As I matured as a solopreneur I slowly realized the importance of relationship building, especially with customers and how powerful it can be as a competitive advantage. Customers that form relationships with your business, or in truth, you as a solopreneur, will remain loyal even when offered a cheaper alternative. Familiarity, reliability and comfort all come from a good customer relationship and the more you can do to foster this attitude with each and every interaction in your business, the better.
Even if my goal is to build a massive corporation it serves me better if each and every customer and person that comes into contact with my business feels like they know me personally.
Small business branding is not a good logo, a rhyming name, or special font. Small business branding is the owner. It’s what the owner does, says and how the owner’s traits come through in every aspect of the business. It’s the way relationships are built and maintained, the way a person does business and treats other people. It’s how rapport is established at an individual level, where trust and comfort exist as human characteristics, not from theme music, models or slogans.
There Can Only Be One
Remember you have one competitive advantage that can not be replicated – You. No one can ever duplicate your personality, the way you do business and your attitude towards other people. Projecting your personality is a powerful competitive advantage, branding message and business tool that you should be using every day. Don’t hide it behind a corporate facade, express it in everything you do.
Your business doesn’t have to become dependent on you personally, but your image, attitudes and values should form it’s pillars. This especially holds true for independent professionals and solopreneurs. If you are going it alone be proud of it and use it as an advantage. Don’t be corporate, be human, your human customers will love you for it.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.