How to make your small business sparkle

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and when you have a fledgling business, you can feel like you’re an appetizer waiting to be gobbled up. The good news is, the United States loves mom and pop stores. Whether you’re a neighborhood eatery or the flower shop on the corner, chances are good you have a pretty defined niche, which is a great opportunity to develop unique customer experiences and relationships.

But how do you do it?

From branding to bartering

As a small business owner, you need to get on the map and stay there, but it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd. here are some things to keep in mind after you hang that “Open” sign in your front window.

  1. Engage in friendly competition. You should, of course, know your competition. It’s a good idea to get to know and understand what you’re up against. But it’s also wise to network. Introduce yourself to, get advice from, and support other small businesses in your area. From offering samples to trading services, it’s smart to offer friendship and camaraderie.
  2. Use social media, but be strategic. Marketing your business with social media seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to be mindful about it. Forbes recommends engaging and identifying with strong social influencers. Sharing a happy customer's content and having mindful discourse without self-promotion is a great way to meaningfully engage new and potential customers. Also, show support of your community by posting upcoming events and volunteer opportunities you support.
  3. Brand bravely. The SBA cites integrity, community engagement, and customer service as the cornerstones for small business. But branding is what sets the stage. It goes beyond merchandising and logo — it’s a promise to your customers and the foundation of everything you do. Your website, packaging, and promotional materials all communicate your brand, so be consistent, strategic, and honest in how you do it.
  4. Be masterful, not mediocre. You can’t be everything to everyone, especially in a niche small business. It’s smarter (and more reasonable) to master one or two things rather than be so-so at 10. 
  5. Hire wisely. Bad hires and employee turnover can be expensive. No one has a crystal ball, so it’s impossible to know with certainty that you’re getting a great employee. Anyone can look good on paper, so make sure you interview carefully, conduct background screenings, and check references. Grinnell Mutual can help with that. Our commercial program offers professional background screening services, help ensure the quality and retention of your new hires and minimize risk.

Make sure your business’ tomorrow is protected. Learn about our tailored packages and contact a Grinnell Mutual agent today.