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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Taking on the BIG GUYS

I recently came across an article outlining how one small business competes with the “Big Box Shops” (BBS) that I thought the subject was worth discussing.

Some say that BBS operations have power that allows them to hurt “Small Business America” (SBA). They use and abuse their purchasing power to dictate to the marketplace, they argue. Some small businesses are winning in this battle however.

Generally the small business cannot win on price or brand awareness. But they can win on service.

Smaller is better when it comes to intimate relationships with customers, product knowledge and product selection.  A business can go “wide”, as the BBS does, or “deep”, as the successful SBA can.  Specializing and discussing a customer’s needs that lead to providing appropriate guidance, something the BBS cannot do, can go a long way. Specializing provides the opportunity to go even deeper with related product and/or service offerings, another advantage over BBS operations. The result is customer loyalty, repeat business and great word of mouth marketing.

Suppliers often prefer to do business with small businesses. They know they will not be whipped into compliance. And let us not forget that even a small business can be on the web.

How do you compete with the BBS?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


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