Cities are colorful, engaging, and lively hubs of young professionals, savvy business owners, the new, the emerging, and the downright pretty cool. As a small business owner in the city, it’s even more crucial to stay relevant and up-to-date with what’s popular, what’s not, who’s living and working in your city, your target market and demographics, and how you can endlessly appeal to them. Staying relevant in a bustling and cosmopolitan part of town is no easy feat, that’s why you have to stay alert, to watch the activity of your competitors, to save money in order to spend on important areas like marketing and diversification, and avoiding complacency at all costs.
Make sure that you’re not left behind and out of the loop in the city, by following the following four handy tidbits of advice:
Engage With Customers
You’ve got to know what and who you’re working with, so communicate with your customers as much and as often as you can. Run surveys that offer incentives, email them with news and deals, send out helpful newsletters that detail the coolest bars, clubs, and social hangouts to go to emerging all over the city, and market your business cleverly online.
Send out those who work for you on fact-finding missions to ask questions pertaining to much-needed services in the city, what people would like changed, what works, the best places to eat, drink, dance, and a whether a general population has heard of you and what you do. Quite simply, you need to spread the word about what you do.
Watch The Competition
Keep a watchful eye on what your competitors are doing, what they’re offering, and places where they’re both successful and unsuccessful. Always be aware that they’re probably doing the same, so feel free to be secretive where you want to be. Ask citizens what they’re looking for and ways in which you as a company can bring what’s needed to the table. Read local newspapers, magazines, online blogs and forums, and get a clear appreciation of how the city is operating with both yourself and your competitors in it.
Save Money Where You Can
Save money on the equipment you use by buying second hand, being energy efficient, taking your time to hire the right staff for the job, and becoming more eco-friendly. Your office should work for you in the way of being cost-effective with minimal wastage. Turn your attention to the likes of your air conditioning and heating units, and having an expert in to fix any parts that are an issue. When systems such as these are faulty and outdated, they can ramp up your utility bills tenfold. They’re inefficient and costing you precious income.
Don’t Become Complacent
The city is continually adapting, evolving, and reinventing itself, so you should too. Complacency in business is a real killer, and it can soon see you become stale and yesterday’s news. Be a part of the lively scene by offering what citizens want and need, keeping them updated as to city news, and staying fun, young, and fresh. Cities are cultural hubs, so use this to your advantage rather than letting it inhibit you as a small business.