Being a local business owner has some great advantages. I’ve recently been reading Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry. It got me thinking about a few marketing ideas you can implement as a local business owner to beat the competition.
1) Act like a local – understand what is important to those in your community. If your city is known for tourism and that’s important to the lifeblood of your community, make sure you communicate that you understand this as a lifelong resident of your community. Maybe your city’s history as a front leader in developing new technology is an important identity to your city so you want to be sure that you emphasize that you use the latest technology in your business and what the benefit of that is to your customers. Communicate on your website, in your consultations and other client touch points that you get what makes your city unique. You truly are a local business owner. You have the inside-track because you’re a local, not a fly by night start up who doesn’t care about your city. If you’re a photographer you can say you know the best places to get the best shots because you’re local. You know people. If you’re a event planner, use your connections to secure access to some of the city’s well-known sites for special events that are typically off limits. Use your localness to beat the competition if being local is something your customers value.
2) Choose easy words – If your local market can’t spell your name and they need to spell your name to find your business, that’s a problem! Consider choosing a different business name if yours is hard to spell or isn’t the familiar spelling most potential clients are accustomed to. That being said, if your business includes a family name that is very recognizable in your community then you likely don’t want or need to change.
3) Find the underserved and overserve them – Find those customers in your market who are underserved and create products and services for them. Don’t waste your time on those who already have options coming out of their ears. Finding them comes from truly knowing your market and what’s lacking. Your business can service a very specialized niche (for example, maybe you specialize in providing services to owners of 3 dogs or more, single moms or small business owners). Get specialized in your products and services for a market that isn’t being serviced. Figure out what you can develop to help them.
4) Stake out a position – Sam Adam’s uses the positioning “Sam Adams is not a beginner’s beer” to suggest that it’s the brand for the beer drinker with a more developed palate. Without disparaging beginner beer drinkers or even their own competition, this positioning helps them carve out a niche for who their product is right for. Get creative in how you position your services. Maybe your wedding photography is not for the traditional bride. Use words that connect with your target audience and immediately help them recognize that you are the one for them and not one of the many who are the ‘same old same old’ vying for their business.
Have you used any of these four ideas in your local business? How have they worked? And if you haven’t do you plan to? Share your story with us here.