It has often been said that small businesses are what make America great. This, to a great extent, is true mainly because the ability to own and operate one’s own business can yield the potential for huge profits. Of course, a small business is exactly that – small. But, if a solid and intelligent marketing plan is set in place, then the potential for growth is limitless. Yes, there also needs to be a product or service the public wants and that much is a given. However, there also needs to be a solid marketing plan set in place in order to make the public clearly away of the product.
There are, however, certain impediments that can exist when it comes to effectively devising a solid entrepreneurial business strategy that is designed to take a small business and move it up to the next level. That impediment is often a large business. In Peter’s Hoy’s article “New Program Rewards Customers for Shopping at Small Retailers,” the author shows that it is most definitely possible for a small business (in this case, a small business that operates within the retail business) has the ability to stave off competition from the monolith of larger businesses.
Of course, conventional wisdom would assume that it is impossible to “defeat” the encroachment of a major, multibillion dollar corporation into the sphere of business of a smaller company. (Wal-Mart, for example, built its business product dumping so as to annihilate smaller companies) Keep in mind here the operative word is difficult and not impossible. Small Business Marketing to Defeat Big Business Encroachment Page 2 Hoy’s article covers the marketing strategy that was devised by the philanthropic group the Interra Project and it involves a rewards card.
Now, this rewards card is identical to the type of rewards card that every other type of rewards card works. That is, the card will track the amount of purchases that a person makes and then provides discounts based on the purchasing that has been made. Hence, the customer is being rewarded for purchasing from the local store. Now, what is it that makes the rewards card program offered by the Interra Project? It is a localized rewards program.
That is to say, it is a rewards card that tracks purchases within a localized region among specific businesses within the localized region. In order to be a participating business of the Interra Project, the business must be a small local business and not a major corporation. What does this accomplish? It contributes to expanding the business revenue of local businesses so as to circumvent the losses they may be feeling as the result of being unable to compete in the marketplace with larger companies.
This way, a “mom and pop” pharmacy participating with the rewards program is taking part in a rewards program that will help with drawing public attention towards the cost saving that can be acquired by shopping at the local store. Now, some may look at this and say, this isn’t the marketing of capitalism. It is the marketing of socialism! (Or, more accurately, collectivism) Well, that is not correct for a number of reasons. Small Business Marketing to Defeat Big Business Encroachment Page 3
This is not an exercise in socialism or anti-business sentiment. This is not a government program or an attempt to defeat big business. As the article shows, this is a philanthropic group (capitalism) providing aid to local businesses so that the local business will feel the results of increases revenue (more capitalism) so as to be able to expand their business (even more capitalism) as opposed to cutting back and going out of business. Per Hoy’s article, the clearest definition of this program is as follows: [The program is] a consumer-aggregation [system designed to aid local] small- businesses and the local economy… Interra estimates that 45% of every dollar spent locally [will ultimately be re-spent within the local] community, compared to only 13% of money that will be spent at national big-box retailers. So, what does this ultimately say about entrepreneurs? To a great extent, it blows away the myth that entrepreneurs are a product of a “lone wolf” mentality.
In other words, a collective of entrepreneurs can band together to greatly expand their potential by joining in a collective marketing strategy. While the rewards program is a small marketing program, it can also be an effective one. And, if a collective marketing plan can work for small business entrepreneurs then it is possible for these small businesses to help each other grown into large businesses provided they are able to maintain their mutually beneficial marketing strategy.