How Can a Small Business Compete with a Big Box Store?

You started your local in-store business to make money, so how do you capture that big box audience?

There are a few things you can do that will promote your business, and cost little to nothing, but require a time investment.  This includes:

  1. Connecting with the local community.
  2. Presenting live free talks, demonstrations, and lectures (depending on the service or product) at the local library, senior center, and veteran’s halls.
  3. Establishing a Facebook page.
  4. Finding local businesses in the area that you can partner with and do joint advertisements, events, or sales.
  5. Verify your business listing with Google.

And then invest in:

  1. A Chamber of Commerce membership.
  2. A BBB membership.
  3. Sponsorship for local events such as a little league team.
  4. A Website from DWLI.
  5. Postcard mailings to your prospects.

The reality is most towns have wonderful small businesses. Every dollar that is spent in a small business is an opportunity to grow and expand with an online presence. Facebook may be a good way to advertise a pop-up sale, but a website is a great way to get the customers to keep coming back.

For a website, focus on local search results.   Research both your direct and indirect competitors   Check out their social media, join their mailing list, and visit their websites.  This will give you ideas for your website’s presentation, content, and direction.

The creation of a good website is instrumental in order to reach potential customers and staying in touch with current ones.

Use the ABOUT page to connect to your audience on a personal level.  You might add the years you’ve been in business, is it family-owned, why you started the business, and what you hope to accomplish.

If you’re selling products use relevant terms that visitors will search for.  Take time to write a description that both the search engine and customers understand.

Include a question and answer page (FAQ), and a glossary of terms if your industry uses special jargon.

Offer a newsletter or announcement list to keep in touch with your website visitors.  Use it as a marketing tool to upsell your products or services.  A good company to help you with content, marketing campaigns, and sales is mailinglistservices.com

And for each question posed on Facebook (for example), tie it into your website so visitors can find all the information in one place.

It may take a while, but you can compete with a big box store with great success by having a great website:  and that you offer

  • More value than high prices.
  • The convenience of personalize service.
  • The human side of shopping.Small Business

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