Hence how is a small business to remain afloat in these tricky times?
If you're a bricks and mortar business, you have a battle on your hands, especially if you offer anything the enormous chains offer. You have to become unique, a guru in what you do, and offer the best customer service possible then market that fact.
Those are three of the things these big box stores don't offer : uniqueness, experience and buyer service. Personally I usually attempt to go shopping at small local businesses, because they are the backbone of a community and they are frequently more well informed and useful than large stores, where you are fortunate if you can get any help at all!
Its noteworthy how many small businesses don't desire to have a domain. They probably don't know that Google actually loves small business and always will pull a small business to the apex of a search page, simply by someone putting in the name of a town and whatever they are searching for. This is a giant advantage to a business owner. There are always local directories, for example thru the local Chamber of Commerce, where you can list your website, frequently for a small fee or free.
Many small business owners are also under the impression that starting and maintaining a domain will cost them a lot of cash and is difficult. Offering cost-effective web site construction and maintenance for small local businesses has become a cottage industry in itself.
Little local businesses must always have a website offering a short description of what they offer, what they specialize in doing, a map to where they are located, opening hours and contact numbers and an email address, any successful use of income-producing Google Adwords and affiliate advertising on those sites, can become a really pleasant bonus. By offering an opt-in box, a small business website owner can build a list, and then offer kickbacks and specials to those customers by initiating a marketing campaign.
Net businesses have a much tougher task on their hands. They have much larger competition and must employ SEO and a plethora of other marketing strategies, particularly to build up a list of customers. A site's popularity reflects numerous things : the age of the site, the consistency with which it is updated, the value of its content and the relevancy of its content and the amount of backlinks it has. Just like a small high street business, a website should offer useful information, great customer service and brand itself as being unique. It's about attraction selling.