It’s a dog eat dog world out there, and when you are a Pomeranian up against a Great Dane, you may feel like the odds are always stacked against you. Small businesses often offer many of the same products and services as large business, so how can you compete? Large businesses have many advantages such as a larger inventory, cheaper prices, and several locations in your area. But if you learn to take advantage of your size, you can not only compete with larger corporations, you may even be able to beat out the behemoth, here’s how...
Leveraging Your Size
Working with a small team can really pay off. In essence, you are potentizing just about every aspect of your business from marketing to development. Instead of small teams, large corporations often have several departments which handle separate business activities apart from each other. This type of environment is not contusive for holistic collaboration and leaves plenty of room for error and miscommunication. Close collaboration between research and development, marketing, and sales is an essential elemental process which can significantly increase productivity, creativity, and customer to product value.
Make it Personal
One problem big businesses face is impersonality. Only certain individuals within the business work closely with the products and services they sell. As a small business, you can become intimately familiar with the products and services you provide. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to build and maintain your personal brand. Even though you sell the same or similar products as a large company, you can change how you sell it. Evangelize your brand by making your company culture meaningful to customers a potential leads. Share your story, passion, and inspiration with your customers and they will begin to trust you and want you to succeed. Trust is often more important to customers than price, so even if your prices are a little higher than the big chain store down the street, trust will prompt them to shop with you.
Offer Impeccable Service
Again, big business lacks the ability to offer exceptional, personalized service because of their mammoth size. Being small allows you to get to know your customers. Take advantage of learning what your customers expect and go above and beyond that expectation. Attention to detail goes a long way and customers tend to notice when you are taking note of their concerns, needs, and wishes.
Find Your Niche
Large businesses aren’t concerned with niches. They rely more on quantity, price, and customer volume. Small businesses have the opportunity to offer customers something more by becoming specialized. For example, if your company offers pet products that are also offered at large chains, forget trying to outsell. Instead, become a "pet boutique" and offer customers specialty products depending on your demographic, such as luxury dog and cat products, grooming services, and complimentary specialty treats. Niche it up and the customers will find you.
Though you may be chomping at the bit to get out there and sell, sell, sell, you must take time to really think out your business plan. Things like price, product, and location are important; but you need to dig deeper. Plan for scalability, be sure your business will have room to grow quickly or scale back if necessary. Choose wisely with social media campaigns; make sure you are beginning to solidify and evangelize your brand before you even open your doors. Seek out your best and brightest influencers; these could be fans of your brand or employees who are especially passionate about what you are selling. These "brand evangelists" can help you get the word out and help customers put a face to your company.
Connecting with Your Brood
Big business doesn’t have the time or resources to personally invest in their staff. As a small business owner, do show appreciation for your staff even if it’s a simple "good job" at the end of the day. Positive reinforcement goes a long way and always remember your employees are your most valuable and important asset. Boosting company morale can and will help you connect with your brood.
You can compete with big business by harnessing your small business advantages. Always invest in yourself and your staff and pay close attention to specific customers’ unique needs. Never give up, and when the going gets tough, remember why you set out on this entrepreneurial adventure in the first place.
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