I was thinking today about the uphill battle that many small business owners face. They're fighting for business against larger, better funded competitors. How can you win?
In war, you can amass the biggest army and throw your soldiers at the enemy. The bigger the enemy is, the more soldiers you'll need - but hey, it works. Mostly.
In business, if you want to solve a problem, you can throw money at it. The bigger the problem, the more money you'll need to throw - but hey, it works. Mostly.
Big companies tend to throw money at problems, just like big guys are more likely to muscle their way through conflict. Little guys prefer to talk their way out of conflicts, like little companies attack their competitors with smart and efficient marketing.
When I say "marketing" I'm not talking about advertising and spending money on billboards. I'm talking about having a conversation with your customers; about making deals with like minded companies; about letting your customers spread the word for you; about making your product that much better than anyone elses; about making your service shine and delight.
History shows us that the biggest armies can fall to superior strategy and tactics; think Henry V and the battle of Agincourt. History also shows us that diplomacy and negotiation can achieve better outcomes than any war, and hence the saying that "the pen is mightier than the sword."
Well, I say Marketing is mightier than Money.
Right now, times are tough. And I've heard many business owners wish that they had more funding, or the resources of their larger competitors, so that they could weather the storm more comfortably.
That's fair. But the true winners out of this are going to be the smart, little companies who figure out that this a storm that they can talk themselves out of.
In this climate, smart marketing is a thousand times better than deep pockets.