WP Engine Founder and CTO Jason Cohen discussed modern era small business strategies at the Small Business Festival last week in Austin. In the speech, he explained how over time technology has made it easier to be connected to one another, but the emergence of this connection via technology results in a new challenge for small businesses: lots of noise…a traffic jam of communication.

How do you break through the noise so people discover your brand? Here are some small business strategies Cohen suggested during the Festival’s opening keynote:

  1. Customer experience is key and it must be central to your digital strategy.

    Your digital strategy should be geared toward creating a better customer experience, which will ultimately result in brand advocates.

  2. Know that there is a disintermediation of institutions.

    Cohen used banks as an example, which are often bad at understanding small business loans. If looking for financial help, look for peer-to-peer finance, as larger institutions may not understand small business financial needs.

  3. There needs to be extreme customization in your small business strategy.

    There’s a long way to go with this, explained Cohen, as many personalization tactics are still being thought of, but keep in mind that peer-to-peer personalization is the way to go if you’re running a small business.

  4. Co-creating with your customer is a great small business strategy.

    Cohen mentioned Threadless.com as an example, which allows customers to partake in product creation.

Now that you know of some strategies to stand out from the noise, how do you thrive as a small business?

Break Through The Noise: Modern Era Small Business Strategies

The crystal concept, according to Cohen is trust. “Trust is a critical concept that SMB has that big business can’t take away or spend to get. We are people and we trust people,” he said.

Basically, don’t try to act like a big business when you’re not. “By pretending you are a big business, your promise won’t be fulfilled. You’re giving up what an SMB has as a basic right,” said Cohen.

He added, “Be boutique, be honest and don’t fight the wrong battle.”

Follow Jason Cohen on Twitter @asmartbear and see more coverage from the Small Business Festival: #SBF2016 @smallbizfest