Starting a business is always difficult. First, you’ll have to draft a business plan and think of ways to carry those out no matter how limited your resources are. Aside from that, you’ll have to gather enough funding so that you can operate on the day-to-day without having to worry about if you can cater to your customers.
No one ever said that being your own boss or running your own business is easy, but it can eventually be worthwhile. This is because you’re working toward something that you actually believe in—something that you’re passionate about. Never mind that the daily struggles are challenging and exhausting.
Establishing a business from the ground up with the help of like-minded individuals is better than any sense of fulfillment that your previous 9 to 5 jobs can offer you. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and drained at times, as long as you can get back up the next morning to continue striving to reach your goals.
Besides, managing a business can actually become easier if you have the support of your local community by your side. This is because their continued patronage for your products or services puts you in business. That’s not to say that they will be your only customers, but they are your first customers. Here’s why their support can help you grow your business:
In a small town, news almost always travels fast, which is why you need to make a good first impression. You wouldn’t want to be tagged as a snobbish business owner on your first week of operations because that can make it difficult for you to bounce back. What you want to do is spread warmth and amity.
Of course, you don’t need to be best friends with every person that walks through your doors, but it can help you reach more people if you were to be as friendly and approachable as you can be. If you were to make acquaintances with the right people, it could work wonders for the success of your small business.
If your products or services are worth talking about, you can expect that your customers will manage to bring them up in casual conversation among their friend groups. That’s the beauty of word-of-mouth marketing, which works perfectly well in the local community setting. You can take advantage of this when you’re still trying to build patronage.
Direct Feedback and Reception
Once you’ve managed to form bonds with the local community, it can make it easier for you to seek feedback regarding your products or services. People are more likely to open up when the rapport has been established, especially if it’s been cleared that they can speak freely without fear of being judged.
You can use your customers’ willingness to give their insights and suggestions about how you can further improve your business services. After all, your business exists mainly to provide for your customers and meet their ever-changing demands, so it’s only right that you take their feedback into account.
For instance, you’re running a sauce business, and you’ve managed to streamline an otherwise time-consuming process because you invested in a benchtop piston filler. That means you can accommodate more customers at a time, but the problem lies in your main product—the sauce.
What you can do is open your doors to the public and hold free tasting events so anyone can try your products. Then, you can disseminate a survey among all the tasters to see which areas you can improve or if your recipe is already good enough. Maximize every opportunity to ask for valuable customer feedback because that can help you cater to the needs of your target market.
Stronger Customer Relationships
In the digital age, one of the biggest challenges that online businesses face is the fact that they can’t communicate with their customers face-to-face. All their modes of communication are mediated by the internet, which means it’s more difficult for them to establish close personal relationships with their audience.
Arguably, that is an advantage that you have as a small brick-and-mortar business. This is especially true if your business is situated in a rather tight-knit community because everyone knows everyone. And since you’re practically like family with your frequent customers, strong customer relationships are a given.
You might not realize just how important those relationships are from your standpoint, but it can show an outsider that you actually value and care for your customers. It can strengthen the idea that you aren’t just in this solely for monetary gain, but that you want to serve the community in your own way.
Being a small business owner is never easy. But the constant support and appreciation of your local community can make the daily challenges that much easier. So don’t think for a second that the community you belong to is irrelevant to your success because they are the very people that can make or break your goals.