Over the last couple of decades, independently owned businesses have had one rallying cry with the inundation of big box stores, chain brands and online e-commerce giants.
Shop local! Dine Local! Support Local Business!
The tables have turned, and they are in your favor.
Everyone is complaining about global supply chains being backed up causing product shortages, price hikes and shipping delays. Even though consumers will likely start their holiday shopping a few weeks earlier this year to compensate – there likely won’t be enough of the “stuff” that people usually buy to celebrate the holidays.
This means you can leverage your local stature to beat the big boys. Societal shifts have made people look at their lives differently and realise different priorities. They might regress back to their old ways eventually, but for now, they are focusing on things closer to home so the ball is in your court.
If you have a way to sell an experience, a food tasting, cooking class, basic car knowledge workshop or how to change a tire (I can tell you, I wish I had had that opportunity before I started driving my rickety 1973 Datsun 510 around town) – that is what people are looking for. As I consider holiday giving this year, I am thinking of things people can “do” instead of “get”.
You can easily sell the benefits of dealing with you, a local business, over a larger corporate entity. If you sell or use local products or suppliers, then feature them and who makes or creates them. Experiences that rely on local people and products will keep response rates high and customer anxieties low. It’s not hard to garner the support of a community if you make it clear how your business enhances their little corner of the world.
As an Independent Auto Repair Shop you can provide better service and value when it comes to parts and labor, especially on older cars. Your customers also get the ability to speak directly with you, the shop owner or the mechanic working on their car. And, as your relationship progresses, you become more familiar with your customer’s specific vehicles and needs each time they bring it in.
As an Independent Restaurant Owner – you are more likely to be sourcing local products, have a deeper connection with your community and hire local employees who become part of your family, not just a number on a timecard.
Focus on your competitive advantages. Because you are locally owned and operated, this has become more important now than ever before. Your customers can rely on your uniqueness – there are many ways you are better than those larger brands – and one key way is that you can have a much closer relationship with customers.
If you need a marketing solution that focuses on engagement and building that relationship, instead of simply rewarding points, then book a call with us to discuss how we can help you grow sales and build a solid customer list that can be used to increase visits and spending.