There are a lot of people in this country. There is also a heck of a lot of small businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 323 million people in the country and over 27 million small businesses. That means there’s approximately one small business for every 12 people in this country. Wow, no wonder we are bombarded with so many small business sales and marketing messages each day.
So, how do you get your message to stand out? Why would anybody want to read your stuff instead of all the other stuff they are getting every hour? If we can’t answer this question, then I would submit it’s going to be difficult to find customers for your business.
I believe one of the most significant challenges small businesses face today is the fact that buying and selling are boiling down to brain cells and zeros and ones. Business is transacted at the speed of thought and through the medium of computer code.
You can do everything right and still fail. You can work hard, offer great products and services, excellent customer service, reasonable pricing and still not succeed. Why is this?
Well, in real estate they say it’s all about location, location, location. In just about every other business it’s also about location. But it’s also about speed and value. Let’s take a look at each of these three factors.
Location is about making sure that your message, your brand, and your value proposition reside in a location your prospects will find. Your message has to be seen where your prospects hang out. If they hang out on Facebook, then you need to be on Facebook. If they hang out on Twitter, you need to be on Twitter. If they read blogs, then you need to be on blogs. You get the idea.
Speed is another crucial factor. People can do a ton of research on their phone and make a decision in minutes that used to take them days or weeks to make. We all jump into the digital world to find information about the things we want to buy. We can quickly see how much they cost, and we can see what other people think about these products and services. Since people want to move quickly these days, they’re not going to spend a lot of extra effort looking for your message or your brand if it’s not rapidly and readily available on search engines, browsers, and websites.
Value is the 3rd critical factor. When people do find your message, it has to be valuable, relevant, and interesting. You have to be useful, or you will be discarded. It’s the cold, cruel world of the Internet. Anything you say, write, or post will be very quickly cast aside if you don’t create value and help people with your content.
To sum it all up, the way to stand out in the small business world today is to make sure you have a good handle on these three success factors. Location, speed, and value. They will serve your business well if you execute them deftly. Make sure your content representing your brand is well located so it can be found quickly. And when that content is found make sure your prospect perceives it to be of value to them.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”