How Small Business Can Stick It to the “Man”

Big box stores may have deep pockets to spend tons of money when it comes to marketing and advertising, but the small and medium sized businesses do have a “one up” on the big businesses - they can pivot quickly. 

Pivoting is very important in the world of business; if a strategy to reach their target market isn't working, the company needs to switch “gears” to a strategy that will work.  Big box stores are unable to compete with this type of flexibility since authorization has to come from the “top”.

Here are  a few ways for small business to compete with the larger companies:

Make the experience personable

Big box stores see the customers more as numbers on the bottom line rather than people being appreciated for coming to their store with a particular need to be met.  

Smaller businesses are able to get to know their customers more on a one on one basis and even go out of their way to find the product that will best suit their customer.  This type of experience makes the customer feel more appreciated and their needs heard.

You don’t need approval from on-high to implement new products or procedures in your business to keep your customers happy.  So you can adjust and personalize faster while they are still holding board meetings trying to figure out what to do.

Network & Build Relationships

When you work for a large company, they expect you to be at work at a certain time, doing certain tasks at certain times.  When you are in a smaller company, you need exposure and it helps you to get out from behind the desk and get out and have fun.

Joining networking groups is a great way to get your name out there for referrals and also to support other small businesses locally.  You’ll meet a lot of new people that can become future clients or refer future business to you.

You can also meet people with more experience in certain areas of business.  Leveraging their knowledge can help you avoid pitfalls and stay on track.

Online presence

At big box stores, everything they do has to be authorized by corporate and all locations have the same exact posts going out on their social channels.  While uniformity can be great, what may work for customers at one location may not work for customers at another.  

Smaller businesses have the capability of customizing their online posts to specifically grab the attention of their market for that particular area.   Especially for those of us in the Chattanooga area.  Our entrepreneur-friendly city makes for an interesting and sometimes challenging audience when it comes to marketing our services.

As a small business owner, you may not have deep pockets like the big competitor, but you do have more of a capability to grow your business successfully by going back to basic business 101: Know your target market’s need and wants.  By taking the time to listen to what they want and being able to provide it for them will go a long way for the customer.  

They may be paying more with you, but it is a more customized fit rather than the “one size fits all” option at big box stores.  Figure out what you can do differently from the larger companies to drive the traffic through your doors.  Once they are there, give them the experience they will never forget.  Big box stores cannot compete with above and beyond customer service that you can offer.

Are you a small business owner?

If you are and this article helped you even a little please leave me a comment and let me know how.

Ashley Burnett

Web Ninja

One of my first jobs was running a cash register in my grandmothers diner. My job was to talk to customers and and to keep everything in my area neat and organized. Now years later those lessons I learned help me in managing client files and projects. Making sure our team is working to help our clients reach their business goals is what drives me everyday.

I am a strong believer that to succeed in life you have to work hard and never let roadblocks stand in your way. You have to read and study but you also have to experience life and all that it can teach you.

My mission is to help clients and our team have the materials and knowledge they need to make every project a success, while making sure to spread some of the information I learn around for others to enjoy.