Leverage Your Localness to Beat the National Competition
When it comes to outsmarting your competition, things are drastically different being a local company. There are different challenges than those faced by national name-brand companies.
As a locally owned business, however, you have several unique advantages that the national competition lacks. Here are four simple rules that will give your business a leg up on the national competition:
1. Connect with your customers
Two vital ways local businesses can connect with their customers in a unique way is to prominently identify your business as locally owned and to compassionately tell your story. As a local business, a portion of your customers will come and be regulars if they can relate to you and your story.
It is important to broadcast your story, typically on the about tab on your website. Share what made you passionate about your business and line of work. Give the community something they can relate to, and what makes you different from your competitors. Consistently share your story through all of your communications including social media, email, and website.
Also, identify your business as locally owned as frequently as possible. Thank your customers for shopping local. Print a “thank you for shopping local” on the bottom of receipts, on bags or simply thank the customers for shopping local. Prominently display your “Proud Member of Local First Arizona” badges on your storefronts and websites. There are many ways to remind your customers that you are a local business.
2. Build Local Collaborations
Instead of fighting your competition, identify goals and values that you share with other local businesses and collaborate with them to meet those common goals. For example, by collaborating with local businesses nearby yours, you can work together to purchase larger advertising opportunities to draw more attention to your businesses. You can find local collaborators based on location, industry, ownership, and much more.
3. Don’t try to be cheaper
When it comes to outsmarting the national companies, don’t try to beat their prices. Instead try to offer your customers something they can not get from a national company, such as a wider variety or better customer service.
Work to educate, inform, and go the extra mile. Make the customer’s visit personal instead of a normal trip to the store. Take the time to help the customer find what will best benefit them and listen to their concerns.
Again, your selling point is the connection you can offer to your customers.
4. Keep your money where your home is
Your next client might be one of your own suppliers. Check your list of suppliers and service providers and ask yourself, “are they local?” If they’re not, make the switch soon because you’ll keep more money here in Arizona and build relationships with individuals and fellow local business owners. You might just find your next client through these relationships!
The main thing to always keep in mind is to stay true to your business and remember why you started your business in the first place. Other local businesses are your friends not your enemy. Be personal, know your customers and let your customers know you.
Once you can answer these questions your business will be on its way to success:
- What makes your business unique?
- What makes you worth the trip to customers to travel out to your business?
- Where are the gaps in your community?
- What do you have that they don’t?