For decades, small businesses have had to struggle with competing against much larger companies in their efforts to stay afloat and prosper in the market. However, there is evidence that this quality actually helps them achieve new levels of sales growth.

Service improvements are key
According to eMarketer, consumers are actually more likely to prefer small businesses to larger corporations, mostly because of their focus on treating the customer right. More than half of all interviewed individuals liked independent stores because of their personal service. As many as 61 percent of shoppers reported that they'd actually pay higher prices in some situations to help support small businesses in their communities.

Further surveys found similar results, showing that customer service is king with the vast majority of consumers. About 86 percent of those respondents liked having their personal needs met, while 84 percent of them also noted the personalized and intimate experiences and understanding of their specific needs as other reasons why they'd turn to the new source. Businesses looking for better avenues of competition in their services should make sure their attention to customer needs is at its best whenever possible to guarantee customer happiness.

Improving such focus
The Reno Gazette-Journal recently reported that businesses concerned about improving their customer service have a variety of options at their disposal. One piece of advice is to keep focused on a specific aspect of business. Employing a plan that sets a business apart from the market at large is a good way to meet this goal. With a specific mindset deployed for improving these practices, more time can be spent centering efforts on what customers may want or expect from an average day of service.

It's also important for any advertising efforts to keep in mind the specific market intended to be reached. While smaller businesses may need to work with smaller budgets, this can help them make better connections and reach customers where they often search. Using the Internet, with social media and online marketing, will help them reach a much wider market with only minimal expenses, often allowing them to directly target their intended audience.

Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.