It’s a Small, Small, (Business) World
Although big businesses get all the attention, small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the country.  According to the 2010 census 48 percent of the American workforce works for companies with less than 500 employees, and 17 percent of employees work for businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Almost half of the people you meet work in a small or medium sized business!

As a small business owner you are a crucial part of what makes the economy run. So, give yourself a big pat on the back. That doesn’t mean your job is easy. There are many challenges facing your business. From small businesses to large businesses, there is competition everywhere. So, how do you survive and thrive in a business world that seems to favor big business and squeeze out the little guy.

Go the Extra Mile.
While big businesses are always cutting corners to save costs, as a small business you can set yourself apart by going the extra mile. Offer excellent customer service to show your customers how much you care. Don’t be afraid to price match or offer extra services for no charge.  Extend your hours to make it more convenient for your customers to use your service. Always be friendly and willing to adapt to customer’s preferences. Listen to your customer’s needs then strive to meet and exceed their expectations.

Give back to the community.
What sets you apart from the big guys is you. It sounds simple but you are part of the community and you know what is best for the community. Volunteer locally and be willing to donate to causes in the community. Provide student discounts or special deals for locals that large businesses generally don’t offer. By being the company your neighbors can count on when the community needs help, you will also be the company people think of when they need your product or service.

Do It Yourself.
Handle as much of your own work as you can. From accounting to working with technology, the more you are able to do yourself the more money you will save. However, don’t be afraid to hire companies to help manage your business services. Do as much as you can but if you are in over your head it is worth hiring someone to help. You will save more money by hiring someone than by stumbling through complicated marketing or finance tasks on your own. Know your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner, then outsource tasks accordingly.

Of course, running a small business is hard. There are no shortcuts, you must put in the work to build your business. Focus on what you do best and offer your best products and services to your customers. Give your best effort to your business and your community. This is how you build a successful small business, in a small business world.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!