What small business CAN do is differentiate:
- Better service. Who gets great service at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy or any other big box store? Small businesses can differentiate by providing exceptional customer service. By doing this, prices can be kept high and possibly even be raised. Better service will also drive customer loyalty and referred business.
- Unique products. Wal-Mart and other big box stores only cary mainstream products. Local stores can differentiate by providing products that will never be available at the big box stores.
- Focus. Wal-Mart excels at providing something for everyone. What they don't excel at is deep focus in single product categories. Small businesses should look to find a specific niche and become experts at servicing that niche. In this case, less is more - a very different strategy than Wal-Mart's "more is more" strategy.