Starting a business in a small town or city is the stuff of dreams for some people. It allows you to have all the fun of a major entrepreneur, but with fewer of the pressures associatedwith working on an international stage.
For a long time, however, the plight of the small business on the high street was woeful.
Behemoth corporations like Amazon stomped on SMEs like they were a bug on Godzilla’s foot, and at one point a high street business was shutting its doors once every second in Britain.
This was a nation of shopkeepers under existential threat – but, as with all threats to dear old Blighty, it found a workaround.
While many SMEs continue to struggle against their larger opponents, many consumers have turned back to the high street for their groceries, books, records and coffees.
Small business owners have figured out the joys of the internet, and have cultivated brands that rely on a passionatecustomer base to continue their ventures.
We’ve looked at how many of these companies operate and thought we’d share their wisdom. So here’s how to tool yourself up in an arena of hard knocks.
Know the law
Here’s something that seldom gets covered by business blogs – as the owner of an SME, you have numerous legal obligations to uphold, and you’ll have the government on your back if you don’t.
Some of these can be incredibly obvious – don’t refuse to pay your staff is one – but many seem incredibly opaque to an outsider.
The world of the law is designed to be complex. Legal documents are written in a circular fashion, with every word pored over like Bible scripture. It’s a terrifying world, and one that requires a very qualified guide.
For our money, Switalskis are a solicitors that are ideal if you’re based in England, and they’re professionals in business law. Give them a call.
Social media isn’t a terrifying unknowable entity – it’s the key to your customers.
And Instagram is the easiest of all social media channels, in terms of creating distinctive content.
As an image-heavy site, all you really need to do is populate your Instagram page with pictures of your shop’s/office’s day-to-day operations. Chuck in a few hashtags and, bish bash bosh, you’re done!
Maintaining a good profile is slightly more complex than that, but you’ll learn as you go.
Know your customers
Do you attract golden oldies or bumbling hipsters? Not sure? Then it’s time to profile your customer base.
You can do this in a number of ways, but the easiest is to send a survey to your existing customer base. Once their surveys are filled in you’ll have barrel loads of information to utilise in marketing campaigns.
That’s our list! Got any suggestions of your own? Then let us know in the comments below!