Every independent retailer and local store owner dreads the day when they find out that a big-box competitor is opening up a new location in their neighborhood. The horror stories have been heard time and time again: another local business goes under because of their inability to compete with big-box retail i.e. WalMart, Target and Home Depot.
The initial (wrong) reaction by most retailers is to beat the competition with insane discounts and frivolous marketing campaigns. But like Mikal Belicove wrote in a recent article on Entrepreneur.com, "It's like bringing a knife to a gunfight."
He explains that there's no conceivable way for an independent retail store can compete with the marketing budget of a billion dollar corporation, so retailers need to start thinking local and outside of the box.
Get local and get social.
Chances are pretty good that the big retailer around the corner does a horrible job at locally-focused social media engagement - which creates a huge opportunity for you!
Step up your activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest by interacting with local users and connecting with other neighborhood businesses who are also active in the social space.
Get local and get blogging.
Belicove mentions that while the big boys may have a blog, they're not allocating too much time focusing on locally-charged content.
"By frequently blogging about topics that your local customers actually care about," he writes, "you increase your store's odds of generating positive local search results online."
Get local and get supportive.
Due to multiple levels of approval, big companies (often) move much slower than independent retailers, "especially when it comes to sponsoring or supporting local events" he writes.
This creates a unique opening for your company to jump on the support train, become civic-minded and get involved with local events long before the big wigs step in.
The fact is independent businesses are shut down everyday because of corporate expansion and market monopoly. Is there anything you would like to add to this list? Hit up the comments below and let us know what you think!
Photo courtesy of Sam Javanrouh