The four C’s that SMEs and Startup Brands must utilize in this digital age to survive and stand out of the competitive crowd are as follows:
You must have content, as it’s said “content is king,” however not just any content, you must have relevant content which your audience will crave for, that meets their needs. Your content must be timely; there is nothing worse than dead news, so ensure that you deliver your content when it’s needed. You need content that has been tested and trusted; the fact that content is required doesn’t imply throwing unverified, untrusted information out there.
The first stage is to have relevant, trusted, timely content. The next step is to build meaningful connection with your audience; that is your market, fans and followers. Businesses survive on relationships. Take time to build key relationships. Having great content that doesn’t resonate with your audience is futile, so by constantly engaging with your audience you will better understand their needs and wants which will enable you provide tailor-made solutions for them.
From your connection you step up your game by establishing key contacts; connecting with influential people who can help push your business/brand to the next level. Some of them are the gatekeepers in the industry which you seek to penetrate, without them it will be difficult to breakthrough such barriers. Your contacts are the people who have the ability and capacity to help you in various ways. They are influential in their various fields. Take time to make such contacts.
Your contacts should enable you get other clients, repeat business and contracts. This is the last stage of the process of sustaining your business/brand in this age. Businesses exist to make profit (whatever that means to your business). Most often than not, it’s your contacts that will lead you to your contracts. That is to say your key relationships/influencers are the ones who will bring business to you. If you build this properly, your business will thrive, if not you will be firing arrows without hitting your target.
In conclusion, take note that big brands can readily afford mass media promotion to compete with price but as a small business owner and startup, focus on delivering outstanding offer with excellent customer experience to win. To survive in business today requires that you keep this cycle running constantly; to have something of value to offer – content, to build a bridge with your content – connection, to connect with key influencers – contacts, to get income coming through them – contracts.
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