Small Business Marketing
Small Business Marketing – Piranha Marketing Strategies. I don’t know how much you know about tropical fish. But a fish expert once told me that the piranha is unique in the fish world – and for two very interesting reasons. Firstly, while most fish eat only smaller fish, the piranha prefers to eat bigger fish – and large mammals. Secondly, it is the only fish that goes hunting in packs, and uses carefully co-ordinated strategies to lure, catch and devour its prey.
So what has this got to do with your small business marketing strategy? Quite a lot actually. If you’re running, or hoping to start, a small business in a competitive world, you can learn from the piranha fish and use very similar tactics to compete with and even outdo your much bigger competitors.
Get aggressive and proactive — like a piranha
Piranha marketing is all about being aggressive and proactive in your marketing. It’s about going out and taking on your market, not sitting back and reacting to what happens – and about fighting your way to the top no matter how small you are. Best of all. it’s completely legal and ethical. Here’s how to use piranha small business marketing for yourself:
Use Mirror Marketing. Monitor your biggest competitor’s advertisements, press ads, radio ads or direct mail – and run similar ads and offers. Simply reword them carefully to avoid infringing copyright and push them out in the same places at the same times. The law of averages dictates that you should get at least 50% of all the customers in that market. But here’s the really clever thing: 50% of all the market isn’t much to a giant multinational – in fact they‘ll probably be disappointed with the results of their ads. But, as a small business, 50% is a giant, lucrative, profitable market share to you!
Hunt In A Pack! Piranhas hunt in packs of 20 – to take on animals a thousand times their size. So, club together with similar or complementary businesses locally and run much larger and more lavish advertising than your bigger competitors.
Let’s say that you run a small local store. You can’t hope to take on a supermarket by yourself. So club together with three or four corner stores in other areas and run an ad that’s the same size as your local supermarket’s ads. As other corner stores see how successful you’ve been they’ll want to join in so that, eventually, you’ll be able to run bigger and better ads than the supermarket! And you can do much the same thing with any other type of business.
Use A Loss Leader… To Lead Your Competitor To A Loss! Find out what your competitors’ best selling products are. They’ll be the products they advertise and stock most widely, so look at their ads, ask for their brochure, or take a look round their store. It’s likely that they rely on these products for most of their turnover. Now, set up a loss leader. Start marketing the same products for what they cost you – or even slightly less – and watch your competitors’ customers desert them!
Don’t lose money… compensate for your loss leader
To ensure that you don’t lose money yourself mark up your other products – the extra customers and extra profits will more than compensate for your loss leader. And, change your loss leaders from time to time, to make it harder for your competitors to guess your strategy.
Go For Their Achilles Heal.
Piranhas literally do just that… by savagely attacking just one foot of an animal who strays into the river they know it’s much more likely it will tumble into the water. So, buy from your competitors’ businesses yourself. Find out what their weak spot is. For example, maybe they have poor product knowledge, poor window displays, poor brochures, poor marketing, unhelpful staff or they’re slow to deliver (or don’t deliver at all). If you notice these weaknesses, you can be sure that their customers will be infuriated by them! Now, really improve your service in those areas. By using this strategy in conjunction with the others, customers will move and stay with you and, best of all, your competitors won’t know how to get them back.
Snatch Their Customers… From Right Under Their Noses! Stand outside your competitors’ shops. Doorstep customers entering or leaving. Introduce yourself and give them a leaflet – or better still a voucher for a special discount. Or wait outside their factory or office. Take names and telephone numbers from their customer’s trucks and vans. Call them up later, and offer them a special deal if they’ll switch their custom to you. As long as you stay on the public street and don’t cause an obstruction this is all perfectly legal. Most large companies don’t have the ingenuity to do this, or couldn’t sanction it as a legitimate marketing method – so it’s unlikely the same methods will be used against you!
Sabotage Their Ads. If you’re a small business struggling to succeed in difficult times, then it’s perfectly acceptable to use some legal tricks – in fact you can even use the law to help you! Go over your competitors’ ads with a fine-tooth comb. Check every fact, claim and statement and make sure it is not only true, but can be proved to be true. If you find any discrepancies – or even anything you’re doubtful about – report it to your local Trading Standards Service. They can order the ad to be changed, or even dropped. Ensure this tactic can’t be diverted back onto you make sure your own ads are squeaky-clean first.
Warning… piranha marketing can be dangerous! Use it with extreme care. Piranhas have one weakness: They attack so savagely that they sometimes eat each other by mistake. And there’s a direct parallel in business too. Don’t try to outdo your competitors by slashing all your prices and starting a price war. Your competitors are likely to follow suit, with the result that no one wins. Instead, by using some or all or these much more ingenious piranha small business marketing strategies, you can watch your competitors fail as your business grows rich!
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