I have a firm belief that a small business can effectively compete against a large retailer all day every day! Is it hard? You bet! But it can be done.
You see the small business owner has to give me a reason to shop at their store. Maybe the reason is a friendly atmosphere or maybe a fellow community of people who share a common interest. Or maybe it is the only place where they actually know who I am and are actually happy to see me! Or maybe they carry the best products (not the cheapest) and know how to use them!
But there has to be a reason. It is the responsibility of the small business owner to give me that reason. And I can tell you now that PRICE is NEVER a reason. As a small business owner you will never win the price war and I mean NEVER. Competing on price is pure insanity and best left to the big retailers to duke it out over low margins. I often hear “that is the market price” in many business discussions and so I say get out of that market!!!! If the market you are in can not provide your business with healthy profit margins, then change markets!
I have owned three small businesses in my past. Two of which was successful and one was not. So lets talk about the one that wasn’t. There were four other competitors in town in the same market. After I started it took about 6-8 months before one of the others left the market place, probably due to his own business practices. But one store in particular was regularly kicking our butt as well as the other stores. What did they do right? Who knows! But I can tell you what I did wrong. I did not give customers a good enough reason to come to my store! I failed not because of my customers but rather I did not provide considerable value for the customer to make a switch. I was successful for a while but I failed to continue to provide that value and never provided a good enough reason to come to my store.
Really just to prove a point, you as a small business owner have to give me a reason to spend my hard-earned money at your store! And if you give me a reason, I will spend it with you versus somewhere else.
So what is your reason? What are you going to do to give me a reason to be a customer?
I am waiting . . .