Small Business vs Big Business — Vlog, Transcript and Infographic

By Janice Deleon

Apr 16

This is the video version of the original blog post titled Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors, along with the infographic and video transcript (they follow the video):

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Small Business Tactics vs. Big Box Competitors Infographic

beat big box competitors infographic


Video Transcript

Maria Peagler: Hi. This is Maria Peagler with and this is the audio and video version of the blog post “Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors.”

I got a call recently from a woman who owned a floral shop business and she was quite upset because she was noticing that big box floral shops, big national online and 800-telephone number competitors were running online ads, Google Pay-Per-Click ads to make it look like they were local to her town. What would happen is somebody would search in Google for floral delivery in her city and their ad, her competitor’s ad, is the first thing that would show up.

Now her business was the first thing that showed up in the organic results that are unpaid but she said the way that this competitor was structuring their ad, they were making it look like they were a local business and she was quite upset because she was losing a great deal of business to them.

What we did was come up with a strategy that she was able to use to not only stave off those competitors but won over some of the people who were buying from her competition. That’s what this audio and video is going to be all about…how small business owners can use tactics that only small businesses can use, ways that they compete and ways that big box brands can’t.

We’ll be going over about four different things that small businesses can do to go up against big box competitors, and the number one thing that you want to do is not try to win customers on price. You are never going to beat the Walmarts, the Targets, the Amazons, and the Home Depots of the world on price. I’m here on the Walmart website and you can look, smart rollbacks, they’re constantly talking about how low their prices are. You are never going to be able to beat those big box retailers and big box competitors on price.

Secondly, you don’t really want to do that because what happens is the shoppers that you end up gaining by being a low price leader are people who are going after price only. They are loyal only to price. They’re not loyal to you. They’re not loyal to your company. They want the lowest price and they will go to whoever has it. Those aren’t customers that you want because they’re rarely satisfied, they’re not loyal to you, and they complain a lot. Those are not the customers that you want. You’ll lose a little bit but you ultimately win in the long run because you leave those headache customers to somebody else.

The second thing that you want to do is offer specialized products big brands can’t do. In the blog post, I talk about a situation that I had last year where a family friend was in a terrible accident and was recovering in the hospital, and I wanted to send some flowers but the hospital that she was in was over an hour away and I wasn’t sure if she could get flowers in the unit in the hospital that she was in, I didn’t know who delivered.

I called the hospital and they said, “Yes, she can receive flowers and here’s a florist that we recommend.” I went to their website and it was called Peachtree Petals and what was very cool was on their website they have a page dedicated to delivering to Atlanta hospitals. They tell you what kind of arrangements they do and they list all the hospitals that they deliver to so I knew that I was in the right place ordering from these people because this is what they specialize in.

This is something that 1-800-FLOWERS can’t do. They don’t know these hospitals. They don’t know their policies. They’re setting themselves apart by offering not only hospital flower delivery but even same-day service. If you place your order within, right now I’m recording this at 4:00. If I place this order within 45 minutes, I get same-day delivery to that hospital. There is no way a national competitor could do that. They’re offering something that the big brands just can’t do.

Here’s another business that offers something that big box retailers can’t do. It’s a local bakery about an hour from me called Mama Bakes Safe Cakes. Now that seems like an odd name unless you have someone in your family who suffers from food allergies and then you know exactly what they do. This is a bakery that specializes in allergen-free baked goods and that’s a really, really big deal for people who have life-threatening food allergies. If your child or if you have a family member who is allergic to nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, any of those things, most of those things are in any bakery, even like Publix.

Publix is a local grocery store chain here in the Southeast and they have the absolute best bakery ever but a child died recently after eating a cookie that Publix employees assured this mother had not been baked anywhere near a nut. This is a really, really big deal and it’s expensive to make goods like this because you have to use specialty ingredients but parents are willing to pay it because they can give their child something that they don’t ever have to worry about them having a reaction to.

You see that in the reviews that they have which are just incredible. There’s a review on here from a nursing mother who was excited because she is getting lactation cookies and she can eat things that don’t pass on allergens to her nursing baby who has all kinds of food allergies. Mama Bakes Safe Cakes is doing something that Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Target, none of those brands can compete with this. They cannot offer allergen-free baked goods and so this bakery is doing something really smart in offering something that you can’t find at a local big box store. Just cannot find it. That’s another way that you can win against big business is to offer a specialized product or service that they simply cannot do.

The third thing that you can do to win against big brands is to show the people behind your business and let them get to know your customers because after all, who’s the face of Home Depot? Well, nobody. There’s nobody that you think of as being the face of a big brand but small businesses get to show their staff, show the owners, and they get to know you.

The example that I share on this blog post is a local restaurant to my town called the Woodbridge Inn. This is a restaurant that’s been passed down from father to son. The son is Hans Rueffert who competed in the Food Network Star reality competition and has fought a fierce battle with cancer. He shares his story and has a post on here on Facebook about they always have gluten free options at their restaurants. What he says in this post is, “You better believe that the guy with no stomach is extremely sensitive to customers’ dietary special requests.”

Not only are they doing something that any chain restaurant is not going to be able to do but he’s sharing his story, and letting us know a little bit about him. He did something really awesome recently that also goes to show how you can create a connection as a small business with your customers. My husband and I were eating there for dinner one night, and he brought out his brand new five-month-old baby Heidi and walked to every table and introduced her and talked to us.

We talked about the food, we talked about family and we just connected over a great meal. Here is a Facebook post where he says, “Baby Heidi is ready for lunch. How about you?” He’s got a picture of Heidi and today’s blue plate special, and this is what small town America is all about, when you go to a local restaurant and they know your favorite dish and they serve it to you before you even have a chance to order.

That actually happened to me and my husband at this Mexican restaurant that we went to all the time. They knew what we wanted. We ordered the same thing all the time and so they just brought it over to us. That’s something that a big business simply cannot do.

Then lastly, and #4, you want to participate in local events. That shows support for your community and when you support your community, they’re going to support you. I’ve got examples from two of the small businesses that I talk about in this post. Peachtree Petals, on their Facebook page, shows a photo of their designers and the beautiful arrangements they created for the High Museum of Art’s event called “Art in Bloom.” It’s got a beautiful picture here of their staff. It gives them their names, and it shows them really out in the community.

Here on the Facebook page for Mama Bakes Safe Cakes is a thank you from a runner who was delighted to get an allergen-free cupcake after she finished a local road race. Again, that’s not something that a big business is going to do. If you’re a small business and you’re feeling squeezed by the big guys, don’t worry, you’ve got this. You can beat the big box competitors. You can download an infographic that I’ve got here on this post and I’ll have a link to it in the video, in the audio, on how you can beat big box competitors.

I’ve also got related resources here. We have an infographic called “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Local Business.” We have a webinar, a members-only webinar “Social Medial for Local Business” that talks even more about what local businesses can do that big brands simply can’t. There are a lot of things local businesses can do that big box retailers cannot do.

Then lastly is our Search Engine Optimization class. That’s what my client who’s a florist is really, really interested in in figuring out how she could combat these ads that the big box florist was doing to make them look local.

This is Maria Peagler with in “How Small Brands Can Beat Big Box Competitors,” the audio and video version.

The original blog post & infographic appear here.

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