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Small Business can Beat Wal-Mart

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Small Business can Beat Wal-Mart

John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing had an excellent post yesterday about how to beat Wal-Mart. While I don't believe it is easy for any small business to defeat the largest company in the world it is certainly not impossible. As Jantsch points out, you don't try to compete with Wal-Mart on price, you probably won't win there. But you can definitely compete with them on service.

While any large business has some advantages over a small business, small business has just as many advantages of their own. For instance, I might read about a new marketing idea in the morning here; I talk it over with my partner and then I implement it in the afternoon. Try doing that at Wal-Mart. In small business we are also a lot closer to our customers, we are talking to them everyday. At Wal-Mart or any large company, the people making the decisions are several layers of management removed from day to day contact with their customers.

Customer service can be a huge advantage for small business. How many times have we experienced the run around when calling in to a large company. I called my local credit card merchant provider the other day (a very large company) with a problem and was transferred to a different person FIVE TIMES. I think that is my new record. While being a small business doesn't guarantee good customer service obviously, it does make it a lot easier to implement. Being able to listen and react quickly to customer problems is much easier in a small organization.

There are always going to be some people who are looking for the lowest price regardless of any other factor. I say let these people shop at Wal-Mart. We can look after the people who want a higher level of service and personal attention, people who appreciate the added value they receive from a small business.