In this day and age, there are larger companies swallowing up smaller companies left and right. Wal-Mart builds a store, and the small businesses flee to higher ground, to take cover from the econo-box onslaught of lower prices. And in this day and age, with the cost of goods-- all goods, at a premium, you can't blame the average consumer or business owner for watching their expenses. So how is a small business owner to compete against the big boys?
There are lots of ways. Here's Make It Loud's list...
Provide a kind of service that others cannot provide. Your service does not even have to be unique, because people don't normally mind spending the extra dollar if they can get an education or good service at the same time. Let me give you an example. I would rather drive the extra mile to go to a hardware store where someone can help me to find the product I need, and tell me how to use it. I can certainly go into Home Depot or Lowes to buy it cheaper-- a little-- BUT, what good is a nail if you don't know how to use it? That's where the little guy comes in. Most Home Depot associates are reasonably unhelpful when it comes to installation, or knowing about the product. They're quite good at telling you what aisle the product resides on, but beyond that-- negative. For the record, the writer of this blog post things that the big box store that will win the contest is the one where EVERYTHING is in the same place in EACH store. That means that if I walked into a Wal-Mart in Idaho, or one in France, I'd find everything in the same place. Think of the expense it would save each store in the manpower required to answer this simple question, "Where can I find... (insert your widget or discount store item here)." At least Wal Mart stores have a few designs you can easily memorize to find the items you need. Lowes and Home Depot? Forget it.
Proivide as much relationship as you do a product or a service. One of the great things about life is that you always want your friends to "win," and they want you to win too. If you offer good relationship to your clients (as well as a good product or service) and build a friendship with them even if it's built around business, they'll recommend you to others. Why? Because they want their friends to win.
Have a Great Web Presence. I call a website the great equalizer. Most every business on the web can afford a good website. Small or large, medium or other, a good web presence is affordable, available to all, and easy to have created for your company. It is the yellow page book of our day, allowing people to window-shop from afar, as they peer into the electronic window that is your website. Can most small business owners afford the hundreds of thousands of pages that Wal-Mart or Home Depot has? No. Do you need a site of that magnitude to do business effectively? Also, a resounding no. You can be just as effective in your environment as anyone else can be on the web. The great thing about a website is that it fits into the screen of your monitor one page at a time, and your business, big or small, can occupy that same page on that same monitor screen. Many people would rather do business with a small business too, which might even give you a leg up. If by some stretch of the imagination you don't have a website by now... get on board-- your business' survival likely depends on it. Not only that, but search engine optimization services are also affordable for small business owners, giving them opportunities in niche environments and in local marketing geographic areas. Many small business owners ignore such SEO possibilities because they think they're too expensive. This is absolutely not true-- in fact, most small business owners, when they investigate and run the actual numbers, find that they can significantly improve their bottom line by optimizing their website, and make great money at it. Even with the recent changes in Google, if your optimization is done well, you weather those storms on the 'net without much difficulty.
Pray. Yah, we've found that it actually works, and what have you got to lose??? Little known story-- Make It Loud's owner lived in the downtown area of a very small town. In came Wal Mart, Lowes, and a nice mall. Everyone was scared. A few businesses closed on Main Street. 10 years later? Main Street was flourishing and the mall was empty. It can happen.
If you need a consultation about SEO or Web Design, by all means our company, Make It Loud, can at the very least help you to discover if SEO or a good website fits into your budget. It doesn't cost anything to find out-- and we'd be honored to serve you, face to face-- when geographically possible. Feel free to conact us by email at: email@example.com, visit our website at: www.makeitloud.net, or call us at: 678.325.4007. Even if you're not local to Gwinnett or Atlanta, we'd be happy to do an assessment by Skype or phone.
Here are a couple of tips when selecting Domain Names:
Keep them as short, yet as memorable as possible. You want to have a domain name people see and can remember well, so that when they get home, they can type it in and find you easily. The shorter, generally, the easier it is to remember.
Steer clear of using hyphens and non-alpha characters in your domain name. People don't generally remember where the hyphen or characters go. Using alpha characters and spelling out words is always best for recognition!
If at all possible, find a domain name that is available with a .com, or .net extension. .Org is also appropriate, however it often is used for non-profit organizations like churches and other 501-C3 Groups. .Com and .Net are the most commonly used extensions, and are the most easily remembered.
Consider purchasing both the .com and .net extensions. Domain names are so inexpensive, that their cost is usually insignificant in light of the traffic that is directed to your site by having both. If someone can't remember whether your site is .com or .net, they can type in either and still find you. It also keeps a competitor who has the same business name in another state from securing it and getting your web business. Recent research shows that domain names effect searh engine results. Choose wisely!
Consider purchasing your domain names for 2 or more years. Again, for reasons of search engine rankings, purchase your domain names for more than a year. Search engines now look at length of time a domain name is purchased for. The assume the longer the name is purchased for, the longer the website will be around-- thus, the higher the search engine ranking.
Digital Marketing for the Metro Atlanta and beyond! Make It Loud inc. will assist you with all of your ecommerce and web design needs.
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