Work Smarter, Not Harder: How Small Businesses Can Stay Competitive in the Age of Amazon
Business ownership involves continual improvement. Each day, entrepreneurs and freelancers make strategic decisions to propel their businesses forward. By removing inefficiencies and roadblocks, you can focus on crucial tasks, like delighting customers and staying competitive.
With companies like Amazon and Walmart directly competing with small businesses, your primary objective should be staying one step ahead of major competitors. These practical, proven strategies and tools will help you succeed, regardless of what your competition is doing.
Improve Your Website
A website is crucial to your success. Your online store should make it easy for people to purchase your products or services. If you can afford to do so, hire a professional web designer, or use a service like Shopify to build a beautiful, fully functional eCommerce site yourself. You might also hire a search engine optimization (SEO) professional to help people easily find your site on search engines such as Google.
Your online store should be intuitive and straightforward to use. Organize your offerings into user-friendly categories, and add a search bar so customers can quickly find what they need. Make sure your checkout process is swift, efficient, and secure.
Delegate Tedious Tasks
When it comes to business, entrepreneur Danielle LaPorte says that “what you stop doing is just as important as the things you start doing.” If left unchecked, bottlenecks can distract from your goal of pleasing your customers and keeping them happy.
First, list tedious, draining tasks you could outsource. Depending upon the size of your business, you might already have contractors or employees who could help you tackle duties like scheduling appointments, contacting vendors, updating social media, answering phones, or responding to emails. Offloading these tasks allows you to focus on developing strategies, making sales, and scaling your business.
One option on the table is to outsource this work to virtual assistants. Upwork explains that virtual assistant freelancers handle things like administrative support, customer service, data entry, and calendar management. If you think the job can be handled remotely, consider bringing in someone who can take the task off your hands.
Of course, it’s important to hire someone who’s qualified, within your price range, and already familiar with the tools you use. For example, if your virtual assistant will be helping you manage projects, they’ll need to know Trello or other project management tools. If they’re assisting with conference calls, they should be familiar with teleconferencing tools like GoToMeeting.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Because social media and smartphones tend to reduce our attention spans, productivity hacks help you manage your workday. In today’s technology-driven workplace, various tools, apps, and techniques can help you stay focused. For instance, Stuff recommends the Bear Focus Timer, an iPhone app combining the Pomodoro Technique with white noise to improve concentration. You can customize work spans and break lengths to maximize efficiency.
Know Your Strengths
You may not be able to compete with the low prices or free, two-day shipping offered by some of your major competitors, but by knowing your strengths, you can still compete with the big guys. Start by completing a competitive analysis, where you’ll create an honest comparison of your strengths and weaknesses versus Amazon, Walmart, or any of your other competitors.
For example, Amazon might have lower prices or quicker shipping, but your products might be higher-quality and longer-lasting. Not to mention, as a small business, you probably genuinely care about your customers. You can’t beat Amazon at their own game, but you can differentiateyourself. Studies show consumers will pay more for an exceptional experience.
With global corporations expanding into new industries, experts are calling today’s retail market the Age of Amazon. However, with the right strategies in place, this economy is also a prime time to run a small business. Thanks to the power of the internet, there are fewer barriers to growing your business to a global scale. Staying competitive and adopting new tools might have a learning curve. Be willing to try new things, and you can ensure your business remains competitive and primed for success.
This article was provided by Marissa Perez at businessprp.net