Bigger retailers often seem like they have the advantage over small businesses when it comes to most areas of business. It doesn't have to be that way though. Small businesses often have the benefit of being able to put a more personal touch on customer interactions, which can really pay off and give your business an edge over much larger retailers.
Build a Stellar Reputation
One of the disadvantages of being a smaller business is that your company name doesn't carry the immediate name recognition that is afforded to much larger retailers. Because of this, it's absolutely crucial that you build a stellar reputation. Make sure your website makes a good first impression on visitors. Keep your storefront clean and orderly. Do everything you can to get things right for your customers the first time, and offer amazing customer service.
Stand Out in Customer Service
Your business's customer service can make or break your business. If you can stand out in a good way with your customer service, you may find that consumers opt to visit you instead of hitting up a large chain retailer. Larger retailers are often more convenient, but because of their size their customer service may be little more than passable. Many large retailers have slowed their order fulfillment for non-essential items. This can be frustrating for consumers who may see this as lackluster customer service. Find things you can do to go a little bit above and beyond with your customer service and you'll help give yourself an edge over larger retailers.
Build Community Connections
Larger retailers don't often take the opportunity to really interact with the community they're in outside of the business services they provide. Smaller businesses may have limited resources to do this with, but by showing you are invested in your community, your community will be more interested in investing in and supporting your business. To build community connections, you can sponsor some local extracurricular activities, participate in fundraisers, or set up booths at events. If your community has celebratory parades, you might consider putting together an awesome float to participate. All these things will get your business in front of your local community, raising awareness and building relationships within it.
Small businesses don't have to stay disadvantaged compared to larger retailers. Focus your energies on building a stellar reputation, stand out by delivering excellent customer service, and build connections in your community. Because you're a small business, you'll be better positioned to take action and reap the benefits of doing so.
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