Many business owners believe they’re competing for customers based on the price of their goods and services. But almost none are.
They’re actually competing for trust—when customers believe in the company’s mission, their product(s) or service(s), and their role in the community and become consistent, loyal supporters.
Cultivating trust is important because it retains existing customers and attracts new ones, which often translates to more stable revenue for a business. This stability allows business owners to take risks and try new things, provide additional goods or services requested by loyal customers, hire new employees, and more. Simultaneously, when trust has been built, customers are often more receptive to new approaches—and more forgiving if they flop—because they trust the business owner’s decisions.
On a larger scale, trust helps foster a community of lifelong, passionate customers whose support extends beyond the business. Through their engagement, they actively help build and sustain a movement larger than themselves—a movement that makes the neighborhood unique and welcoming (in the case of a brick-and-mortar shop) or that makes other areas of our lives more seamless and enjoyable (such as an online marketplace). This impact alone is enormous.
So how do small business owners cultivate trust? Most of it is marketing. No, we don’t necessarily mean flashy ads that inundate people’s senses or reduce people down to a data point. Let’s be real: the last thing you want to do is annoy current or potential customers. And most business owners don’t have time for that anyway. We mean consistent marketing that effectively communicates the value(s) of your product or service in solving a customer’s problem and/or fulfilling their need(s) or desire(s).
Consider how many cool activities, events, and pop-ups take place in the Seattle area on any given night. Each of these have individual value for different people. As a small business owner, you’re not necessarily competing against all the other events going on. Instead, you’re hosting a space (whether virtual or in-person) that aligns with the reason you opened a business in the first place: to sell a good or service that you believe certain people will value. Marketing is about getting in front of those people and taking time to understand them and build trust.
As a business owner, knowing what value your business provides, knowing to whom you provide value, and knowing how to communicate that value is the foundation of good marketing.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that marketing looks different for every business and at every stage of your business, depending on what is sold, to whom, and what the goals of your business are. If you’re interested in receiving professional guidance on your business’ growth, reach out to our team.
Black Gallina helps business owners achieve their goals effectively and efficiently by providing finance, operations, and strategic planning support.