The last few years have been a roller coaster for all businesses, but especially small businesses. While many long-established businesses have sadly closed their shutters, other solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are just beginning to implement their ideas. It can be intimidating to enter an economy with so many megacorporations. Small business owners can feel like David facing off against conglomerate Goliaths. If you're a small online store, how do you get consumers to buy your products instead of Amazon's? If you're a self-employed mental health therapist, how do you distinguish your services from BetterHelp? If you run a restaurant, how do you compete with the well-recognized national chain down the road?
Here are three reasons consumers still choose small businesses over big corporate options:
Many people still love the experience of going into a small storefront downtown and being served by someone from their community. Even if you run an online business, talking about your physical presence can build authenticity and trust. Clients might prefer someone in their own state or city who better understands their needs.
Additionally, if you have an address, you can be listed in local directories like Google's Business Profile and Bing Places. You can encourage customers to review your business. Then, if someone is looking for candle stores near Bend, Oregon, they are likely to see a snippet about your business and all the (glowing, of course!) reviews from your customers. This is basically free advertising and better SEO (search engine optimization)!
You Have Expertise
Whether you have a blog, YouTube channel, or social media feed, sharing your expertise and giving away advice can lead customers to trust you over a big, generic competitor. Even in oversaturated industries, entrepeneurs who can demonstrate that their product is crafted to higher standards (or their customer service is exceptional, or their therapists have the most expertise) can still thrive.
You Understand Their Needs
Big companies spend a great deal of time and money gathering business intelligence and consumer insights, but I notice that small, independent neighborhood stores know exactly what their customers need. Our local pet market also sells cigarettes and sodas. A local Middle Eastern market also offers bulk cleaning products and organic produce-because they've found there's an unmet demand for them in their neighborhood.
Whether or not you undertake formal research, the market rewards businesspeople who are observant, curious, and willing to try new products, services, and strategies dependign on customer needs.