sales on smaller holidays. For instance, if you run a bakery, maybe give every customer a free cookie on National Cookie Day.

Select a few fun, random holidays to base promotions and sales around. This is a quirky, unique way of making your business stand out from the pack.

Step 7: Think of promotional ideas

When it comes to promotions, think outside the box. Instead of buy-one-get-one free, try offering a free product sample. Or maybe offer 52% off a purchase – just to get people to notice the unusual deal. Anything that catches a customer’s eye is invaluable in terms of marketing.

Step 8: Host contests on social media

By running contests on social media, a business owner can grow their customers base and gain more followers. This will keep customers coming back to the company’s pages rather than visiting competitors’ sites. Consider hosting a monthly contest or weekly raffle. Regularly scheduled events will keep customers interested.

Step 9: Have a loyalty program

A loyalty program is a great way for a business to build a connection with customers and keep them coming back. Creating such a program is as easy as distributing stamp cards to offer freebies or discounts after customers shop with you several times. For example, let’s consider a coffee shop: every ten cups of coffee a customer buys, they get an eleventh one free of charge.

Step 10: Get creative with social media

While most businesses have a presence on social media where they share information about their company and offer updates, there is always room to try something new. For example, you might consider letting one of your employees control the company Instagram account for the day, or take TikTok videos of the store or office, showing what a typical day looks like.

Study what your competitors are doing on social media and see if there is something that has not been tried yet.

Step 11: Be active in the community

A business can stand out from its competitors by connecting with the community that it serves. This could take the form of participating in local events, creating sponsorships, or volunteering with local groups and organizations. Playing a part in community life shows locals that you care, making them more likely to patronize your business.

Step 12: Emphasize your roots

Customers are often happy to support local businesses, with over half of consumers more willing to buy from a local store than a national chain. A business that touts its local roots and humble origins is going to be popular with residents.

Step 13: Create a brand story

By creating a brand story, a business can build both an emotional connection and trust with the local community. For example, let’s say that you own a company that sells artisan cookies. Maybe you, as the owner, learned these recipes from your grandmother, who immigrated to your town from Germany. You cherish memories of spending rainy afternoons baking with your grandmother and enjoying the warm, chocolatey taste of fresh-baked cookies. This is a great brand story to share with customers! Perhaps they have similar memories, or they believe in your passion for baking. Either way, it will spark their interest.

Step 14: Become a thought leader

A business owner with expertise in their industry can become a thought leader in their field. For instance, if you are a carpenter, you can share blog posts, videos, and Q&A sessions about woodworking. Let’s say that you post a video on YouTube about how to build a birdhouse; this could be seen by thousands of people, or more. This is a great way to generate buzz about your business and attract customers and followers.

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