Well, this article isn’t exactly about Yo Sushi! It’s about the fact that if you pay attention to the big companies around you, it’s very likely that you’ll find ideas that you can apply to your own business.

Remember, big companies can afford to do things – they can afford to hire the best marketing consultants; the best design agencies; the best social media experts; the best advertising companies.

Now, I’m not for one second suggesting that you should spend the type of money that the big boys are spending. What I am suggesting is that you learn from them and adapt some of the ideas that their very expensive marketing consultants have come up with to your business.

Let me give you some examples:

Costa coffee and a lot of the other coffee chains have loyalty cards. You buy one coffee, get a stamp and when you have five stamps or so, you get a coffee free. This is really easy to adapt and apply to your own business. Can you run a loyalty card scheme too?

Prezzo (the Italian restaurant chain) have done wonders with their Facebook page. They encourage people to get involved by taking photos in their restaurants and posting the photos online. They also send out vouchers to all of their fans and recently did a campaign where they said if they got 50% more Facebook fans, they would give additional discounts to everyone. Could you do something similar?

DFS run a 4 year interest free system whereby you get the first year for free for any sofa in their store and then pay the rest back over three years. Very clever campaign as they have made buying what could be an expensive item affordable for everyone. How could you apply this to your business?

Renault (who I recently bought a car from) sent me a letter last week inviting me to pay for my services on a monthly basis. From just £26 a month, I could have every service done for me plus if the tyres or anything not covered by the warranty failed, these would be replaced too.

Paying attention to what the big boys are doing is a great way to get new ideas in your business and with a little bit of creative thought, you can often apply the same idea without spending very much money at all.

So next time you’re out and about on your high street, instead of ignoring big chains, try visiting them and paying attention to what they’re doing to market and promote their businesses. You never know…you could get some fantastic ideas for your business that you hadn’t previously thought of.

Author's Bio: 

Exceptional Thinking (http://www.exceptionalthinking.co.uk) provides help and advice to small business owners on their marketing and to people starting up in business.