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Small business success secret: Team up with big brands | (
When it comes to small business, there is the proverbial good news and bad news. The good news is that you are small. The bad news is . . . that you are small.

Let’s drill down into that a bit:

On the upside, as opposed to big businesses, a small business is nimble; we can make decisions quickly, pivot pretty easily, interact with customers very personally and, all in all, enjoy the many benefits that come with being a small business. On many levels, it’s great.

But, that said, there are definite downsides as well to being a small business. The main one is that small businesses often look small. We have neither the financial wherewithal nor the expertise and resources that big businesses have. We can’t spend like they do, that’s for sure. Many consumers like working with big business for that very reason – they want the “security” that comes with a name brand.

So, what is a small business to do?

The answer is – blend the best of both worlds. How? By teaming up with a great big business brand. By doing that, you get to stay small and nimble, but you also get to look big and professional. By offering name brands in your shop or on your website, by doing business with branded business customers, you not only get the beautiful co-branding patina of having such partners, but also, you get to use and/or sell their great products. It’s a win-win.

Let me give you an example: I recently spoke with Zack McDonald, the founder of TUI Total Solutions out of central Florida, near Daytona Beach. TUI offers print solutions to businesses throughout the region.

McDonald started TUI in 1988, after he left the Marines. It started out as most businesses do – small, very small, and with lots of competition. Think about the many different print shops and copier companies in your area. There are probably a lot. That is where McDonald started, too. But TUI has grown to become one of the top print solutions companies in central Florida and, in fact, is the No. 1 Xerox office solutions dealer in all of Florida. TUI now also has a budding partnership with none other than NASCAR.