I recently wrote about 'When and How to Hire in your Small Business' and heard that it was incredibly helpful for many of my readers. After reading the blog post, however, some small shop owners reached out and told me that they can't afford to hire. (I hear this all too often!) They wanted to know how to get to the point in their business where they could make enough money to add another person to their team. Typically, I tell them that increasing their prices for their products is the first step. While this seems like a simple and logical thing to do, it's often the number one thing that small shop owners fear, and something that I used to have a fear of myself. They're afraid to increase their prices because they don't want to lose customers. In order for you to feel good about the prices you choose and in turn be able to hire the necessary help for your business to grow, there's one thing you need to know:
In order to increase your prices, you must increase your value.
While many small businesses struggle to attract customers with endless discounts, smart businesses skip this lowest-offer game and focus on adding value for their customers. They know that healthy profits will allow them to hire the team members they need to be successful and therefore create an even better experience for their customers.
Here are a few ways that you can add real value for your customers starting today:
1. Be as transparent as possible
Social media is an excellent platform for inviting your customers into your brand experience. When they feel a sense of connection to your brand, they'll be more likely to be inspired to purchase your products. Consider using Instagram Stories or Facebook Lives to show behind-the-scenes videos that they can't get anywhere else. Share your journey of growth including both the successes and the learning moments. Ask them for advice and make them a part of your business as much as possible. Transparency can go a long way in adding value for your customers when they can learn a little bit more of how the products is made and who is behind the brand.
2. Focus on the details
Small details make a big difference in your customers' experience. Consider adding hand written notes in each package, including a small gift as a thank you, hand stamping your boxes, or even adding a note card with your brand story to help customers understand the work that's been put into each product.
3. Provide excellent customer service
Friendly service can add tremendous value by making your customers feel welcomed and heard. Proactive gestures like sending out birthday messages on their special day or surveys to ask what they might like to see in your shop are just a couple ways that allow you to pleasantly surprise your customers. And when necessary, reactive customer service done extremely well like handling returns and exchanges can foster repeat customers in the future as well as referrals.
4. Offer valuable content
Using your website's blog feature, Instagram's IGTV, Facebook Lives or perhaps a podcast to deliver valuable content will allow your customers to see you as a source of knowledge. They'll know that you're invested in serving them, as opposed to just selling to them. After determining your ideal customer, write down a list of topics that they may be interested in and focus on serving them through valuable content.
5. Create a community for your customers to connect
Facebook groups are a wonderful place for people to connect. By offering a space to bring people with similar interests together, they'll think of your brand positively each and every time they can get their questions answered or simply meet a new friend. Consider opening up a community group or even a buy, sell, trade group for customers to get receive value.
Adding value is about building brand loyalty by pleasing your customers as opposed to taking away from its growth potential by offering discounts. If you're stuck and feeling like you need an extra hand but can't afford to hire, try focusing first on how you can add value and eventually increase your prices. Your customers will be more willing to pay for your products when they feel a sense of connection to your brand, receive exceptional customer service and are invited into your community.
If you'd like to check out the IGTV version of this topic, you can watch it here: