With the advent of social media, new conscious drives towards efforts like sustainability (which is exceedingly important, of course), and companies using social issues to expand their marketing growth, it’s true to say that industries are starting to understand the value of ‘conscious consumerism.’
You won’t hear any arguments about this being a negative trend in this article. Often, it’s what we need in order for consumers to be fairly treated, and for companies to understand their social responsibilities in this space. That said, some businesses may misinterpret these trends, and tend to fall into idealism that doesn’t work, pay off, or can cause them to misunderstand data or the causes behind those trends. Sometimes, sheer inflexibility can cause the problem.
For this reason, firms must be highly practical first and foremost, and they must properly analyze the challenges ahead of them. Every business is a risk after all, even if the low-cost, low-investment opportunities involved with beginning a small firm or startup can seem like a good way to avoid potential problems. In this post, we’ll discuss how to be shrewd in your thinking as a new firm by defending yourself against unnecessary idealism:
Substance First, Marketing Later
Before you market a new approach, a new vision, a new idea, it’s essential to make sure you have the substance to back it up It’s all very well to espouse ideas of sustainability, for instance, but if you’re not taking a transparent approach to implement that in your own brand and vet the brands you work with, this approach will seem hollow in every way. Using your action to help stabilize your marketing, and use these efforts as part of your journey. This way, you can use your business and its challenges as a positive example. Consumers are shrewd, and can often see through or separate marketing talk from real action, as the latter will embody every decision you make, rather than act as lip service.
Consumer Convenience Is Key
While it’s not overly common, it can sometimes be the case that smaller businesses feel that they’re above giving convenience to their customers. For instance, it may be that integrating a chip and pin card payment system within a salon seems a little too much work, or it might go against the rugged, vintage design of the place. It might seem that providing your salespeople the chance to accept all types of mobile payments somewhat takes away the standard mode of practice you’ve been used to, that is having all the customers wait in a line ready for your checkout, despite the clear benefits those integrations could bring.
But no matter what visual motif or ‘classic experience,’ you’re hoping to preserve, or not matter how adopting new norms may not seem necessary, we must always make sure that consumer convenience is prioritized. Why not make shopping with you as easy and as seamless as possible? No matter if this means integrating app functionalities to make tableside ordering easier, or developing a worthwhile booking system, the more options you can offer to a potential guest, the better, and the more chance you’ll have of completing that sales funnel.
Raw, Practical Financial Management
It’s very easy for beginner firms to overspend, or to overemphasize their place in the market, or to assume that their cash flow will be more reliable or secure than it might be currently. It’s also common for startups to begin with founders that may not have the strongest financial expertise. This is okay. When taking the time to hire an accountant, even small businesses can ensure their financial goals are properly handled, that realistic boundaries are assessed, and that practices surrounding essential systems like payroll are advised and managed.
Promising the world is very tempting when you wish to make your marketing campaign known, and you want to be trusted to deliver. But while it can seem totally opposed to good marketing strategy, you would be amazed at how word of mouth will spread if you underpromise and overdeliver. This can go for everything, from how you package your items, to the professionalism of your service, to how you practice aftercare for your clients.
When people notice that you’re really putting the effort in, they will become unofficial brand ambassadors. Think of it – if a small, relatively humble and sincere business did their all to help you, would you take the time to leave a glowing Google review even if you hadn’t done so before? As you can see, the power of goodwill can make or break a small business. This doesn’t have to come at the expense of good marketing, but it’s best to find that balance.
With this advice, your business is sure to grow without falling victim to idealism.
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