Content provided by a guest contributor.
My career has been built serving millions of the most important businesses, SMEs, those who account for 90% of jobs. As the World Bank Group’s global manager of SME Toolkit, I learned a number of lessons from people just like you. Nothing works better for business growth than having more customers to serve. With a growing base of loyal customers comes brand strength, financial strength, and market intelligence. Here are a few simple ideas to build your business and a few stories from our recent experiences at Mintor, the world’s first freelance platform where millennials and small businesses help each other grow.
1. Leverage technology, get online
We take for granted that ours is an internet society. A web.com survey found that only four out of ten small businesses had a dedicated business website. This is a real competitive disadvantage. In our age with amazing Wordpress sites and young talented developers that can get you up with a basic web presence in a matter of days, there is no excuse. A regional lodging company we recently worked with, was able to capitalise on advertising and customer leads through the local tourism agency just by having a website built by local students. They went from offline sales to finding an option to access millions of potential customers in just a few weeks, all for less than half the standard industry cost!
2. Small wins - make business personal, stand out and customise
As a small business, you have a crucial advantage. In his book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell describes in great detail how the (apparently) small have often overlooked advantage over the mighty and powerful. In the case of business you can engage your customers in a way that big businesses can only dream of. Consider an online retailer that used a focus on personalisation and customisation to significantly improve their SEO and customer engagement through Mintor students’ creative digital marketing content - all at a third of what digital agencies would charge.
3. Look for skilled support in underappreciated places
There are a remarkably large number of skilled and yet unemployed youth in South Africa. These individuals have skills, instincts and the social media savvy needed to drive customer development strategies and marketing in ways the previous generation of entrepreneurs would be surprised by. For example, a market researcher used Mintor to work with students to drive added traction in half the allotted time by letting their innovative sales techniques come into play.
No big splashy marketing budget is needed when you apply these tactics with grit and creativity.
The content in this article was provided by Mintor.
Mintor is an award-winning Social Enterprise that radically improves entry-level recruitment through tech-enabled inclusive resourcing and crowd recognition of skills.
Mintor as youth talent acquisition innovation facilitates sourcing and screening at scale, reaching deep into remote and poorer communities. Our technology matchmake businesses and skilled youth, leveraging competency-potential fit methodology, so that businesses can find undiscovered talent among the masses, and youth are no longer bound for opportunity by academic results or lack of experience.
Since inception, Mintor supported 400 SMEs, NGOs and Corporates to source and screen over 15,000 youth for learnerships, apprenticeships, internships and graduate jobs.
Mintor leaders have experience at the world’s most prestigious consultancies and running programs offering skills development to over 5 million users. Our vision is that Mintor will impact millions globally by 2020.
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