Webstory By Tim Shaw March 2006

Smart small business beat the big guys

As promised last month I told you I would name names.

Can smart small business beat the big guys for your dollar. The answer is only if you let them. Many of us rely on big guy marketing to set the trends and the prices on what you as consumers consume. If there is constant advertising for widgets, then widgets become the flavour of the month. Especially in January/February each year with big ‘back to school’ offers and 20% off everything storewide sales.

I walked into a big guy store to buy some printer peripherals and whilst I was there, spied an offer on a computer that I thought I could use. It was well packaged and attractively priced. I spoke to a great sales person who said there was only one left, and that a delivery was due that afternoon for more. I took a spec sheet home with me and as I was driving home thought; “I am glad I did not buy it then. I am keen to talk to my last vendor, a smart local small business called Newport Computers..

I went and saw Helen @ Newport Computers and gave her a copy of the spec and said to her; “After the last sale you made to me, I was really happy with your service. If you can have a look at this spec and tell me if you can compete. She appreciated the opportunity and told me she would get back to me the next day.

The next day there was a typed well written quotation on the computer she had available, it actually exceeded the spec of the other computer but could compete on price and she had a great local support person available to install (at an extra charge). I bought the computer from Helen.

Instead of cash and carry, and hours of fiddling to set it up, I had all the boxes delivered, unpacked and the computer installed (and the printer programmed as well – which I had sourced from another vendor). I had expert support on the install day and Steve the computer guru also copied my data from my other pc and loaded it onto my new pc. That is service, and all for the same price (plus install) that the big guy was charging.

The point here is, if you have the skill to do it all, then shop on price alone. But when you need expert advice and onsite service assistance as well, you will probably find your smart local business can do it all for you and still be competitive. Well done Helen & Steve. If you have an experience of your own to share, email me timshaw@bigpond.com Happy selling.

Tim Shaw appears as a sales expert on My Business TV - Channel 7 season starting April 2006 and on Channel 9’s Mornings with Kerrie-Ann. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. For more information or to contact Tim visit www.timshaw.com.au

Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved Tim Shaw.