As small business owners, we have a clear advantage over big businesses in this age of change: we can quickly adapt to the fluctuating needs of the marketplace.
While big businesses are buried under paperwork and corporate structure, small businesses have agility on their side.
Speaking to Joh Bailey recently on The Brew, he expressed his understanding of our advantage perfectly. Joh owns four hair salons across Sydney and NSW, and spoke about the differences between each location: “[The salons are] mainly driven by their position. Our city salon has a more corporate sort of vibe, the Double Bay one has a ‘ladies that lunch’ vibe… in Bondi, we’re in a very busy centre and the doors are big and we do walk-in clientele, which we don’t do in the other three.”
Joh understands each of his salons’ demographics and caters to their specific needs, whereas a bigger business can franchise but can’t really customise to each location.
Seeing this unique aspect of small business, the Brew team came up with three tips to help your business become agile. Have a read of them below:
Questionnaires, feedback forms
Listening to your customers and clients will ensure that your business strives to meet their needs and desires. While you may offer a specific service, it’s very easy to lose a customer to a competitor that offers the same service in addition to features they may want or need.
Always have a contact point for customer feedback and comments available, and make sure to check it regularly.
Stay on top of industry news & try new things
You may own a business in an industry you consider yourself a master of, but new discoveries and changes are being made daily. Make sure you take time each week to review your industry’s news and if a new way of doing things catches your eye, try it out.
What’s worked before has a big chance of not working now, especially in constantly-evolving industries like communications and media. Ensuring that you keep trying new ways of conducting business means that you’re always adapting to changes and staying on top of your customers’ minds.
Big companies often have very big divides between each department, and this stops collaboration from happening. But some of the biggest breakthroughs can occur when you invite a new perspective to observe the problem. If your company is having a hard time solving a problem, try to get the opinion of people whose expertise isn’t directly linked to the problem.
If you wanted to hear more of Joh’s business tips (including getting the scoop on the salon industry!), listen to his podcast here.