In small business, the enemy is always big business. Ask anyone who had a small business “until Walmart came to town.” Now, fortunately, my small business can compete with Walmart because they simply don’t offer Web building and small business branding expertise, but there are others that make me a little worried.
On television, there are many companies offering free Website design and only a monthly fee afterward. The problem is that these companies lack consulting for small business. They aren’t going to interview you about your brand and your goals. I will. They aren’t going to care whether your SEO is up or down. I do. They won’t monitor your traffic to ensure online growth. That’s the name of my game. They also don’t tell you that in the end, you’ll probably be spending what you will pay the local small business that will care about you and your bottom line.
What’s great about my business is that I really like working with the little guys. I don’t want to go corporate. I have ZERO interest in working with Wal-Mart or giant hospital organizations. I don’t like red tape. I’ve worked with red tape before, and I really would rather handle business on a small level. I work with global organizations; however, they’re still very small business.
There is one strategy that small businesses forget to employ – each other. Competitors, too. What? Help others? Risk my clients. Heck, yeah. It works.
I partner with a local design company. While I’m not the best at some things, I’m really good at others. And I found my business match made in Heaven. My business buddy does a lot of my logos and design work for me – and he lives about 10 miles from me. I don’t hire overseas; I don’t go online and see who will do it cheaper. If I’m not quite happy with what he does (which doesn’t happen often), we go have coffee and work it out. We partnered to offer a promotion to a local organization as well. Tony Trinh has a great eye for design, and we’re bouncing ideas off of each other to give our clients a great service.
I work with a couple of small businesses, and in my industry, I can easily refer small businesses to other small businesses. I’m a mini Chamber of Commerce without the membership fee. The t-shirt companies I work with have designed several products for the bull riding association I support. My construction guys have consulted with each other for specialty items. And that makes me feel great! By the way, Tony Trinh also is working with one of my t-shirt design companies, R & R Printing in Kentwood, Louisiana.
I also suggest joining your local Chamber of Commerce. These guys are great. They support your growth and work to develop networking opportunities where you can meet your enemies face-to-face to devise a plan to take on big business and survive.
The World is your Wide Web! Enjoy!