Connect with us

Ask Big Picture

Should You Fire Back at a Smaller Rival Who’s Taking Shots at You?

An answer for this question, plus a handy guide on who should pay for lunch in this month’s Ask Big Picture.




marketing-lady holding megaphone

A smaller rival is taking potshots at us in their advertising. Should we fire back?

Nope. Marketing consultant and author Roy H. Williams says one of the basic rules of advertising is to never respond to a challenge from a competitor that is smaller than you. “Drawing attention to a smaller competitor makes them larger in the eyes of the public,” he explains. “Conversely, if someone bigger than you is foolish enough to shine their spotlight on you, dance in it.” The one exception to this rule is if the rival is peddling untruths about your business. Then you need to expose their lies… and crush them.

How can our staff make better use of our vendors?

Your relationship with your vendors shouldn’t end when the equipment or software arrives at your company, says Ward Stewart, senior sales and operations executive, StickerYou. Connecting with vendors and working with them to provide insight into industry trends, how they relate to products, unique features, and what’s new in the market are excellent ways to keep staff up to date with the latest knowledge. This not only allows client-facing staff to answer questions quickly without putting customers on hold while they search for an answer, but also allows these ideas to percolate, providing a fertile ground for innovation and increased efficiency in your business, as staff apply the expert knowledge they’ve acquired to the workplace environment.

Educate your team on workflows, the differences between substrates, cut laminate, UV applications – anything that helps them to more accurately understand timelines so they don’t overpromise to customers and can easily answer common customer questions. Some vendors already have training programs in place, but others may need some pushing. There are many ways to engage vendors in training, whether it’s bringing a rep to your company or sending your staff to the vendor. Whichever way works, it’s of benefit to your company to maximize vendor knowledge.

What exactly is marketing? I’m never sure what the specific difference is between it and advertising.

Try this business proverb, from an anonymous author: “If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, ‘Circus is coming to Fairgrounds Sunday,’ that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him through town, that’s a promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. If you can get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. And, if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing!”

I have a staff member going on jury duty. Do I have to pay them?

Depending on what state you live in, you don’t necessarily have to, but you really shouldn’t penalize your employees for doing their civic duty. The typical strategy is to pay employees the difference between what they will be paid by the government and what you normally pay them. However, to protect against lengthy court cases that continue for weeks or months (and extra costs that could cripple a small business), some store owners will limit the number of days that they will cover to five or 10.

Mmm, who’s paying for lunch?

Here’s a handy guide from Steve Tobak at 1.) If the boss is there, he pays; 2.) If someone offers, graciously accept; 3.) If nobody picks up the check, you should; 4.) In a customer-vendor relationship, the vendor usually picks up the tab; and 5.) Whoever is getting a favor should pay. Bonus advice: if you decide to split a bill, never ever haggle over what your meal cost vs. someone else’s. That’s just cheap. Split evenly. Oh, and if the same people go out together all the time, forget trying to play the “who bought last time?” game. Just pay the damn check.




Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular