A reputation for quality is important for small-business success. It could also be beneficial to be known as an expert in your field.
Expertise Builds Trust
Customers often turn to business owners for advice when selecting a provider for a product or service. They expect the business owner to be familiar with the products or services they offer, and they believe the owner has more experience in the area than they do.
For example, a restaurant owner may be asked about wine pairings, while a hardware store owner would be expected to understand what tools are needed to complete a home improvement project. Good advice could even lead to future business.
Expert counsel was once delivered one customer at a time by many small businesses. When shops were small and located on Main Street, each business owner was considered to be the expert in their field. As shopping locations expanded and large stores replaced small stores, personalized service was lost in many fields.
Small businesses have an opportunity to reintroduce expert advice as a standard service offering for customers.
Be an Online Expert
Through articles published on websites and blogs, you can easily offer expert advice to customers. It would be time consuming and costly to answer individual questions from potential customers, but educational articles and videos could address the most commonly asked questions. This section could also replace (or at least supplement) the customer service process for some businesses.
Many customers will lack experience in your area of expertise, and appreciate the help of an expert. For business owners unsure about where to start building a reputation for expertise, the Small Business Administration (SBA) could be a place to turn to for advice.
While many business owners are aware of the SBA, they may associate the agency only with loans. The SBA actually offers advice and assistance for nearly every aspect of business.