“My Mom is always coming to me with the ads she’s taken out of magazines or sending me YouTube videos of television commercials, saying, “You should do this for the bakery!” Claudine sighed. “What she doesn’t understand is that I just don’t have the budget that Dunkin Donuts has. I can’t spend the same kind of money McDonald’s does on billboards and print advertising. Would I like to have these things? Of course I would. But can I afford them? No way!”
One of the biggest challenges for the Westchester County small business owner is that your competition consists, entirely or in part, of national brands that have many competitive advantages. It’s hard to establish yourself as the place to have coffee in the morning, for example, when Dunkin Donuts already has the dominant position in the marketplace.
However, success is scalable. The tips and techniques that have helped national brands achieve their prominence can be sized down to fit your enterprise – and your budget. When used successfully, you can grow your brand using the same tools national brands used to become the huge companies they are today.
Always Keep Your Eyes Open For Examples and Inspiration
As a Westchester small business owner, you always want to keep your eyes open. You never know when you’re going to encounter the idea that will change your business. Larger brands often have the ability and resources to try out strategies, while smaller companies just don’t have the budget for experimentation. Take advantage of the situation by watching the decisions larger brands make, and seeing how well they play out.
For example, JC Penney recently went through a very-well documented decision to do away with all sales and promotions in favor of a ‘fair pricing’ strategy. It was an unmitigated disaster: sales numbers dropped faster than a brick out of a hot air balloon. It was soon clear that JC Penney’s shoppers were very attached to coupons and discount pricing. When big brands make mistakes, you can learn from their example and avoid those perils yourself!
You can learn from the big brand’s mistakes. You can also learn from their successes. Identifying what a particular national brand does well can help you pinpoint strategies you can adopt in your own Westchester small business. Watching how Coach successfully retails high end handbags with a minimalistic store design, carefully lighting each bag to look like a piece of art, led one shoe store owner to create a comparable display of her most expensive shoes in one corner of her store. The result: sales of those particular shoes went up exponentially!
Knowledge Levels The Playing Field
The tools and techniques that larger companies have used successfully can be very helpful to you as you grow your Westchester County Small Business. Attend our weekly workshops or set up an appointment with our experienced small business mentors to fortify your foundation for business success.