How To Make Your Small Business Relevant Forever

“I love progress! I’m all for it.”

Said every businessman, ever.

But if you think about it, progress means change. And sometimes, change is the last thing a thriving business needs.

Change means that your products and services that were once cool and useful are not so much anymore.

Change means customer tastes are evolving and the people who used to love your business are now loving your competitor.

Change means some technology could render the whole enterprise obsolete.

At a time in history when the most rapid revolutions take place, what’s a small business to do?

There are several things, actually. And they range from surface/skin response strategies to “deep tissue” fundamental changes.  

Let’s talk about some of them.

#1 Trend Riding

Firstly, on the surface level. If you don’t want your customers to forget about you, look into trends and viral events.

Trends point to where people’s attention presently is. Small businesses can coattail them to remain perpetually relevant.

Do you know why the evening news broadcasts have maintained their relevance for decades? It’s because they hone in on the viral events of the day. By nature, they are attuned to what’s happening around. 

So as a business, associate yourself with the things that presently hold people’s attention. For example, there was a 2-week period when everybody was talking about the last solar eclipse. You can have several social media posts on it.

Say, if you’re a sunblock brand, you can have a post like “We’ve bottled the eclipse…for your skin’s protection.” Or if you’re an insurance company, you can say, “Unlike the moon, we’ve got you covered 24/7.”

Associating yourself with the trends, your business will always be on people’s minds.

#2 Drawing Sharper Distinctions

This strategy involves strengthening your brand.

Sometimes a business doesn’t want to run after the fleeting attention of the fickle public. Instead, it wants to stand resolute on its values and image. And it wants to draw people based on that.

The world may be changing a thousand miles a minute, but a business can be consistent from Day 1. Your brand will serve as an anchor against the vagaries of your industry.

You can strengthen your brand, carve a niche, and win the loyalty of a specific segment of the population.

If, as a small business you still haven’t chosen your “lane,” let’s quickly drill down on some approaches for building your brand image:    


Some businesses position themselves as a low-cost alternative. These are brands that try to target a greater portion of the customers by being affordable. This would be your discount stores like Target, and Kmart.

On the other hand, some businesses choose to compete on quality and build the brand around premium and prestige. Products and services come at a higher price point. Think of fashion houses like LV or Gucci.  

Still, many play a middle-of-the-road strategy and try to provide quality at an affordable cost. They may have to make a few tradeoffs along the way, like dropping some product features to control costs, but brands like Ikea and Uniqlo have been able to walk that fine line.  

Bells & Whistles /No-nonsense

Another way of looking at branding is by considering features and functions. Some brands load their products with so much function and power it’s almost overkill. Think Dyson with its cutting-edge vacuum technologies.

Other strip away features save for the most fundamental ones. Think of Simple Shoes as the basic functionality of footwear.

Many try to play the middle-of-the-road game, but what ends up happening is that the space becomes too crowded and one brand looks very similar to the next, which defeats the whole purpose of branding.     

Customer Service

Some brands take delighting their customers to a point where it becomes their distinguishing mark. Zappos took this route. They’ve crafted memorable experiences that keep folks coming back for more.


Personalisation can increase the perceived value of products and services. Businesses that can offer this quickly become a preferred brand, regardless of the changes happening in the market.

There are many other ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition. (The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” provides you with a blueprint to do just that.) 

#3 Embracing the Change 

A small business can only neglect fundamental changes in its industry for so long. Oftentimes, it needs to adapt to survive. Here are some ways to do it:

Diversifying Products/Services

If you see that market tastes are evolving, you might want to go with the flow and offer what the market is looking for.

A bakery that notices a significant demand for sugar-free or vegan options might want to cater to that market signal. A coffee shop that sees demand for seasonal flavours may want to quickly integrate that into their product line.

It’s not just so your business can be hip and cool. It’s exercising flexibility to react to the exigencies of the market.

Offering Flexible Payment Options  

Oftentimes, decisions ultimately come down to price. You might have the best product, but if your target customers can’t afford them, then there’s no transaction.

Offering flexible payment options like instalment plans, split payments, or pay-as-you-go plans, can unlock value for folks who might not otherwise be interested.

Diversifying Distribution Channels

The debate right now is not on whether a business should be online. That talk was adjudicated many years ago. The discussion right now is on where should a business be online.

Not all of the web is created equal. There are places on the web so hidden, they might as well not exist.

As a small business, you need to be in the majority of the social platforms, and e-marketplaces, as well as doing collaborations with influencers and other entrepreneurs.  

Investing in Technology or Equipment  

They say you need to lose money before making money. If you’re losing it to tech or sorely needed equipment, then that might be a good investment.

This is especially true when that investment allows you to scale the business, makes you more efficient and meets a continuing demand of the market. You need to make a quick cost-benefit analysis and ensure that the ROI is on your side.    

#4 Pivot

A “pivot” would feel like you’re giving up on the business.

But as long as you’re in the game, trying to create value, and serving customers, you’re not really giving up on your vision as an entrepreneur.  

History has a long list of successful businesses that had to pivot to a different product or service.

Nintendo was originally in the business of playing cards. Wrigley’s used to sell soap and baking powder, using gum only as a giveaway incentive to customers. Same with Avon. It was a book-selling company that handed out free perfume samples to book buyers.

There are market forces that will always be beyond your control. It could result in the business not working out.

There’s no shame in going for a “reset” and trying your hand at something else.

Take an honest accounting of the possible causes of failure and the lessons learned:

  • Was it a cash flow problem?
  • Was it the lack of product-market fit?
  • Was it the lack of employee training?
  • Was it the gaps in customer service?

Next time around, you will be much wiser and can execute better. You can institute important changes based on the lessons learned. For example, instead of maintaining an expensive office, you might now maintain a remote team. Or instead of going after volume, you might go for quality this time.

These are some of the things a business can do amidst all the changes happening all around. They can be surface changes or fundamental ones. Regardless, the business can be relevant forever. As long as you don’t give up.  

Kinetic Innovative Staffing helps businesses hire remote professionals.

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If this sounds like something you would like to explore for your business, do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll get you all the help you need.

Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.

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