Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can compete with larger companies, but they have to earn the right to do so, it has been claimed.
"You have to behave like you're worth it," commented Philip Hesketh, professional speaker on psychology and persuasion at Heskethtalking.com.
He claimed that by setting themselves up and promoting themselves as quality service providers, SMBs can soon gain market share and develop strong brand loyalty.
Mr Hesketh said a good example of this is the Betty's tea room in Harrogate, which is aimed at a high-end market.
"We are awash with places that sell tea and coffee and yet [people] queue up every day. It's the most expensive place, but it's the perfect business," he stated.
"The key thing about Betty's is it's a small family run business, but in everything they do, they behave like they're worth it. Everything matters."
Mr Hesketh noted that there are no chips or cuts on crockery, and each waitress is checked for clean shoes and clean fingernails.
The business makes a big effort on all the tiny noticeable things, which all adds up to deliver a superior level of service, he suggested.
"The starting point of how to look like a proper, big company and how to build customer loyalty and improve your margin is to behave like you're worth it," the expert claimed.
"If you don't get that right, frankly it doesn't matter what else you do. It's like turning up to a wedding in a pair of scruffy old jeans."
Posted by Jenny Arthur