It’s not enough for today’s small businesses to have good websites, or web presences that are professionally designed. If they want to turn a profit and stand out in the eyes of customers, they need to get a leg up on the competition. That’s because others in the industry might be down the street or halfway across the globe; to buyers, though, they may represent the next click in a line of search engine results.

If the meetings I have with new clients are any guide, a lot of business owners fear that “getting an advantage” means “spending more.” That really doesn’t have to be the case, however. In fact, there are a handful of ways you can put yourself in a good position without breaking the budget. Let me share a few that I think are particularly important…

Your Personnel and Personality

In a small business setting, the owners, managers, and employees make a huge impression on customers. Knowing that, one way to endear yourself to buyers is by letting them see your personal side, and giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your business. In other words, get them to see you as people instead of just another vendor.

Local Search and Marketing Visibility

Google and the other search engines are making a huge push to prioritize local businesses in search results. Likewise, websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor make it possible for small companies to compete directly with big ones in the same geographic area. In either case, you just have to be sure your website is visible and represented on these platforms.

A Stellar Online Reputation

When thinking of working with a company they aren’t familiar with for the first time, most customers will turn to Google or Facebook. What they find – in the form of reviews and up-to-date business information – will go a long way towards determining whether they spend their money or not. Recognize that and do everything you can to enhance your online reputation.

A Focus on Your Best Customers

Huge companies can afford to market their products and services to anyone with a checking account. As a small business, you have to find that portion of the public that is likely to not only buy from you, but keep buying from you in the future. Focus on your very best customers. They’re the ones who will stick with you over your competitors, and keep your business in the black over time.

A Committed Creative Team

It goes without saying that a good creative team can give you a head start on the competition. But, it’s not just their artistic competence you need to worry about. Instead, you should select a team of designers, programmers, and professionals who want to see your company do well. That concern is just as important as their creative instincts.

Are you making the most of these advantages so you can stay a step ahead of the companies that would like to steal your customers and revenue? If not, now is the perfect time to set up a free consultation so we can evaluate your website and online marketing plan to find a way forward.