Thursday, March 04, 2010

Changing Public Perception

Alva's MarketImage by bjmccray via Flickr

If you are going to be successful in the long run in your business you are going to need to change public perception.

Now what public perception am I talking about?

The perception that the small business is inferior to large businesses. People have the misperception that small businesses have high priced, are run down and are an indication that the place you are located is going down hill.

Now in some cases this perception has been earned. There is plenty of examples of small businesses that have let their place run down and not took care of things. But then again I know of a major grocery store chain that sold several of their stores recently most of which are less than 5 years old and the new owners that are local are spending thousands of dollars in repairs for non-existent maintenance.

It is ironic that many people complain every day about the lack of service and poor quality at some of the major chains but continue to purchase the same products for those stores because they are "cheaper".

So how do you change this perception?

First of all this is not a perception that is going to change overnight. It has taken years for the perception to become ingrained in peoples minds so don't expect it to change tomorrow.

Second you need the power of word of mouth. If people experience that your business is clean, has friendly employees, and is taken care your customers will tell their friends about you.

Third, if your area has a locally owned business organization such as Local First Utah that is a group of small businesses working together to promote locally owned business you need to join. If your area does not have this type of organization think about creating one.

Not only will the organization is a way to market your business, but it is also an excellent opportunity to network with other small business owners to learn from their successes and mistakes.

You need to change the perception about small businesses.

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