Small businesses are arguably the most important component in the retail ecosystem, yet they always seem to struggle to champion their way to the top. 

This is our advice to ease the struggle:

1) Consider the whole value chain as valuable 

From the moment a person interacts with you, consider them a potential customer. Your efficiency, respect and attention to detail can go a long way. It shows that you care and that their purchase matters to you. The modern-day customer is less brand loyal than they were at the beginning of this decade, but one thing that is valued no matter who you are is excellent service. That is within your control. Capitalise on it. 

2) Ways to pay 

Let’s face facts, South Africa has a high crime rate, so the things that we can do to make ourselves less vulnerable is what we should be doing. Carrying cash is one such habit. It may be an inconvenience when you’re wanting to tip a car guard or petrol attendant, but keeping spare change in your vehicle is an easy fix for that. For everything else, customers like to swipe or tap when buying a product or paying for a service. Offering multiple ways to pay removes the barriers to accessing your product or service. 

3) A special Black Friday special 

With almost all retailers participating in the Black Friday craze, the exclusivity is now lost and so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a special worth talking about. A way to stand out among the crowd is to offer a SPECIAL special. Once you have the customer in the purchasing funnel, dazzle them with excellent customer service and round it off by easing payment. Pretty certain that will lead you to have that customer for a very long time. A tip to keep in mind is to always have your website up to date. This will keep your customers up to date on all your products and services as well as any changes that were made. 

4) Communicate communicate but don’t over-communicate 

“One of the quickest ways to alienate an existing or potential customer is to harass them with constant communications. You’re blowing up their phone, their email and their timelines. It reeks of desperation and will inevitably result is consumers disconnecting from you and in some instances, even going as far as deliberately distancing themselves. Communicate strategically, succinctly and impactfully,” says Cindy-Lee Minnaar, co-founder of Indika Communications. 

In summary, there are things you can control and things you can’t. Control the controllable really well and you won’t have to worry too much about the uncontrollable. 

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