10 strengths local businesses can lean into

Editorial Team

5 min read
woman in salon chair looking at phone

Competing with big box stores and national corporations is a daunting task. So, in honor of small business week, we’d like to celebrate the many advantages small businesses like yours have over large businesses and offer some tips to help you compete with your bigger rivals.

Share:

Remember your strengths 

Adaptability

Change is constant in today’s world. From new technologies to global events that impact economies and supply-chains, there’s always something new to deal with. For small businesses, adaptability is one of your most valuable tools to succeed in the modern world. Small businesses may not have the resources of a national corporation, but smaller staff sizes and fewer locations to coordinate can make it simpler to implement changes quickly.

Customization

Your business is an important part of the local community, and that means you can (and should) customize your business to people and events within that community. Unlike national corporations, small businesses don’t need approval from multiple levels of management to run promotions based on neighborhood events or to stock locally themed goods. That gives small businesses the ability to respond quickly to and customize offerings for the changing needs of their communities.

Expertise and Curation 

Most importantly, small businesses often offer a level of expertise and specialization that’s nearly impossible to find at a big box store. And, smaller retailers can choose their products with their community and customers’ needs in mind. What’s more, customers seem to prefer doing business with small, local businesses. A What Customers Want survey found that 91% of respondents prefered small businesses when convenient, and 74% actively searched for opportunities to support them even when it wasn’t convenient. 

10 ways small businesses can compete with big brands

1. Engage customers like a pro

You don’t need a giant marketing team to attract and retain customers. Clover can help you build a base of loyal customers through a robust suite of customer engagement resources. You can keep track of customers, use targeted promotions, offer rewards to repeat customers, and see in real time which promos are most successful.

2. Offer online shopping and orders

Make sure your customers can always access your product. Clover offers e-commerce solutions for retailers and services alike. For example, restaurants can use BentoBox to create a website that’s designed especially for a restaurant’s needs.

3. Accept popular payment types – and go contactless

No more losing a sale because a customer forgot cash or only uses a credit card you don’t accept. With Clover payments, you can offer contactless or “tap-and-go” payment options that  make checking out quicker, easier, and more secure for you and your customer. 

4. Offer gift cards

A gift card program is an easy way to retain existing customers, boost your sales, and get new customers to try your products. Check out 4 advantages of gift cards. Clover can help you set up a gift card program that offers physical and digital gift cards. 

5. Get access to more capital

Don’t let a tight budget keep you from growing your business or competing with the big ones. Clover Capital offers merchants a cash advance that’s repaid through a percentage of credit card sales. And Clover Rapid Deposit lets you have access to your cash instantly instead of waiting for it to be processed. These resources can help you stay on track and on time with bills, payroll, and orders. 

6. Know your business performance

Understanding what’s working for your business, and what isn’t, is critical to smart decision making and long-term success. Clover’s analytic tools empower you to easily identify your best-selling products, busiest times, and more. 

7. Streamline inventory management

Keeping tabs on your inventory and staying well stocked is crucial to keep your small business competitive. The Clover inventory app helps you stay on top of your inventory and even automatically updates your website or online ordering should an item or ingredient run out. 

8. Simplify invoicing

Time is money, as they say. And you can save time by streamlining and digitizing your invoices. Clover’s Virtual Terminal can help you digitize your invoicing process, giving you a better view of pending payments. You can send invoices via email, and customers can pay securely online using a credit or debit card. Digital records can be easier to track and organize than paper, to boot.

9. Automate accounting–especially taxes

Accounting can take up lots of time in the life of a small business owner. Finding ways to streamline or automate accounting tasks, like managing sales tax, can help you avoid mistakes and free up time to do more of what you’re most passionate about. DAVO Sales Tax, for example, automatically sets aside your sales tax each day and automatically pays it on time. What’s more, Clover devices easily sync with QuickBooks. That means, you don’t have to waste time entering or transferring financial data.

10. Digitize human resource management

Managing schedules, payroll, and new hire onboarding are vital to running your business and keeping employees happy. Resources like Homebase or Paychex can save you major headaches by automating these tasks. Your employees will love how easy it is to view their pay stubs and submit time-off requests, and you’ll love the automated payroll tax management and payments.


At Clover, we know how crucial small businesses are to our economy and offer just about everything they need to run smarter, faster, and easier–simply, to compete. If you don’t have a POS, find your system today.