Is it possible for your small business to keep up with the big dogs?
You have either started or have had your small business running in towns like Valparaiso, Chesterton, Merrillville, Hobart, Portage, or (insert your small town here). You compete with great customer service, quality products, and that local small town flare. But how are you able to compete against big corporations that seem to have endless marketing budgets at their disposal? Today we are going to dig into some of the "tricks of the SEO trade" that we have used time-and-time again to help small businesses grow. Are you ready and willing to get more business and grow? If so, continue to read on and learn some of our proven techniques on growing your small business.
The odds are not in your favor
You just said I can beat big business and not you are saying the odds are not in my favor? What gives! We said we can help you compete with these tricks. You have benefits as a small business that big business doesn't have and never will have. There are a lot of mom and pop and small franchises that we have worked with over the years and we routinely move up on the big national guys due to our local presence that the big corporations cannot compete. So now that we are past that let's look at the ways you can differentiate yourself and beat the national chains in search engine optimization.
Local Flare and Local Loyalty
National companies compete at a national level, market on the radio, newspapers, and television. Your small business though offers an individualized touch that bigger corporations cannot touch. Big corporations used to win on just being big and being familiar in the minds of their audience. People buy from companies they are familiar with. This means you need to become familiar with your audience just as the big businesses do. To do this you need to market locally. This can be achieved by having a presence on social media, interacting with your followers, and having a website that is targeted at the direct needs of your customers. Continue to put yourself out there so your customers see your brand, know your company, and continue to stay familiar to them.
Keeping prices affordability
Just because you are a local and growing businesses doesn't mean you cannot compete on price. Being fair on price is important. You don't want to get into a price war with a big store as you will most certainly lose. You need to highlight the differences that the customer receives when they choose you over a big box chain. Items we routinely will bring up is the individualized touch, local service, and higher-quality products. Avoid bashing your competition as even though they are a national box store there are local employees working there. They have a vested interest in the local economy just as you do. A wonderful way of also differentiating yourself is by offering a rewards program to ensure clients get the feeling they are receiving these great benefits at a discount.
Push the local convenience aspect
Your big box stores are located all around the country where you may have a single or a few locations. For those local to your business you can push the convenience of working with a company that is vested in the local economy. Our customers are often busy and big stores often have big lines, crowded isles, and more products than most people truly need. By pushing and having items you know your local customers want and make them easily findable.
Making being local an important aspect
Key aspects that help differentiate you from big chains are that you are vested and all your eggs are in the local economy. You should employ the best and brightest that are focused on customer service and making your business. A wonderful way to difference yourself is that your office, store, or restaurant is neat and tidy. The same principle applies for your website. Make sure it has an attractive design and includes information about your business and industry that people want to know.
Speaking of websites
Having a website is only the first step. Yes, you can get found on the search engines and have it point to your Facebook and other social media page. What it doesn't do is help you on the local search engine front. To be found locally on the search engines you need to employ local search engine techniques. This can happen by setting up a Google Business Page, Yelp pages, Houzz pages (for construction), and every local directory that provides quality inbound links to your website.
Being local should be treated as a benefit rather than a crutch when it comes to marketing your business online. You need to embrace what makes your business different. Your small business should be a trusted member of your community that people can choose when they need what you offer. While it won’t result in the big boys closing shop in your community, creating your own path to familiarity, affordability, and convenience can lead your small business to a long and profitable lifespan.
If all of this seems overwhelming or you want to focus on your business and dream rather than marketing and storytelling to your customers the team at JM2 Webdesigners and Marketing is great at helping small businesses engage with customers. With our mix of sales, engagement techniques, and adding humor each week we will help you work on building a loyal and flare you won't get elsewhere. We utilize agile marketing rather than traditional marketing to help you grow your audience for low costs and high results. You can reach us at 219-229-1633, email at sales@BusinessYETI.com, or through our online contact form here.