Economists say that it’s too early to fully determine the impact larger companies have on small businesses. Some research proves that big tech companies provide advantages and disadvantages for smaller dealerships.
It was only a handful of years ago when we were in the depth of the recession. At that point in time, it seemed as if local car dealerships were living on borrowed time. We saw franchises closing by the hundreds as buyers started to stay away from ‘outmoded’ showrooms.
With the economy recovering bit by bit, auto sales have started to boom again while the auto sales atmosphere is changing. Industry experts say that there is a profound shift in the auto sales business model. Dealerships are now gaining a high-tech atmosphere because customers arrive at the dealerships fully informed about a car’s price and features.
New technology is fostering rapid consolidation in the automotive industry while also completely changing the car-buying experience. With this change, a fair number of mom and pop auto dealerships are disappearing as large corporations continue to expand their reach.
The ever apparent question arises, how can mom and pop dealerships survive big tech companies?
The successful mom and pop dealerships have learned through their years in business that a certain group and numbers of consumers will not deviate from how they purchased things. That mentality has helped countless independent store owners to stay competitive.
We currently in an area where technology continually revolutionizes the business landscape. Social media, apps, and the Internet, in general, have reshaped how we converse. Thus, forcing businesses, small and big, to adapt or fail.
While giant companies generally have the resources needed to survive and make any changes needed, it’s harder for smaller, mom and pop dealerships, to do the same.
Though this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Smaller dealerships will continue to have a place in a local community, even if a bigger chain comes in and sucks the area dry. The trick comes from surviving the ups and downs in the market on a day to day, week to week, and year to year basis.
7 Tips For Mom And Pop Dealerships To Survive Big Tech Companies
Here are a few ways that mom and pop dealerships can survive and flourish. These are a few things that smaller businesses should keep in mind as they go through 2019 and continue fighting against the likes of bigwigs that are currently dominating the automotive industry markets.
- eCommerce Is Key
In the last few years, thousands of dealerships have closed their doors. The staggering numbers are not due to people not buying things, it’s because of where they were buying goods from.
Online shopping is not just a trend anymore, it’s the future. The most successful dealerships and companies boast about their professional and robust online presence which helps them to market, facilitate sales, and interact with their customer base.
Creating an online presence is thankfully very accessible, regardless of the size of your dealerships. With countless tools available at your disposal, the process is now easy as pie. Regardless of what you need an online presence for, it is critical to have a functioning website.
Website trends have also continued to streamline site development, including a strong push towards minimalism. This enables smaller operations to build clean and concise websites easily. The minimalism trend also helps to create sites that are similar to those of giant competitors for the average visitor.
- Marketing Online
One of the greatest challenges that smaller dealerships face is to have a voice within the larger market. Larger brands have massive budgets for promotional purposes to draw from. Mom and pop shops often have considerably smaller budgets along with limited time for marketing.
However, there is now an increase in the number of affordable ways for smaller companies to market online. Some are easy and quick, while also require a bit more time and patience. Regardless of which one(s) you pick, all of them are geared towards getting the results you’re looking for.
- Online Billboards
Online billboards are this online era’s equivalent of an old-school physical billboard. They are a great way to promote your dealership. Google Ads has targeting capabilities to help you focus on specific demographics and geographical regions. This reduces the money wasted advertising on those who are not interested in purchasing a vehicle or ones that are located too far away.
Another option is to buy banner space directly on websites and blogs currently offering ad space. This might be tricky if your dealership is geographically limited as you’ll need to be very specific in the websites and blogs you choose. The website and blogs have to cater to the area you operate in.
Whether you’re creating your own, using an influencers email list, or purchasing from another company, e-blasts are a popular thing. It allows you to email both prospective customers and repeat customers directly. Thus, creating an effective way to communicate about a special event, a sale, or any other message.
- Social Media
It might be time-consuming for some, but it’s definitely worth the effort to set up and maintain social media profiles for your dealerships. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are all great choices for you to build a following on.
It also gives you a great platform to answer questions, interact with customers, and show a more ‘relatable’ side to your dealership. Social media is great for providing direct traffic from your profiles to your website.
- Google Business Listings
With most consumers searching for local companies with their smartphones, your Google Business Listing is a critical part of your online marketing strategy. Even better, it’s completely free to set up your listing. All you need to do is claim it and fill out all the necessary information correctly.
Ensure to fill out as much information as possible as that increases your credibility. Doing so will allow your prospective and/or current customers to see all your information clearly through a simple Google search.
- Local Business Badge
Having a thriving social media presence, fully complete Google Business Listing, and having a good website are not the only ways for you to fight against larger corporations. One of the best ways for mom and pop shops to thrive is to capitalize on what makes them unique in the first place – their geographical location.
If you are a local business, blast it across the internet. Let your customers know that you are a part of your local community. Foster a sense of trust and loyalty within your community that larger corporations just cannot compete with.
By focusing on social entrepreneurship, including advocating for positive changes, and volunteering in your local community, you can market your brand as a responsible company.
Buying local is a message that is always beneficial, but every year on March 29, take full advantage of the National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. It’s a great occasion to wear your local business badge with pride. Take the occasions to share your own story, promote the day on social media, and have a sale.
There are various different ways for you to market your mom and pop dealership in the modern era. But the most important thing is to understand that there are options for smaller businesses to succeed and compete with larger corporations. From sporting a local business badge, email marketing, social media to a good website, smaller businesses can excel even with larger giants surrounding them.