An insight into how small businesses can stand out from the crowd amidst the intense activities that surround and sometimes over-shadow them.
The Ghanaian economy is growing steadily and bustling with business opportunities. Those with the desire to impact in a unique way are drawn to such opportunities leading to regular spring up of businesses.
Consequently, a lot of such businesses operate within our local communities; offering range of unique and innovative products and services. One can easily access essential services such as graphic design & printing, office & home recruitment agencies, Interior & event decor, photography, cleaning and home tuition, just to name a few from our high streets and local communities.
A Problem with Businesses getting crowded out
Nevertheless, certain critical factors come to play. This is the ease with which prospective customers notice some businesses, and whether they remain in the minds of their targets?
This article seeks to draw attention to the POSSIBLE OBSCURITY that most of such businesses face. Especially so, are up and coming small businesses that operate in the dark. Hence customers they seek to serve in the communities barely notice them.
For instance, Spintex road is a bustling residential, business and industrial hub located at the borders of Accra and Tema region. The locality is home to numerous businesses; from small container shops to manufacturing giants, and service providers operating in several industries. It is however possible that prospective customers within the vicinity are barely aware of the existence of suppliers of particular products and services they require. Hence, an individual or another business operating in the Spintex locality may require IT support service but due to lack of knowledge may seek solution elsewhere.
For this reason, entrepreneurs ought to consider strategies that ensure their businesses stand out from the crowd. The good news is some effective strategies are cost effective. Some may come at no cost at all. This is necessary to avoid the negative consequences of lost sale opportunities. Lost sale occurs when prospective customers seek patronage elsewhere because of lack of knowledge about existence of a business that can adequately serve them.
Consequences arising from Crowding out of Businesses
Businesses invest in offices and outlets on popular high streets with the aim to meet peculiar needs of targets. The unpopular outcome that most of them dread to is remain unnoticeable and have poor patronage. A business is not noticed when people barely know of its existence. However this negatively impact business viability. The dreaded issue of poor patronage has led to the shutdown of certain businesses on the Spintex road.
One favorable option is to embark on publicity or marketing drives in a bid to stand out from the crowd. However, this strategy may cost an arm and a leg to a small business.
Some Tips to get your business to stand out from the crowd
Here are a few tips to get your business on the radar of prominence. Standing out from the crowd generates awareness and familiarity with value of products/service. A business that successfully utilizes these tips may eventually become the obvious choice; which implies increased customer patronage and loyalty.
Create Awareness on Social Media
To begin with, consider aggressive publicity to get noticed and increase patronage. In other countries where there is reliable and regularly updated online business registry, some businesses may afford to make less noise because prospective clients access information online. Nonetheless in Ghana you ought to aggressively draw attention to yourself to stand out from the crowd.
We’re lucky to have social media as the new ‘kid on the block’. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, grab the opportunity to publicize your business on the different social media platforms. However, seek expert advice on the platforms that will particularly suit your product/service offering. A business offering photography services may consider extensive publicity on Instagram. Social media publicity extends beyond the immediate confines usually at little or no cost.
Design and Distribute information fliers/leaflets about the Business
Also, invest in attractive & informative fliers or leaflets for onward distribution to target clients. As an initial publicity tool, businesses offering recruitment for domestic workers may distribute information fliers to residents in the local neighborhoods. Referrals, as a result of good quality of service will subsequently extend the brand beyond the local community.
Additionally, fliers are effective at creating awareness to prospective clients though it implies initial cost outlay. The cost may be a small price to pay for the eventual opportunities likely to arise. In the past I had sought for good quality children’s shoes. Recently I was handed a flier of a local children’s shop. I have since kept it safe and will contact the shop if the need arises.
Gather, manage and utilise Clients’ Data
Collect and manage data of all your outlet visitors, clients and prospective clients. This includes people who may visit the premises just to make inquiries or to have a quick glance around, for retail outlets. Clients data is a big thing now. Multinational tech giants such as google and amazon use data to effectively disseminate their targets for marketing purposes. Facebook recently faced international bombardments due to allegations of giving out millions of platform users’ data to Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm. Managing client data comes at zero initial cost. Also, the process can commence with a simple whatsapp broadcast list. Send regular reminders of your products/services to the broadcast list.
Additionally, disseminate important reminders such as launch of a new product or service, business program, training activity, new branch openings, etc. via the data networks. I recently bumped into a newly opened fresh plantain chips joint very close to my house. I’m familiar with a branch in another location but was totally unaware of the new branch in my neighborhood. The story would have been different if I had received notification of the new branch via a social media broadcast list.
These tips are simple but cost effective means for businesses to remain in the minds of target clients and survive on our high streets.
By Amma Adjeiwaa Antwi, (M-DoZ Consulting)
M-DoZ Consulting offers Organisational Development, Corporate Training and Retirement Planning Advisory Services. Our contacts are: Ph: +233247-247-200, firstname.lastname@example.org