Almost 50 years ago, when Emma Meyer started Auto Number Plates with her now late husband Nico, the couple only had determination on their side. By focusing on the details, the company has flourished – helping two of their five children open their own small businesses. To this day, 86 year old Meyer still completes a full day’s work at the shop every day. Here, she shares her insights on how SMEs can attain sustainability:
“Dedication and determination start with great planning. Pin your goals down and work out different methods to reach them,” says Meyer, reiterating that having goals to work toward encourages perseverance and hard work.
Keep customers at the core
Through the years, Meyer has realised attention to customers’ needs goes a long way. “To stand out while competing with industry giants, SMEs must put their customers first at all times. It’s how you do things better, pay more attention to detail and gain your client’s trust that will keep them coming back. Patience and flexibility toward client demands is vital,” says Meyer.
Discover clear value
For new products to gain the same (or even better) traction as existing products, Meyer says businesses must successfully create clear value matched to prospective customers’ desires.
“Everyone won’t want the same things, which is why engaging with target consumers early in the product development process helps you understand their experiences, identify problems they have and provide the right solutions,” advises Meyer.
Track and identify usage
Understanding how customers are using the products is important. “Keep things simple with traditional methods like surveys as a starting point. But as times change, technology can also aid the process,” says Meyer.
Be part of the community
The Meyers always trusted the power of word-of-mouth. They harnessed that power by constantly communicating with customers, and getting involved in community activities. This meant that they not only kept their services affordable, but also supported local recycling efforts.
Collaboration that excites
According to Meyer, a great small business becomes a hub – serving as a gathering spot for ideas and solutions to help grow the local economy. For her, maintaining good relations with other businesses has aided the growth of her business.
“Nashua has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure we receive solutions and services tailored to suit our unique business. That’s why we’ve stuck with them and couldn’t imagine working with anyone else,” she adds.
“Running the business has not always been easy, particularly without my husband, but the determination to serve has always been a trait we share – that keeps me going,” concludes Meyer.