Has a giant mega-mart opened down the street from your small business? Here are business expert Gene Marks's tips on how to stay afloat.
If you’re a small business and, and a large super store opens up down the street or in your neighborhood usually the first reaction is panic because those guys are going to be coming in and offering lower prices or providing some more type of choice to customers and will take customers away. And in some respects that’s actually true. I mean, sometimes large companies, they really do have the benefit of buying power and getting lower prices, but I get the example – I see a lot of times where big chains, the bookstores of the past, the pharmaceutical, the drug company – drug stores, for example, the Rite Aids and all of that, will move into an area and you think oh, my God, that little druggist is, he’s really had it because the big company has moved in. And in many cases they thrive. Sure. The reason why a small business thrives in the wake of large competition is they can do one thing that the big companies really can’t. They can provide a consistent, loyal, personalized service. We all know that we go to big companies, every time you walk in the door of that Wal-Mart or that Target, we’re normally looking at a different employee or somebody else that’s working there. There’s no real relationship with a store like that. In some cases that might be okay, but in a lot of cases where you’re running a business where you need to have a relationship with your customers, a small business can provide that kind of service well and beyond any large company can. So, again, if you’re running a small company and that big box retailer moves down the, you know, down the street from you don’t panic. Just think about what higher level of service you can provide to your customers because people want to feel wanted and a small business can provide that kind of attention.