For all of us that have owned or been involved with running a small business, we know well the disadvantages of trying to compete against the big guys. This can be especially true sometimes when it comes to marketing. For us, as a digital marketing company, we’ll focus on the online aspects. Bigger companies have a lot going for them. The big boys have a lot of perks that come with a bloated marketing budget. They have probably been around for a bit, and therefor have been outspending their smaller competition for a while. In the digital marketing sphere, this usually means a powerful domain authority, higher backlink quality and diversity, broader social media reach and brand awareness, the ability to put a lot of American Dollars (or Canadian) towards their marketing priorities, and more. Don’t worry. With all of this, there are advantages left for us small biz guys and gals. Here they are:
- Flexibility. Small biz be nimble. Small biz be quick. Small biz jumped right over the red tape that ties up larger companies for days and weeks. If there is a decision or change to be made, the decision making process should be relatively short and sweet. You don’t need to get approval from multiple bosses and departments to make a change to a marketing plan or ad design. If something needs to get done, you can do it. If there is an opportunity, you can take it. If you have an idea and it makes it through your good idea/bad idea filter, you can act on it…right now! How great is that? It’s so great, that it brings us to our next advantage on the list.
- Creativity. You don’t have someone (oftentimes multiple someones) constantly squashing your ideas and funneling them into the company line. If you want to put a silly joke on your marquee to drive attention to your local business, all that’s left to do is remember where you put the giant stick with the suction cup at the end. If you want to spend a few bucks on Pokemon lures and launch a social media promotion to get Pokemon Go players to your location, you can do it tomorrow. If you want to create and launch an online business review curation and monitoring tool at a ridiculously cheap price so that all small and local businesses can better let everyone know every time they have a positive customer experience, well shucks, you can do that too. (And by the way, we just did.) The point is, you can and should let your creative juices flow without much damming of the creative process. I’m pretty sure your creativity helped you get into business in the first place.
- Niches, please. You might not be able to compete against the Goliaths in your industry in a full out war, but you can target the soft spot niches between their proverbial eyes and sling all the rocks you have into that spot and probably win that battle. If you own/run a local hardware store, you might not be able to compete against Home Depots and Lowes across the board, but you can find your niche(s) and mobilize a good majority of your efforts in that area. You can specialize and become an expert in a slice of something in a way that the Fortune 500 companies can’t. Then once you get business in one specific niche, you can then turn that customer relationship into more business outside of that niche. It’s called remarketing, and you should do it. And that also leads us to our final item of the day.
- Customer relationships. “I wanna go where everyone knows your name” isn’t just the cheesey last line of the “Cheers” theme song. It’s how a lot of people feel. Whether it’s in the storefront or online, you have the ability to build closer relationships with your customers. Every sale matters more to you than the fat cats in the high rises, so make sure your customers know that too. When they see you care, they’ll probably care too.
So yeah, the big business bullies might have you outgunned, but your nimble niche ways will always allow you to find a chink in the armor.