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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 07 April 2023
  • Public Relations

3 Ways to Ensure Your Small Business Withstands the Test of Time

Even though your small business is, well, small—it may not always be that way. In today’s competitive business landscape, it’s crucial for your small business to differentiate itself from competitors in order to succeed. After all, some of today’s biggest companies like Apple, Google and Starbucks started out small, but with hard work, they thrived and grew into the multi-billion-dollar companies they are today. Here are three key strategies you can use to ensure your small business withstands the test of time.

Two woman cheer in an office
  1. Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

The first step to making your small business stand out is to clearly define your unique value proposition. What sets your business apart from others in your industry? What specific benefits do you offer that your competitors don’t? It’s important to identify and communicate these unique selling points to your target audience.

For example, if you own a restaurant, your unique value proposition could be your focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients or your innovative menu items that can’t be found anywhere else in the area. If you’re a web designer, your unique value proposition might be your focus on creating custom, one-of-a-kind websites tailored to each client’s specific needs.

Your unique value proposition is the reason why customers should choose your business over your competitors. It’s the promise you make to your customers about what they can expect from your products or services that they can’t find elsewhere. Finding the perfect value proposition will benefit your business immensely. Brands with a strong value proposition experienced tremendous growth of 76% over a decade.

To define your unique value proposition, you need to think about the following questions:

  1. What problem do you solve for your customers? Think about the needs, desires, and pain points of your customer base. Your UVP should focus on the benefits you provide, not just the features of your products or services.
  2. How are you different from your competitors? Research them and identify what they’re offering to their customers. What sets your business apart from the rest? This could be anything from unique product features to outstanding customer service.
  3. What are your core values? What do you stand for and what is your mission? Your UVP should be aligned with your overall brand identity.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start crafting your UVP. Your UVP should be clear, concise and easy to understand. It should be the first thing customers see when they visit your website or read your marketing materials. This will help you create a consistent brand message across all of your marketing channels, making it easier for customers to recognize and remember your business. 

By defining your unique value proposition, you’ll be able to differentiate your business from your competitors and attract customers who are looking for the specific benefits that your business provides. 

  1. Focus on exceptional customer service

Another great way to make your small business stand out is to focus on providing exceptional customer service. With over 33.2 million small businesses in the United States, it’s a competitive and saturated marketplace. Customer service can be the difference between retaining loyal customers and losing them to your competitors.

Here are some tips on how to focus on exceptional customer service:

  1. Train your employees: Make sure your employees are ready to provide the quality of customer service you expect. They should be knowledgeable about the businesses’ products or services, able to answer customer questions, and capable of dealing with any customer complaints or issues that may arise. You should also provide ongoing training and support to your employees to ensure they’re up to date on the latest trends and best practices in your industry.
  2. Respond quickly to customer inquiries: Whether it’s through email, phone, or social media, customers expect timely responses to their questions and concerns. Consider using automation tools, such as chatbots, to provide quick and efficient responses to common customer inquiries. 
  3. Collect customer feedback: Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your website or social media channels and use customer feedback to identify areas of improvement. You can also conduct customer surveys or use automated emails to get more in-depth feedback about your products or services and how you can best improve your customer experience moving forward.

Focusing on exceptional customer service is essential to making your small business stand out. By training your employees, responding quickly to customer inquiries, and collecting customer feedback, you’ll build a loyal customer base and differentiate yourself from competitors who may not prioritize customer service. In fact, over two-thirds of companies today differentiate themselves through providing the best customer experience– up from 36% in 2010.  Keep in mind, happy customers are more likely to return and refer others to your business, so be sure to prioritize their needs and expectations.

  1. Innovate and adapt

Innovation and adaptability are crucial for small businesses looking to stand out in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing marketplace. The ability to innovate and adapt will allow your business to stay ahead of the competition, anticipate customer needs, and respond to changing market conditions.

Here are a few ways you can innovate and adapt:

  1. Stay up-to-date with industry trends: This could involve attending industry conferences, following industry blogs and publications, and networking with other professionals in your industry. By staying informed about the latest trends and innovations, you will be better equipped to identify opportunities for growth and development in your business.
  2. Experiment with new products or services: This could involve introducing new product lines, offering new services, or partnering with other businesses to offer unique bundled packages. By constantly innovating and experimenting with new ideas, you’ll keep your business fresh and relevant in the eyes of your customers.
  3. Embrace new technology: New technologies are constantly emerging that can help your small business improve its efficiency, reduce costs, or improve customer experience. Whether it’s a new point-of-sale system or a customer relationship management tool, embracing new technologies can help your business stay ahead of the curve and your competition. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 93% of today’s small business owners stated that they use at least one type of technology platform to assist in running their company, with the average owner using three unique platforms. Of that group, 94% report that technology platforms help them run their business more efficiently. Consider investing in technology that can help you automate routine tasks, gather customer data, and analyze business performance to make more informed business decisions.
  4. Stay agile: It’s important to be prepared to pivot your business strategy as needed. This could involve adjusting your product or service offerings, changing your marketing approach, or even pivoting to a completely different business model. By staying agile and flexible, you’ll be able to adapt to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition.

By combining these strategies and continuously investing in your business, you’ll be well-positioned to differentiate yourself from competitors and create a lasting impact in your industry. Even so, it’s important to keep in mind that ensuring your small business’ success is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to innovate and adapt as socioeconomic conditions dictate. With these principles in mind, you will be able to build a thriving and successful business that’ll stand the test of time.

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