Local Business Guide How to Compete Against Big Chains in 6 Powerful Ways

Last Updated on: 24th May 2024, 12:28 pm

If you don’t believe you can compete with the big boys of your industry. And the sound of how to compete against big chains sounds delusional? Well, strap yourself in because you’re going to turn the tables in your favor…  


First, stop scratching your head, wondering how to stay competitive. We know that the odds appear to be so dramatically stacked against your local business towards big companies. But here is where local marketing can be your best weapon to get your business on top of those Big Chains. 

Local marketing allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level and compete against big chains and national franchises. 


We have all heard of the coffee chain that started in Seattle and now has over 16,000 locations worldwide. It is an example of a company that took advantage of international opportunities to grow quickly. The thing is, this success story does not always happen in real life for small local businesses. 

Competing against chains can be difficult because they are already well-known, and you may not be. You have to think outside the box and take advantage of your location in order to make a profit. If you are running a local restaurant, there are ways that you can use local marketing strategies to draw customers in by emphasizing your proximity to where they live or work.

What is Local Marketing?

Local marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on targeting customers within the area where your physical store is located. It is also called “neighborhood marketing” because its marketing messages are tailored to the local community. 

Small local businesses often benefit from word-of-mouth recommendations by friends and family. They also provide more personalized service than chains do, which many customers prefer. 

Although competing against a major food chain or a large national franchise seems like an impossible battle, there is still hope. You can still maintain your customers and win more business through local marketing. 

Here is the list of things your business can do to compete against big chains within your community. 


How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #1. The Offer Big Chains Could not Afford 

Your initial action to compete with large chains is to offer lower prices, but that does not work out all the time. Instead, what you can do is offer special promos that are only available to locals. For example, offer discounts on items that cannot be found with your competitors or run a contest only available within your local community. 

Post localized promos, updates, coupons, and events across multiple networks like Google Business Profile, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. It helps you draw more customers to your online storefront and physical store. Always remember to make your post localized by adding your location. This way, it helps the customer be aware of your site when they search for your business. 

To learn more about how you can write, schedule updates, events, and promo posts, check out How to Create a Post Using Simply Be Found. 


How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #2. Plug Your Business Into The Heart of Your Local Community 

Connecting with locals and making social media more personalized is one way to compete with large chains and franchises. These big chains finds it hard to monitor and maintain their social media profiles. And attend to customer service support in local communities where some of their stores are located. 

Use this as an opportunity to attract more customers. Be active and engage with them on your Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and more. This will set you apart from your big direct competitors while keeping and attracting more local customers. 

How Often Should You Post on Social Media? 

Now that you know how vital posting on social media is, it is time to discover how often you should do it. This information may vary depending on your industry and market. 

  • Facebook – At least three times a week. The exact time still depends on when your target audience is most active. 
  • Twitter – Five to ten times a day. Twitter is often used for customer engagement, so people expect a response within 4 to 24 hours after mentioning you. 
  • LinkedIn – At least once per day, preferable Monday through Friday. LinkedIn is like Facebook but on a more formal basis. The best time to post is in the morning, between 9 and 11 am. 

How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #3. Write Localized Blogs 

It is not a surprise that these big chains and national franchises have blog sections on their website. But most of them tackle general issues and will not focus on local issues. You can piggyback on that, giving you the advantage when you focus on writing blogs with exciting topics that local customers care about. 

By frequently blogging shareable content, you increase brand awareness and generate more customer traffic online. 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a business from a blog than an advertisement, plus it helps you rank higher on local search results too. 

How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #4. Compassion Counts  

As a locally owned business, pay more attention to the local events calendar and actively sponsor or support these events. Big chains do not always participate in this type of event, which gives you more chances of connecting to local consumers who might like to buy your products and services. 

Showing your support on local causes and events on your social media pages and business profile also helps spread positive brand awareness and draw more customer traffic to your business. Local consumers love supporting local businesses that give back to their local community. 

How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #5. Never Throw rocks at them 

Bashing your direct competitors through your post or in front of your customer will not help you beat them. It may even affect your local business negatively, so refrain from doing so. Instead, highlight your differences by speaking positives, not negatives. 

Highlight what makes your business unique and a much better option than theirs. For example, if your competition offers organic-sourced ingredients, offer other uncommon goods and services not found on chain stores. Instead of saying “Local is BETTER than Organic,” make it “Try our locally-sourced products that are healthy and been trusted since 1997.” 

How to Compete Against Big Chains Tip #6. Use Your Size as An Advantage 

Big boys do not necessarily mean unbeatable. In most cases, these giant supermarkets and franchises repeatedly offer that same product and services because approval is needed before they can start selling other goods and services. On the other hand, you can freely explore and start selling new items even on short notice. 

You can capitalize on local marketing by specializing in an item that is more difficult to find at chain stores or specialize in a niche item that helps you build your local business. It helps drive your business in the right direction and make more sales. 

In a Nutshell: 

Competing against giant chains by using local marketing is an effective way to promote your business. One of the best ways you can do this is by getting your business found on a local search. 

For example, when a customer search for “Best steakhouse in Windsor Colorado,” your menu on Yelp will appear, or when they ask Siri, “Where is the nearest steakhouse?” your business will be recommended. And the good news, Simply Be Found offers an affordable and easy way you can do to appear on the three-pack. 


Our self-marketing platform lets you correct and maintain your business information, create and schedule a post, add photos, generate and respond to your reviews. Answer common customer questions and more. 


We also got your back because you will have complete marketing support and assistance from our team of experts. Ready to help your business grow cheaper than losing to your competitors. 

To learn more about how Simply Be Found help your local business get found on cellphone, web, and voice search, visit Simply Be Found. 


About the author:

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Rob Downey

Robert Downey: Revolutionizing Local Marketing and Voice Search Optimization Robert Downey is a distinguished figure in the dynamic world of local marketing and digital innovation. As the co-founder of SimplyBeFound.com, he has proven to be a master in local marketing strategy and a pioneer in voice search optimization. With a career spanning nearly three decades, Robert has dedicated himself to enhancing the visibility of small businesses and fostering stronger connections between these enterprises and their local communities. Robert's journey in the marketing realm began in 1995, and since then, he has led over 1,000 marketing campaigns, contributing significantly to developing more than 5,000 websites. His expertise spans various industries, equipping him with a nuanced understanding of their unique challenges and opportunities. This extensive experience broadens his skill set and cements his position as a thought leader in local business marketing. One of the keys to Robert's success is his ability to deliver impactful results using local SEO strategies. He excels in this area, demonstrating that businesses can use small advertising budgets to be successful. Instead, they need the right strategies to reach consumers actively seeking their services. His approach needs to include the importance of bridging the gap between local businesses and potential customers, which has often hindered the growth and visibility of many small businesses. As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Robert's veins. This heritage has ingrained in him a profound understanding of business growth and evolution, especially crucial in the fast-paced startup environment. At SimplyBeFound.com, he applies this strategic vision to simplify the local business discovery process, leading to significant growth of the platform, an expanded user base, and increased revenue streams. Beyond Simply Be Found, Robert's achievements include launching over ten successful online businesses and startups, a testament to his versatility and expertise in the digital business landscape. He brings a unique blend of programming skills, marketing acumen, and business development experience, offering a fresh and invaluable perspective to today's digitally-centered business challenges. In essence, Robert Downey is more than just a local marketing expert. He is a catalyst for growth, a digital marketing innovator, and a mentor to businesses striving for success. His extensive experience, profound industry knowledge, and unwavering dedication to the success of small businesses make him an indispensable ally for any business aiming to enhance its local presence and achieve sustainable growth.

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