There are over 580 million entrepreneurs in the world. There are roughly 400 million small businesses in the world. It is said that on average 100 million new businesses emerge every year. This clearly shows you that there are so many players on the field. This means you must be able to stand out if you are to make it in business. Especially now with more and more enterprises operating online, you cannot afford to drop the ball. So how can you make your business stand out? Well, that is the sole focus of this article.
Providing Exceptional Customer Service
Most Zimbabwean businesses are terrible at customer service. This is no secret and even big Zimbabwean businesses are found guilty regarding this. You simply have to go onto the social media accounts of the most notable Zimbabwean businesses to see this. Quick examples are banks and mobile network operators, but the trend spans right down to most small businesses in Zimbabwe. I am not sure why this is so commonplace in Zimbabwe but it is not a good thing. This implies that any Zimbabwean business that can provide exceptional customer service can easily stand out.
Building Communities Around Your Business
I recently did a whole article on this. I would encourage you to go through it to learn more. In a nutshell, build a cult-like following for your business. There are infinite, ethical ways of achieving that for any business. Maybe as a business, you can champion certain social causes. The idea is to have people associating with your brand beyond just buying stuff from you.
This has the effect of causing other people to be interested in your brand. Yanaya Lifestyle, for example, has the ItWillEndInHealth hashtag. This stands out and immediately appeals to people that are big on eating and living healthy. Another example is Nash Paints who now have a community rallying behind their Nash TV appendage. That is the basic idea of building communities around your business.
Give Back To The Community
Zimbabwe is laden with so many challenges and so many people are struggling. Things like access to food, clean water, school fees, and the like effect so many Zimbabweans. You can easily stand out by being that business that chooses to address one or more of the many challenges faced by society in Zimbabwe. It does not even have to be much; it can be planting trees or clean-up campaigns – it makes a difference.
Take Your Branding Seriously
I also have a whole article on this – there is a lot to learn from it. Things like your logo, tag line, colours, core values, personality, business premises, and much more are crucial. Some business premises are so dry and dull, maybe because of a poor choice of brand colours. Let me give two examples to enunciate this point. Consider Skylake Borehole Drilling – have you ever seen their offices, brand colours, and branded wear? It really stands and you can tell that they took their time in putting together their brand. Another example is Fivet Animal Health – the same applies, their business premises, brand colours, and branded wear stand out. Paying attention to these and more makes your business stand out.
Engaging Use Of The Internet And Social Media
Notice I did not say the use of the internet and social media. I said the engaging use – that is the missing key for many. There are many Zimbabwean businesses online that only post and post and post. They never respond to comments or questions and you really wonder why they are even online. Little do they know that people prefer businesses that talk to their customers. Just by engaging customers online you can stand out from the rest.
Periodically Run Promotions Or Contests
Who does not want freebies or to win something? Zimbabweans will gladly tag along for an opportunity to win or benefit from something. That is why as a business you must invest in periodically running promotions or contests. You can quickly increase brand awareness by doing these things.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty is rare and if it is there it must be rewarded. Most businesses never stop to think of the importance of cultivating and rewarding customer loyalty. Last year I was specifically working on rolling out a customer loyalty program at a particular company. We ended up seeing more customer inflows because the word was spreading. None of the company’s competitors was doing this so it quickly stood out. So hard-hitting was its impact that one of its competitors copied and started rolling out a customer loyalty program. Customer loyalty programs need money and resources which is why most businesses do not do them. However, they can make your business stand out plus you can always figure out ways of doing it cost-effectively.
Social Media Influencing And Brand Ambassadorships
Social media influencers are public figures who so many people follow. Then we have other public personalities such as artists, sportspersons, actors, actresses, and so on. Obviously, these are people who stand out and many people want to be associated with or follow them. As a business, you can tap into all that by entering into social media influencing or brand ambassadorship deals with them.
Be Big On Sustainability
Sustainability is such a huge thing nowadays. So serious is it that people can even boycott businesses that are not run sustainably. By being big on things like climate change resilience, waste management, water usage intensity, greenhouse house emissions, and so on, your business can stand out. You can become most preferable and even attract investor interests.
You can also stand out by collecting and propagating social proof. These are things like testimonials, reviews, referrals, and the like. This makes your business stand out but it will only happen if you are running your business professionally. In fact, the overarching thing you can do to stand out is providing superior customer service.