Owning a small business isn't always easy. Luckily, today's economic environment is friendly to most small-business owners.
According to a survey from Allstate, almost 90 percent of small-business owners say the struggles of beginning their company are vastly outweighed by the benefits. Additionally, USA Today reported that not only is now an ideal time to be an entrepreneur, but these small businesses offer local communities needed assets that bigger corporations can't. For example, companies with fewer than 100 employees are experiencing high employment growth, as well as increasing sales.
In fact, according to a survey from the Public Affairs Council, 92 percent of respondents viewed small firms in a favorable light, and this figure has only gone up with time. By comparison, just 67 percent of respondents said the same about major companies. Entrepreneur noted that in an earlier poll, more than two-thirds of participants reported they would be willing to pay more to work with a small company rather than a larger one.
"More than two-thirds of respondents said they would pay more to work with a small company."
There are many reasons as to why Americans prefer small businesses. For one, many people view them as the epitome of the American dream. Additionally, small, local and family-run operations are often seen as more personal, honest and ethical than major corporations.
Even though now is a great time to begin working for yourself, there will always be some challenges that go along with the endeavor. Allstate's survey found that more than 36 percent of small-business owners reported one of their greatest challenges is bringing on new clients and customers. It's clear that people prefer to work with small businesses, but it may not always be the obvious or practical choice.
It's important that, as a small-business owner, you make it easy for your consumer base to support you. There are many ways you can do this.
Most contractors are pretty familiar with the phenomenon of sticker shock. Homeowners know they need a specific upgrade or have been dreaming about completing a home improvement project, but they fail to do the proper research to understand just how much their vision will cost.
The result is a price tag that is higher than they initially hoped, and a subsequent restructure of their plans. Sometimes that means they'll go to another company that offers a lower-quality product for a more wallet-friendly price. Other times, it means they'll pass up on an essential upgrade altogether. Neither of these results is desirable.
To prevent this from happening, it's important that you have the tools in place to ease the symptoms of sticker shock. Offering a financing program will let your potential customer pay for the project in affordable increments over time. This will usually let them focus on the importance of the upgrade rather than the price of it.
A survey from GoDigital found that 92 percent of respondents said online reviews play a major part in who they decide to do business with, Small Business Trends reported. Today's world is growing increasingly connected, and there is little that a person can't find online.
Smartphones are in the pockets and hands of many of today's shoppers and it's easy for them to learn about your past customers' experiences. Make sure they are good reviews, because what ends up online will have a huge impact on your future success.
Be sure to check out any and all review and social sites, such as Yelp, Facebook and Google, to see what people are already saying about you. If there isn't much out there, that's not necessarily bad. The smart next step would be setting up accounts on these sites and encouraging positive reviews and feedback from consumers.
Everyone loves a good sale. While many consumers will tell you that they don't need extra motivation to get them into their local businesses, nearly three-fourths of GoDigital's survey respondents said they are interested in promotions. There are many ways you can capitalize on consumers' inherent attraction to a good deal. Be sure to choose sale days wisely. For example, with the holidays coming up soon, now is a great time to offer competitive rates.
Additionally, see if your financing company has some popular promotions that can draw in potential consumers. For instance, Aqua Finance helps businesses offer their customers programs like same-as-cash financing or low introductory rates on their financing.
Consumers love small businesses, but sometimes they need a little bit of motivation to begin supporting them. By showing them that you are willing to help them out with their home improvement goals through financing and promotions, you are helping your customers help you.