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Big Box Stores are the Goliath of the business world.
Small business owners, faced with a fraction of the marketing power and brand recognition, are succumbing to the infiltration of the Power Channel in their towns and communities. Seemingly powerless, independently owned businesses are struggling to stay afloat and keep the revenue flowing within their business.
Local, independently owned businesses may not have the buying power and resources that the Big Box Stores do, but they do have the opportunity to cultivate something these Goliaths can’t; a real person-to-person relationship with their customers. When was the last time you went to Target and had an employee say, “Hey ___! Nice to see you back again!”
If you are a small business person, take heart and take heed. These tough economic times are going to make you dig deep, get creative, put on your Big Kid Pants and be proactive. Ever heard of out-of-sight-out-of-mind? Or even, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease?”
Be the squeaky wheel.
Use your storefronts, front counters, and front windows to encourage patrons to connect with you on social media channels. Invite them to Like you on Facebook, Follow you on Twitter and “plus” you on Google+.
Use these free platforms to engage, inform, and stay in the forefront of your customers minds. You need an on-line presence that shares, engages, and asks the customer what they want and need. Use this on-line visibility to enhance your real world presence.
Be proactive. This is not the time to sit behind your sales counter and stare at the front door waiting for your customers to come to you.
Instead, consider going to them by calling on them in person, visit, join your local Chamber of Commerce, or visit local networking groups like BNI. Participate in a trade show or hold a table-top show in your own place of business. Offer to speak at civic groups or create your own company newsletter. Volunteerism itself is an amazing tool of business plus you will be doing good things for your community by volunteering your time, and at the same time meeting a whole new pool of connections and potential clients.
What will you do to be proactive this week?