Small Business Ideas to Grow Your Brand
Anyone who owns a small business or startup can attest to the fact that, when it comes to growing their brand, the money and resources available are cautiously finite, limiting, and are often a source of worry. While there are plenty of small business ideas to leverage your brand and there are numerous platforms that you can use to reach your audience, it’s important to find the right strategies that are cost-effective and ideal for your business’ growth.
Not sure where to start? Compiled below are a few valuable small business ideas to enhance and grow your brand:
Don’t Be a Carbon Copy
Let’s be frank, with 100 million startups opening globally each year (2015), it’s difficult for a small business to differentiate themselves from the herd.
How then, do some businesses not fall to the wayside when faced with the overwhelming competition? While it’s easier said than done, by showcasing a unique aspect of your brand, whether it’s a niche specialty, the accessibility of location, or some other unique identifier, you’re still presenting the fact that, out of all the services provided by your competitors, your business is markedly different.
Find a Void in Your Industry
Aside from researching current consumer trends through the web or through social media, one great way to establish your brand’s unique identity is by finding a particular void in your industry, especially if you’re catering to a local community, and leveraging your business’ services to fill that unmet need.
For example, for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to get into the coffee industry, let’s say that while there are numerous franchised and independent boutique coffee shops within your area, the beans are roasted outside of the community. With an increased interest in locally-made products, since there are no local roasteries available, your business has the unique opportunity to be your community’s premier coffee roaster, making your business’ identity wholly separate from your local competition. Not only will you be attracting consumer’s, but you can also sell your products or services to other coffee shops looking for locally roasted coffee beans!
When it Comes to Social Media, Less is More
Among the many small business ideas presented online, a common sentiment shared among brands is the incredible potential that social media offers. The continued prevalence of social networks within a consumer’s daily life has since unlocked a bevy of both free and paid options that small businesses can take advantage of to grow their brand.
While it may seem like a good idea to have your brand exist on as many social platforms available to reach the widest audience possible, it’s much more effective to go for the “less is more” approach. This is an especially pertinent philosophy for small businesses that often lack the appropriate manpower or resources to effectively handle each platform
Why stretch yourself thin when you can hone your brand’s identity on a select few? It’s likely that, depending on your niche and industry, your audience might be more prevalent on LinkedIn than on Pinterest; on Instagram more-so than Snapchat, and etcetera.
A great starting point for your business is to have a Facebook page, which is the most popular (having nearly 1.8 billion active users) and versatile platform to use in comparison to its competitors.
By having a Facebook page, existing and prospective consumers now have a direct line of communication with you. You can share text, photo, video, and live video posts to connect and engage with your followers. You also have the option to spend money to further leverage your curated content and reach a wider audience than what you would normally get through organic social engagement.
Follow the Golden Rule (Rule of Thirds)
Though the term may be more commonly associated with artists and, particularly, photographers when it comes to composing and framing a shot, the rule of thirds is also an important element when it comes to creating a sound social media marketing strategy.
When you’re managing multiple social media accounts, an easy, fool-proof way to effectively leverage each platform is by following the aforementioned golden rule: 1/3 promotion, 1/3 interaction, and 1/3 industry sharing.
What do you promote? Well, put simply, by posting content that advertises a product and service that you offer, either through advertorial, visually supplemented testimonials, through video or something else, you can influence your audience into investing their time—and money—into your brand, and grow your business’ digital presence organically.
Interact with your audience. Investing a third of your time engaging your audience not only builds and improves your business’ clout, but it also opens up the opportunity to listen to what your consumers have to say about your products or services. By listening and communicating with your followers, you show that you care about their opinion—and that’s consumers want!
Share your industry know-how. Sharing relevant, topical information regarding the industry that your business is a part of improves the legitimacy of your brand. By providing up-to-date industry insight to your audience, you’re also showcasing how knowledgeable your brand is, ensuring your audience of your service or product’s validity. Essentially, you’re facilitating trust.
Take Risks, Be Persistent
Lastly, if you’re looking to grow your business, don’t be afraid to take risks! If one strategy fails, you’re doing a disservice to yourself if you give up on trying. The only way to find the right method or strategy for your small business is by being persistent. By taking risks, while there’s indeed the increased plausibility of failure, you’re still finding ways to make your business stand out from the competition and to get your business’ voice heard—which are essential steps to success.