Local business owners feel the sting when a potential customer chooses a larger competitor in their industry. Battling for attention against corporate giants seems overwhelming, and it’s common to feel overwhelmed.
A 2014 study shows that small businesses may have the edge over dominant competitors, at least in some ways. Taking advantage of that study’s research and combining it with a basic understanding of your community, you can easily carve out your spot as a local favorite.
Local Businesses Are Booming
Experts say the small business economy is expected to grow exponentially in 2022. Now that Americans are returning to their post-pandemic lives, they also feel a renewed sense of community responsibility that leads them to shop at local stores.
Take advantage of this emotional shift by tailoring your small business to the local community. Some ways to do this include:
- Maintaining your local SEO for easy discovery and recognition
- Joining and participating in your local chamber of commerce
- Using hometown imagery, slogans, and other unique details in store decor
- Showing support for local teams, community focus groups, and fundraising projects
- Offering discounts or special sales for local shopper
Customers Want To Help Your Small Business
A whopping 70% of customers prefer shopping at local businesses. That means that your community wants you to succeed and grow.
When asking yourself what to do with larger competitors, consider why local customers prefer shopping small. Smaller companies offer a personal touch that larger companies can’t match, and your ability to connect and build a relationship with your customers is more fluid than bigger businesses. Build buyer personas to help you gain a clearer view of your customers’ expectations.
Boost each customer’s experience by:
- Learning and remembering frequent customers’ names
- Developing a customer loyalty program with exciting offers
- Enabling your staff to make certain decisions without consulting management
- Reading and responding to every online review
- Using customer feedback to improve customer service
Pay Attention to Your Competitors’ Marketing Strategies
Your biggest competitors have large marketing budgets to purchase TV, radio, and print advertising. While you can also use these strategies, your budget may not be as generous. The good news is that digital advertising is relatively inexpensive and easy to manage, allowing you to focus on your target audience and present them with the products and services you know they want or need.
Besides digital advertising, creating and maintaining a social media presence is essential for any local business. Choose the platform you’re most experienced with and create a profile that includes your business’s information and a description of what you do.
Once you master one form of social media, check into what other platforms connect you with your target audience. Many local business owners see better results when leveraging multiple social media platforms.
Social media profiles are extremely useful tools that can help you:
- Inform customers of your products and services
- Remind community members of your location and contact information
- Raise awareness about sales, discounts, and special events
- Introduce new products or services in real time
- Celebrate your business and staff accomplishments and milestones
Competing With Bigger Businesses Is Easier Than It Looks
As a local business owner, you have more knowledge and experience in your community and understand your town’s climate. Big businesses don’t know your area as well as you do, so you have plenty of opportunities to please local customers. However, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.
Stay informed about what your larger competitors are doing. Follow their social media accounts, visit their websites, and pay attention to local advertising outlets like newspapers, radio channels, and billboards. Large competitors like to stay as trendy as possible, so keeping tabs on their growth is vital to your marketing strategies. Knowing how your competitors are reaching customers can guide you to new forms of customer engagement and show you what services or products are most popular.
Use These Local Business Tips To Grow
With these tips, you can take your small business to the next level while staying relevant to your local community. Your customers want to see your small business grow, so this is your chance to be the David to all your Goliaths. Now that you know what to do with larger competitors, you’re already one step ahead of them!