Running a successful business is a challenging endeavor. Running a business that stands out from the crowd is even more difficult. “Serial entrepreneur” Brian Greenberg, who co-owns three online businesses, offers four ways to remain competitive:
- Transparency. Transparency is now more important than ever. Communicating regularly, with honesty, and holding yourself, your staff and your company accountable will go a long way in fostering goodwill with consumers, prospects, vendors, strategic partners and your industry at large.
- Crowdfunding. The ugly truth is that if you need a loan, chances are extremely high you won’t get one. The alternative is to focus on crowdfunding and nontraditional lenders such as Bond Street, Kabbage and Dealstruck. Massolution’s 2015CF: The Crowdfunding Industry Report predicted that global crowdfunding would top $34 billion last year.
- Social media ads. Facebook originated the “pay-for-play” social media ad system. Pinterest and Twitter are growing their paid advertising programs, and Instagram is sure to follow. This means it may be time to grow your social media budget. Facebook’s paid ads are reaching a significantly greater percentage of users than organic posts, making paid ads well worth the investment.
- Instant gratification. In this “Age of Impatience,” prospects who are interested in your products or services don’t want to fill out request forms and be contacted later. You need to deliver service to your customers instantaneously, either by providing the information they are seeking or by giving them another deliverable that will satisfy them in the moment and keep their attention.