More so than any other place in the world, Americans are proud of their small businesses. Small businesses employ nearly half of all workers, and each year more people take their own futures into their own hands by starting a small enterprise.
These entrepreneurs are met with support from friends, family, and previous co-workers. Everyone seems to respect the entrepreneurial dream of being your own boss. Smart business owners can use this favorable view to leverage their business and take it to new heights within their community. Here’s how:
It is no secret that large companies often team up in ways that may not be as logical at first sight. Burger King tends to locate near McDonald’s. Home Depot builds stores next to Walmart. These businesses, though rivals in some ways, share a common interest in attracting customers. See how you can work with the businesses in your neighborhood or office park to bring customers to your location. Partnering as small businesses of the community will attract consumers who want to support local business owners and their employees.
Invest in the community
Familiar national brands are well known because of their billion dollar advertising budgets, but few are capable of making a personal connection in the community. Consider using your business as a vehicle to support causes that you care about like local Little Leagues or small neighborhood not-for-profits. Building rapport with your customers is as easy as showing that you are as interested in the community as they are.
Use national tools
National banks and financiers want to help small businesses as they are their most consistent customers. Well-known in the national small business community, American Express hosts an annual Small Business Weekend to encourage people to shop at small community goods and service providers. Other institutions have similar national promotion networks that you can tap into for free marketing.
Small businesses are known for their service above all else. Consumers report frequently in surveys that they feel they are best served by the staff of small businesses who are more in touch with their needs. Small business owners can latch onto this thinking by embracing the value of a good deal. Alert your customers to manufacturers’ rebates if you own a small office supply store. Highlight savings on shampoos and conditioners in your salon. Give customers information about tax credits when you install a new window on their home. Every industry has a way to save customers money. If you make a customer feel as though they got a good deal, you will have their continued business.
Small businesses have more opportunity than ever to latch into a growing swell of support for entrepreneurs and local businesses. Make your business an influential part of the community by bringing businesses together to embrace the idea of community and support for small businesses. Most shoppers favor small businesses – you just have to remind them of it.