Filling the Void: Where Small Businesses Can Plant Their Flags
This week, our CEO wrote an article about what small businesses can learn from the successes of major brands and franchises. His discussion was primarily focused on the reasons why people choose familiar brands and how small businesses can keep up. I enjoyed his article and would like to highlight a similar learning opportunity. In this article, I will discuss four areas where major brands lack, creating great opportunities for smaller businesses to plant their flags.
- They are slow to change
I’m not claiming that all franchise owners are obstinate (although I am sure some are). Major changes typically take a long time to materialize with bigger corporations because of the various departments, meetings, and individuals who must be involved. As a small business owner, you have greater flexibility to experiment with your marketing, pricing, web design, social media, and other factors than other business owners who have a corporate umbrella hanging over them. Use this to your advantage and try out some new ideas.
- Their marketing strategies are streamlined
Because they represent their brands, franchisees have their hands tied when it comes to advertising. Many marketing decisions are made or completed for them and there are rules to govern any advertising they can do on their own. As an unaffiliated small business owner, this is your time to shine. Instead of imitating the mailers and websites of your major competitors, be creative. Get to know what your local customers respond to and make a move.
- They aren’t as familiar with local markets
It’s likely that the franchise headquarters are located far away from the local community where you and your competitors are found. Because of this, they aren’t nearly as familiar with your local market as you are. Take your knowledge from being a member of your community and build your marketing strategy and service offering around it.
- Their owners may not be experts in their field
Oftentimes, people choose to buy a franchise because they see an opportunity to make a positive return on their investment. If you have spent many years in your field, you likely have an expertise that exceeds what is available elsewhere. This doesn’t mean that you should use this as an opportunity to attack your competition. But you should share what you know on your website or with clients when they visit you in person.
I hope that you can use the items above and the tips from Camron’s blog to spark some ideas to market your small business. You are in a very unique position to provide an experience to customers that they will love.