There are quite a few small businesses in Ledyard. Some of them may be places you and your family go to often or businesses that have been in town for as long as you can remember. And some may be your go-to places instead of national chains. Some may be the standard "brick and mortar" while others may be home based.
AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong may stand behind a global brand, but he believes in the power of small businesses. In his recent interview with Patch Partners, a website connecting business owners to Patch in local communities, he offered his insight into what can set a small business above the rest of the competition.
Small businesses can hold a lot of power if they are intuitive with their customer base, Armstrong said.
“Small businesses can be nimble and can have intimate relationships with their customers. Knowing what their customers want is a very big advantage.”
At Fireside Brickoven Creations, Stephanie Nicholson said that "consistency in quality, taste and appearance is one of her major concerns and so is being receptive to feedback.
"If it's not going to hurt the business, you have to consider it," she said of customer suggestions.
Armstrong also noted that real success lies in what your business offers that the competitors do not.
“The advice I would give is the same advice I give myself—how do you create a differentiated and time-saving experience versus your competition? If a consumer cannot tell another consumer what unique benefit you offer, you might be missing an opportunity,” he said.
Ledyard and Gales Ferry have small handful of restaurants and hair salons along with some services so is a stand out business and moreover, the nursery has been in business for 100 years.
Shari Hewes the president of the family-owned business described the recipe for customer satisfaction:
"To be sincere and honest with your customers, stand behind what you say and sell, and be committed to your community," she said. "If the community trusts you and remembers that you are committed to them, they will usually be your best advocates and great customers."
Another way to support locally owned small businesses is to participate in American Express's Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. Last year, over 100 million people participated in this day dedicated to supporting small businesses.
There are more articles and interviews about small businesses on Patch Partners, where you can also sign up for the Patch Partners newsletter and Patch Partners Twitter feed to stay better informed, grow your small business and strengthen your community.
TELL US: If you are a small business owner, did you find this information useful? If you are a patron of small businesses, do you agree with this advice? What are your favorite local businesses, and why?