The Human Touch – Secret to Small Business Success.
Before you get worried, I’m not suggesting you go around touching all your clients, suppliers and staff.
But I read an article about the Small Business Festival today, and an opening speech by comedian Glynn Nicholas – check it out – and it prompted a thought and so I’ve decided to expand on it here.
One of the things I notice in many businesses that I consult to is that as they increase in size, they often tend to become more distant from their customers.
They put in systems, employ staff, implement technology – all designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of their products and services.
But very often, at the same time, they lose touch.
In our benchmarks of over 1000 SME enterprises in Australia, we know that less than 15% have conducted a survey of clients in the past 12 months. We know that less than 20% have a written marketing plan, and less than 5% measure their marketing.
But here’s the thing…assuming we’re talking about SME businesses for now…and not large corporates. What do you think the one thing that small business will always, or should always be better than big business?
No, come on! What do you think it is?
It’s being closer to the customer.
Big business will always be better at scale, they’ll always be better at efficiency, they’ll always be better at getting brand awareness to more people – because they have more resources, more money, more people and so on and so forth.
Small business – no matter what segment – should aim to be better at being close to their niche target customer. They should know more about that niche than any large business, and they should find out what the target audience values most and then offer a better package and usually at a higher price. A small business can never win on price over a big business so why try.
Do something of more value, and charge more for it.
And what do we all crave in a world where more technology is added every day, where we are forced to hang on the phone pressing numbers and waiting for ages to talk to a ‘real human being’?
We crave the human touch, personal service, someone who will help us personally when we most need it.
So if you run a small business – in what ways can you provide a more human touch to your business – and win as a result?
Enjoy your day.