Why SMEs need to distinguish themselves from competitors more than ever during crisis recovery

With the pace of change in today’s society accelerating at a rapid rate and the ripple effect of a global crisis being felt full-force across many industries, there has never been a more important time for small businesses to distinguish themselves in order to succeed.

Envisaging a thriving future and doing everything you can to make it happen ensures you don’t just succumb to the effects of a crisis and allow your business to crumble, but means you are also setting yourself up as a force to be reckoned with.

Here are some reasons why now is the best time for your team to hustle and diversify your offerings like never before.

  1. A crisis evens the playing field – so use it to your advantage
    Regardless of whether you’re a big, medium or small-sized company, when a crisis impacts the world the way COVID-19 has, everyone feels the effects both personally and financially. Where small businesses can set themselves apart, is by being quick to think, strategize and act on new ideas and opportunities. Where larger companies are concerned for staff retention and potentially bigger global threats, you can use this time to your advantage to showcase genuine value and care for customers.
  2. More is always better
    Crisis recovery is not the time to stay in your comfort zone. Everyone will be fighting to stay in the game and so, if you can’t compete against bigger budgets and global assets, then you can and must compete with skill. Start thinking, what can you offer on top of what you already provide? What are your customers looking for that they’re not getting elsewhere? How can you expand on your skills and offerings to meet customer needs? One of our clients, major outdoor retailer Zen Imports is excelling in this arena, being the first in their industry to offer an online sales platform, called Zen Stream which has replaced traditional sales trips brand managers were unable to do in light of COVID-19 restrictions, for branded and engaging zoom presentations. What can you see around you that no one else is doing, and add that to your wheelhouse?
  3. Keep marketing efforts high
    Another way to ensure your business stands out from competitors is to continue to invest in branding and marketing. Think about what makes your business unique and continue to amplify that message in as many ways as possible. While it can seem really tempting to pull your marketing budget as you recover from a crisis, there is never a better time to get in front of your customers and generate positive messages and conversations at a time they need them most. Continue to strategise, plan and think big and who knows what success awaits you!
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new things
    What many people don’t realise is that small business owners have a secret weapon at their disposal…we are 100x more invested in our organisation, we live and breathe for our company’s survival and we know there is nowhere to go, besides up! Never underplay this fact and instead use it to your advantage to take risks and explore new ideas. Figure out what your customers need most; then take the initiative and push your capabilities to the max.

Don’t waste any more time thinking you can’t compete, or sludging your feet just waiting for the inevitable. JobKeeper payments closing doesn’t have to mean the end of your small business. Take stock now and plan for a bigger and better future that can weather any crisis thrown at it.

Sharon Zeev Poole, Director, Agent99

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