3. Create partnerships.
I know, you are probably thinking, “Well Erica, that sounds great, but I don’t know any other companies I can partner up with?”
I get it. But consider this: partnerships are not going fall out of the sky, you have to pursue them. Developing strategic business partnerships can be likened to dating: a) assess what you have to offer b) decide what you want c) take a look at the market d) make yourself visible e) reach out and connect in a human way.
Look for companies that offer products that are complimentary (rather than substitutes) to yours, then learn more about their goals. The truth is: every business needs something that they do not have. Your business could be the solution to all of their problems.
4. Exude professionalism.
If you are a startup or small business that has only been operating for a few years, some larger industry players (and potential customers) will expect you to act your age. This is not a good thing. Instead you will need to stop crawling and start walking.
The key to exuding professionalism and breaking the age and inexperience barrier is in the details. At every engagement communicate intelligently — this includes branding, marketing, public relations, customer service, operations, sales, etc.
5. Deploy the right business tools.
The digital age has leveled the playing field for startups and small businesses alike. For instance, today you can find enterprise level tools available at a fraction of the cost that are well-suited for SMBs.
Need to send out professional invoices? Try Freshbooks. Do you want to build better relationships with customers? Take a look at Get Satisfaction. Are you ready to improve your Facebook presence with an app for custom pages? If so, checkout North Social. Are you ready to launch or redesign your e-commerce store? Look no further than Big Commerce.
The point is this: There are free and cost-effective tools for every operational-level business function imaginable. You can build a big presence on a small budget and punch above your weight effectively.
While there are definitely more ways for small businesses to create a big presence, these five practical steps will set you up for long-term success.
How do you punch above your weight in business? Let me know in the comments section below.
Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.
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