Unlike major corporations or large companies, small businesses don't typically open up their offices somewhere for the best tax outcomes, to access the most robust network of investors, or to be near their competitors.
Small businesses open up their offices in communities they know well and want to serve.
This is often their hometown, where they went to school, or where they now call home.
We previously wrote about how small businesses have an edge over bigger companies because they can offer incredibly personal interactions to every individual customer or prospect.
Today we'll talk more about the advantages small businesses have when it comes to being in a community that they actually know and love (and how you should leverage them!).
Small businesses have localized specialties. Superpower: offer only what you know your community needs.
One of the most significant advantages that small businesses have is their ability to specialize in serving the unique needs of their local community.
Whether it's a cozy coffee shop that knows the secret to the perfect latte with a dash of a locally beloved spice, or a boutique store that curates handmade goods from community artisans, small businesses have the inside track on what their community craves. Their niche focus allows them to offer personalized, high-quality products and services that large corporations often struggle to provide.
Think of your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Chances are, it's a small, family-owned establishment that has been serving the same incredible dishes for years. These businesses have honed their craft to perfection and have a deep understanding of their customers' preferences. This kind of specialized knowledge is something large corporations can rarely replicate -- their assumption is often that everyone wants the global experience (which can be true, but isn't always the case!). Small businesses have the unique ability to develop strong, lasting relationships with their community by offering exactly what their customers want.
The flip side is: you don't have to waste time, money, or effort on things that you know your neighbors don't need or want. Big companies spend millions of dollars on market research and still get it wrong when they open up a regional office somewhere. Your market research is already in your head!
Small businesses have small teams. Superpower: adapt quickly to local updates or changes.
Small businesses, by nature, have lean and nimble teams.
This means they can adapt quickly to local updates or news. In today's fast-paced world, being able to pivot and respond to changing circumstances is a tremendous advantage. Unlike large corporations, where decisions often go through layers of bureaucracy and rely on global trends, small businesses can make changes on the fly.
Imagine your local clothing boutique. They can swiftly adjust their inventory based on what's trendy in your area, or sudden shifts in demand. This agility is a game-changer in the retail industry, where timeliness and staying in vogue can make all the difference.
Small businesses can respond to customer feedback, implement new policies, or even change their entire business model with relative ease. This flexibility allows them to remain competitive and relevant in their local market, no matter what challenges come their way.
Small businesses have local employees. Superpower: built-in network of nearby customers and prospects.
Small businesses often rely on local talent, hiring employees from the very communities they serve. This not only creates a strong sense of community and camaraderie within the workplace but also leads to a built-in network of nearby customers and prospects.
Local employees are also often personally invested in the success of the business, making them passionate advocates for their products or services.
Additionally, these employees have their own local connections, which can help a small business expand its reach. Word-of-mouth referrals and personal connections can be incredibly powerful in driving business growth.
Small businesses foster these connections naturally, whereas large corporations often struggle to establish such personal relationships with their employees and customers.
On top of that, many community banks and non-profit organizations are eager to work with local small businesses. Small business loans and grants are often more available to businesses who choose to stay local -- Less Annoying CRM got our start when we won an Arch Grant, a grant from a local non-profit that supports small businesses in St. Louis!
Small businesses don't have big PR or brand teams. Superpower: easily show your own personality.
One of the most charming aspects of small businesses is the ability to showcase the personality of the owner or team. Without big PR or brand teams dictating the brand image, small businesses can be authentic and unique in their interactions with customers. They can convey a sense of authenticity that resonates with the local community.
For example, I bet the the warmth and friendliness of the owners and staff at your local bakery isn't the same as the Starbucks down the street.
Small businesses have a face and a heart, and customers often form emotional connections with them. This personal touch makes customers feel valued and appreciated, fostering loyalty that large companies struggle to achieve.
Small businesses thrive when they capitalize on their built-in advantages.
As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to offer locally-tailored products and services, adapt quickly to changing circumstances, leverage local talent and connections, and display a unique personality that endears you to your community.
So don't forget the advantages you have simply by being in a community that you already know. In your marketing materials, your ads, your social media posts, highlight your personality and ties to your community. Big companies cannot compete on authenticity, and that's your opening.