Small business owners know there are many differences between them and the big guys. The problem is not letting those differences turn your company into something it’s not. Today I want to talk about the advantages you have over larger competitors, and how you can make those differences work for you.
- One-on-One: You don’t need social media to tell you what your customers want—You get to hear it from them in person! Yes, social media is an incredibly valuable tool, but nothing can take the place of good, old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation. By positioning yourself in the spotlight of your customers or clients, you give them the opportunity to not only provide feedback, but also get to know you as a person. And nothing promotes repeat business like personalization.
- Brand Authentic: You don’t need big gimmicky ads—You just need honest, valuable sales techniques. A lot of the big brands focus on advertising ploys to get customers to buy their products, including celebrities, low-fat versions, and false promotions. Small companies have the luxury of being honest about their quality and value, which makes their customers want their product over any other. No one expects you to meet competitors’ pricing; they just want to know that they’re paying for quality. For more help on this one, check out our post titled 6 Ways to Build Authenticity in Your Business.
- Personality: Big businesses have to fake personality—You get to incorporate yours at every twist and turn. Local companies thrive off of the personality and spirit of their owners, which is what interests customers and keeps them coming back. When you first started your company it was based on your passion, which is most likely still seen in your business’ style and character. That kind of personality goes a long way with customers because it creates an emotional bond those big chains can’t beat.
- Big businesses are boring: Local shops are trendier now than ever! We’re in the decade of “shop local” right now, and that’s exactly where consumers are putting their money. Rather than go to big chain competitors, we’ve been seeing a strong movement towards locally owned and operated shops, restaurants, and services. This means that now is your time to shine and continue to show your customers why you’re better than those other guys.
- Flexibility: You are far more agile and flexible—Especially when it comes to market changes. Since you’re serving smaller markets and producing less volume, you’re able to adapt much more quickly in the event of a problem. Small businesses are also able to follow trends better since their inventory numbers are lower and they don’t need to stock multiple locations with popular items. Being able to take advantage of fluctuating markets and demand is exactly how small businesses increase customers.
Dont' believe me? Then watch this video from Seth Godin on why it's good to be a small business.
Small businesses don’t seem to have it so bad after all. Keeping in touch with customers, staying flexible, reaching those niche markets, and honing your personality are all extremely valuable traits that big businesses don’t have. Make them work to your advantage and show your competitors that you are a worthy opponent!
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