I often meet small business operators who say that they can't do the type of marketing that big corporations do because they don't have anywhere near the same large budgets. I say why not? I call this small business syndrome, I hear it all the time and I find that it really limits many businesses.
Big business spends a lot of money on advertising and marketing. Large corporations have to invest millions of dollars on market research and high profile advertising on television, radio, in newspapers and of course online, just to maintain their share of the market. Competition is always strong and at the end of the day, the companies with the best marketing, backed up with good products and good service, tend to be the most successful.
How different is this for a small business? I believe that there is really no difference except for the number of zeros attached to the size of the budget. If an advertising or marketing idea works for a large company, why can't you, the small business operator, adopt and adapt the same idea?
A prime example of this is the customer loyalty program used by many large corporations. The most well known loyalty programs are the frequent flyer campaigns offered by virtually every airline around the world. The basic principle of this system is that the more you fly with one particular company (and its associated partner airlines) the more free flights and other bonuses you will receive.
Why can't this principle be used by any small business? Reward your customers for being loyal. By doing this you are acknowledging that your customers have a choice and they have chosen you.
Forget about the 'small business syndrome' and use the ideas that big corporations have proven to work. I'm always reviewing corporate marketing to look for ways to promote small business clients of mine. There are so many great ideas that only need a little work, some creativity and an open mind, that will allow them to be incorporated into a particular small business.
Believing you are limited in what you do in your business because it is small is simply a limiting belief that is not true. Overcome this belief and you will be surprised at what you can actually make happen.