You no longer need to be a big business to win big contracts, it is becoming easier to land those lucrative deals.
Winning Big Contracts Is Possible
You might think that, as a small business, you should only pitch for small jobs; but big contracts are available for all. The trick is not to see your size as a disadvantage, as bigger is not always better.
Small businesses, right down to sole traders, can provide clients with the personal touch. They can also specialise in a way that larger firms can’t always compete with, and they can offer high levels of flexibility. All of these advantages explain why some larger clients prefer to work with smaller businesses.
Owning and operating a small business means that you can react more quickly to challenges that arise. There aren’t multiple layers of management involved in decision making, or bosses who want to “correct” your ideas or concepts
Often, reaction time to client needs is critical. Offering access to you and your business on the part of the client, can work positively in your favour. You can’t always be ready to pick up the phone, so the next best thing is to call people back as quickly as possible. Ensure your voicemail greeting sounds professional and provides important information, such as when customers can expect their call to be returned.
As you’re a small business you can offer a personal touch, by getting to know your clients. Try to make every client feel like they are your only client, even if it’s only an impression.
That’s where small business is best, letting every client know that they are your most important. Having access to you and your abilities to serve their needs makes the difference between a larger company and your smaller company; your personal touch is hugely attractive.
Dedicate time to marketing your business. Keeping your website up to date might seem like a chore, but out of date information can give out the wrong impression or even cost you clients.
Similarly, if you’re on social media or elsewhere online, do keep updating regularly or you can give the mistaken impression that your business is no longer trading. In some ways it’s better to delete an unused profile than to leave a neglected one online.
Consistent branding lends an air of credibility and professionalism to any company. Small businesses should ensure that all assets, such as company colours and logos, are congruent across all marketing communications, from website and social media to headed paper and company vehicles.
This also includes tone of voice or marketing copy. By understanding your target audience, you can identify the best tone for your company, whether it’s informative, corporate, or otherwise and tune into the language they speak.
Whether most of your business transactions happen online or offline, one of the top indicators of your company’s credibility is its digital presence, particularly its search position. Try these activities to help maintain a good position in searches:
• Refresh your website with regular blogs, or adding a newsfeed that keeps the public updated with company developments, new products or services and case studies.
• Maintain a daily presence on major social media channels, including engaging with comments on your own posts and following trends that are relevant to your business.
• Become a regular contributor to online and trade publications. Regularly pitch editors with valuable content that demonstrates your expertise to your target market.
Prospective clients want proof that you can deliver and that’s when testimonials are most valuable, with the latest trend towards video, but or written testimonials from trusted businesses are also useful. The key is to ask existing customers for their feedback.
Use Trust Signals
Reassure prospective clients by making sure your company (or you as an individual) have the relevant accreditations for your industry or trade. Adhering to the latest standards is what distinguishes you as professional. It makes it a lot easier for a prospective client to decide whether to go with your company.
Flag these up in all your marketing activity. Without the budget or staff of large businesses, credibility becomes your most valuable asset, so don’t neglect to display it at every opportunity.
Most of these suggestions only cost your time and the rest are often low cost. Its worth investing in marketing your company, building your reputation and credibility. It is what will make your small business stand out.