If you want your small business to survive the onslaught of Wal-Mart and other superstores, here are the strategies you need to become leader of the pack
1. Lead the Pack
Re-evaluate your business to see where you can make a huge difference that is even beyond the capabilities of your big competitors. Can you come up with a new spin for a product? Can you ratchet up your customer service delivery?
2. Seduce your Customers.
You are not just selling a commodity. If you want the customer to buy from you, you’ve got to make it more valuable. You’ve got to sell something far more emotional.
3. Convert Employees into Believers
Employees are the face of your business. They are your who your customers see — and their attitudes can make or break your business. Great service begins with great employees.
4. Transform with Technology.
Technology is a great enabler for small businesses that want to look and act much bigger than they are. Your investments in technology should streamline your operation and eventually cut your costs, better serve your existing customers, and make it easier and more efficient to drum up new business.
5. Stake a Hometown Claim.
Be attuned to your community – support community efforts, and be proud to be part of that community. Sometimes (e.g. when the big boys come knocking), the community can rally back and help you ward off the giant competitions.
6. Innovate the Mundane.
Why compete in a crowded category when you can create your own niche? You can apply the principles of innovation to a commodity in order to create a whole new category of products. Look at an existing product or service in a new way.
7. Market your Brand – Inside and Out.
Create a brand for your small business. Your brand identity should reflect a resolute commitment to everything that makes your company distinctive. Cultivate an authentic image that the marketplace will respond to.
8. Build a Village
Networks and alliances are an increasingly popular tool among small businesses that want to stay small but occasionally need to look and act big. Check if there are small business alliances in your sector that you can join. Networks allow you to link up with other businesses to serve big companies.
9. Embrace Reinvention
Small businesses are constantly hit with changes. The only way to survive these changes is if the business will will also change with the times, not once, but continuously. You need to continually improve the quality of your products or service, even change the way you market your products or the way you manufacture them.