Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors
I got a call from a floral shop owner in a small town, and she was scared . . .
One of the HUGE online floral brands was running Google ads that made them “appear” to be local.
They had a big budget, an ad agency . . .
And they were taking away her business.
What could she do?
We developed a strategy in her personal coaching sessions with me (included with her membership), she took classes here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com to learn search engine optimization and tactics only local businesses can use. She developed a unique strategy based on her shop and her location, enabling her to compete against those bigger brands and take away THEIR business.
How? That’s what this post is all about —
1. Don’t Try to Win Shoppers on Price
If you’re s small brand who is competing against an online retailer or big box store, the price battle is one you’ll lose.
Ultimately, however, you’ll come out the winner.
Because shoppers who buy based on the lowest price are NEVER loyal: they go with whomever has the lowest price at the time. They’re also demanding, difficult to please, and rarely satisfied.
Let someone else have those clients — you don’t need the headache.
So first, realize you won’t win over everyone, nor do you want to.
2. Offer Specialized Products the Big Brands Can’t
Every floral shop offers wedding and funeral bouquets. But what don’t they offer?
- Floral arrangements based on the colors of local high school and college teams
- Themed arrangements for the local festival and celebrations
- Participation in local cultural events
- Specialized same-day delivery to local hospitals
Last year a family friend was in a horrific accident and recovering in an Atlanta hospital. I wanted to send a special floral bouquet, but because I’m over an hour away, I didn’t know which florists specialized in delivering to that hospital or even if she could receive flowers.
I made one phone call to the hospital, and found out that yes, this patient could receive flowers, and they even recommended a local florist who specialized in same-day deliveries: Peachtree Petals.
They offered a dedicated website page for local hospital floral deliveries, reassuring me that they did deliver to the hospital I needed, and could do so within the SAME day.
Later in this post I’ll share related resources you can use for powerful tactics available only to local businesses.
Here’s another incredible small business: a local Alpharetta, Georgia bakery called Mama Bakes Safe Cakes. While that may sound like an odd name, any mother whose child has food allergies can immediately identify with what this unique bakery has to offer: allergen-free baked goods.
You can find cupcakes in any grocery store, Wal-Mart and Target across the country. What you can’t find is a bakery that can assure you that their baked goods were prepared in an allergen-free environment and are safe for your child to eat.
Specialized bakeries can charge prices for one cupcake that would buy six cupcakes at a grocery store, because it’s challenging to find bakeries that specialize in allergen-free products. Peace-of-mind for parents comes with a higher price tag they are more than happy to pay.
Score one for the little guys!
3. Show the People Behind Your Small Business
Who’s the face of Home Depot, Starbucks, or Target?
Here’s where small businesses can win BIG: let your customers get to know the people behind your business.
The secret to capturing the hearts of your customers is your PEOPLE. They are the ones who greet us as we come through the door, who ask us how our families are doing, who know what we want for dinner before we even order. All of these special touches make your store feel like HOME when we walk through the door.
No big box retailer can come close to that.
The Woodbridge Inn is a small restaurant in Jasper, Georgia, located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Owner Hans Rueffert is carrying on the tradition his father Joe started in running the business:
Hans competed in the Food Network Star reality competition, does local cooking shows, and has fought a fierce battle with stomach cancer. Locals know Hans, his family, and his story because he freely shares them:
One evening this winter my husband and I were enjoying dinner at the the Woodbridge Inn when Hans came out with his new baby Heidi, and introduced her to every single table. We talked food, family, and connected over a great meal prepared by great people:
4. Participate in Local Events
Peachtree Petal’s Facebook page shows their talented designers participating in at the High Museum of Art’s “Art in Bloom” event. No online retailer can show this kind of local support!
On Mama Bakes Safe Cake’s Facebook page is a “thank you” from a runner delighted to be greeted with allergen-free cupcakes after finishing a local road race:
Ultimately, big box retailers don’t know your town’s people, their stories, nor will they win their loyalties with low prices. Connection, incredible service, and specialized products will set your small business apart and allow it to thrive, even when you hear the FEE-FI-FO-FUM of giant big-box retailers approaching.
No worries. You’ve got this.
Small Business vs Big Business Checklist
Use this handy checklist as your guide to offering a specialized experience no big brand retailer can match:
Share this Image On Your Site