Contractor Marketing for Small Businesses: David Versus Goliath Chris Lonergan September 6, 2018 Share: Your marketing plan doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) all about copying your competition. We've talked before about how stealing website design from your competitors doesn't work – but our concerns go far beyond the colors and design elements of your website. Local family owned businesses and mom-and-pop shops have one common enemy – the franchise / big chain service provider. It can feel like David versus Goliath out there; but in the end, the nimble small business can outperform the big chains if they play their cards right. Don't Outspend – Outperform the Competition When you're staring down yet another billboard and are constantly being exposed to expensive paid ads run by a big competitor, it can be difficult to not feel like their presence is overwhelming. The reason why large franchise operations and big businesses have to advertise more is because they don't really have boots-on-the-ground in your service area. Paying for visibility is a much faster (though much more expensive) method to generate conversation and instill trust in the buying public. According to Gallup research on American business confidence, people overall would trust small businesses than large businesses. So don't worry about outspending your deep pocket competition. Continue to move forward and hold your ground with the top notch service you already provide. If this is a race to earn the respect of your potential customer – chances are you have a pretty good head start. Talk Up Your Strengths & Defend Your Small Business One of the reasons that people love small business is because of people like the ideals of a running a small business. Small businesses can often provide more personalized customer service – and people in general like the idea of working with a family run business. That's because small business MUST be good at what they do to earn the trust and business of others. Separate yourself from the big dogs by acknowledging that you're not the big dogs. Instead, you are the local solution that's invested in the families and businesses within the community – not just another familiar logo. Talk up your small business strengths in any of your marketing materials. – whether you are family owned-and-operated / veteran run / 3rd generation business / what have you. Connect With Your Customers & Build Your Reputation The connection with your customers and community starts with every interaction with the public. Taking the time to actually speak with a customer instead of running the next job or even simply holding the door for a stranger when you stop off for lunch when in uniform says a lot about the people who make up the company. This develops the roots of your reputation – but you should also still work to develop your online presence by asking your customers to show their appreciation with a review to help show the world how they feel about supporting your small business. In the end, big box businesses use cash to gain the trust of potential customers. A smaller businesses uses the investment of time to develop well-skilled staff, strong communication skills, and a stellar reputation. Be the company that you'd pay to do business with. About Chris Lonergan Chris Lonergan is the President of Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations. Recent Articles The Importance of Reputation Management for Contractor Businesses What Makes Your Business Unique - Discovering & Defining Your USP 7 Proven & Effective Ways to Improve Online Presence for Your Contractor Business 5 Tips for Positive Brand Building for Contractors Successful Ways to Earn Repeat and Referral Business Is Your Contractor Marketing Plan Up-to-Date?