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How to add a dash of unique personality to your business

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Starting a small business is risky enough in the current environment, especially if you’re undertaking a type of business which engages in ‘bricks and mortar’ trade or frontline customer services. Finding ways to engage with your customers in an individual and human manner is a particularly important part of understanding what drives successful small businesses – with small flourishes of personality and individuality important in the overall image and relationship your business develops with its customers.

The small things

Many of the interactions and transactions involving your business will require no verbal communication at all. Customers interact with items, inputs and visual signifiers with little to no direction from staff, and will make crucial decisions about your business based upon these interactions.

Small objects can therefore carry a much greater weight than their physical footprint, meaning that it’s important to place greater thought and emphasis on these items at all stages during business planning. For a cafe or bar/restaurant, this may mean you place more time and money into the procurement of quality hospitality supplies which reflect any brand or personal message you’re trying to output. These small touches can convey all kinds of messages to customers – so it’s important that you select the right products to perform the right functions.

A social enterprise

Social media outreach is an excellent way to ‘find your voice’ as a business. Social media provides your business the ability to connect with a large pool of customers at once, while also providing a tangible platform to announce any innovations, ideas or changes.

If you’re a business which is interested in engaging with your local community for social good, it can be a good idea to be consistent with this message in your social media feeds. Find a way to communicate with your customers which shows that you’re a part of the same community they are, without deeming yourself as an authority or in any way ‘above’ their custom. You’re even allowed to have an opinion on matters relative to your business – just find a way to deliver your opinion in a way which isn’t polarising or divisive.

Community spirit

Finding a meaningful way to engage with the local community of your business will ensure that it is seen as more than just another place with a product to sell. A business which is engaged with the local community can act as a meeting place and a place which fosters new and productive ideas.

Some easy to implement and low-cost ways to begin to engage with your community are through providing a physical local bulletin board, and through promoting local events and groups in your space or online page. For more advanced integration, your business can even offer a local discount or a group discount to further incentivise local customers.

For an independent retailer, it may be important to provide locally sourced products and place an emphasis on this aspect of the business in order to create a point of difference from larger (often heavily discounted) competitors.

Know your market

As with any other start-up or business venture, it’s handy to study your competitors and perform a SWOT analysis. Are there businesses which embody a sense of individuality or quirkiness which you appreciate or reject? Try to break down what the individual premises of these are, and delve into the potential reasons why these resonate (or likewise, why they miss the mark).

Understanding at a micro level why some iterations of ‘personality’ resonate with you and why some are not as effective is as important as finding your individual voice. This small knowledge of some of the factors which may be present in psychological motivation and personal endearment can help you to form a much larger picture of how you can communicate with potential customers on a level which is both individual and universal – the marketer’s (and business owner’s) holy grail.

About Business Woman Media

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