When a customer leaves your store what do you think they will remember? Is it a vast amount of products? Is it an overwhelming amount of space and employees? Probably not. They probably remember the one or two people in there and how they treated them.
When starting a small business it is especially important to understand that your own personal brand will shine through. Reputation is everything when trying to grow a brand and you build a reputation by developing trust between your customers and yourself. But, the question is how do you develop that trust which in turn forms a reputation.
Trustworthiness and authenticity are becoming increasingly important
Especially as time goes on, as a small business this should be the idea that you put a lot of emphasis on. Understanding that trust is important is essential because it increases loyalty within a consumer base and solidifies the reputation of the business. Think about it this way, If you walk into a store and you’re greeted by a staff member and they ask you what you need then proceed to recommend a product based on their own guarantee, that holds weight. Now their reputation is on the line because if the product works you’re more likely to come back and that trust is being built. But, if the product doesn’t work that trust is severed and there is a risk they lose business.
This is risky but necessary for a small business. When competing with endless stores in an area it is important to find ways to make your business stand apart. But, it is also important to remember that once a reputation is built, whether good or bad, is hard to get away from.
Here are a couple of ways to start building a good reputation:
It is a very low-cost form of marketing
Having a personal brand often exceeds your business’s overall brand. You ultimately want people to visit your business because of what you offer as a business owner. Whether that be knowledge, the ability to build meaningful relationships, or the experience that a customer has when they visit the business ect.
Having a great social media presence as a business is important. But, what is becoming more important is how an individual social media account separate from your business account can help grow a brand. Take Elon Musk, for example, he is most famous for the creation and development of the Tesla automobiles but, he has a presence outside of that brand that is valuable to consumers which allows his business and credibility to grow that much more. The question is how do you do it?
It enhances your mission and story
People need to know your business’ story. They want to know how you got started and why you continue to stay open. Your mission and story are a great way to give a customer a look into how you think, what you value, and how committed you are to your craft. These reasons alone are sometimes the deciding factor on if consumers take a chance on new businesses, especially in this day in age where transparency has become essential to business development.
The last thing to remember is that patience is key. Growth doesn’t happen overnight and as a business owner, you shouldn’t want it to. The reason you started in the first place is to challenge yourself and to do what you love. Personal Branding has to be a part of that challenge now and it is becoming more and more important as time goes on so educate yourself, Implement new ideas, and be patient!