5 Ways Small Businesses Can Fight the Big Dogs
It doesn’t matter what small business you make – chances are high that you’ll find yourself matched against tough competition. It doesn’t matter what you offer either, someone out there has a product that fights for the same market you do. Small businesses have succeeded in the past, so clearly precedent is there. All you have to do is learn how to fight against a larger, richer, and more well-established business.
1. Promote Word-of-Mouth Marketing
One of the biggest problems a small business faces is being noticed. You’re the new kid on the block, and big businesses are the rich cool kids who want all the attention and money. People like them, so how do you get them to notice you? They’ve got more presence, more money to spend on marketing, and they’ve been around longer.
You can’t spend as much as them, so don’t try. That’s fighting on their terms. Even if you do have a brilliant marketing campaign, it can end up failing just because they have more money. Instead, go for a word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Focus on improving the customer experience to the point where they’re inspired to give you positive reviews and recommend you to their friends and families. Engage people on social media and talk to them as a human being, and not a faceless entity. Big businesses can’t pay attention to everyone – your community is likely small enough so you actually can.
2. Pay Less Attention to the Competition
To a certain extent, you must pay attention to the competition. You must study their methods, see how they made their business successful, and learn from them. However, it can get to a point where you stay awake at night, worrying over what wonderful thing they can unleash that’ll ruin your business. That’s not a healthy attitude to take.
Instead of worrying about them, focus on your consumers. While what the competition does can impact your bottom line, the final judge is the customer. They’re the ones who will decide what product they’ll buy. Focus on them, and you’re focusing on your company’s future.
3. Embrace Your Niche
Small businesses tend to have limited resources, so the first thing you should accept is that you can’t do it all. Once you internalize that, you can move on and focus on your niche. The big dogs can juggle multiple offerings across the globe, backing them with a seemingly overwhelming amount of money and manpower. You will focus on dominating a niche.
Create a few offerings and make them the very best at that niche. Make yourself the titan of your niche instead of trying to fight big companies on their turf. When you’ve made a cozy little corner of the market your domain, then you can think about expanding.
4. Treat Customers as Individuals
Big companies have to focus on scalable offerings. That means making products that work for as many people as possible. To a certain extent, your small business must do the same, but you can do something a big company wouldn’t, and that’s offer personalized services.
The big dogs offer recordings and outsourced customer service. You can go in a different direction and hook them up with online chat customer support. It may not be scalable, but it doesn’t matter. The customer satisfaction alone can make it worth the effort.
5. Embrace Your Place
Good news – people love underdogs. Nothing gets people pumped up as seeing someone stand up to the titans, even if standing up comes in the form of selling alternative products. Most people feel like underdogs, so you may your business relatable by embracing that role.
Embracing this role also gives off the idea that you’re resilient and determined. Underdogs are known for their never-say-die attitude, as well as their relentless goal-oriented mindset. This can make customers believe in you, even if you have nothing to show for it yet,
More importantly, it gets you in the right mindset. Acting like one of the big dogs can lead to trouble. Embracing the situation you face and acting accordingly puts emphasize on actions more beneficial to your context.
Make no mistake – as a small business, you face an uphill battle. You must compete with existing companies while simultaneously trying to be heard. What you must remember is that it isn’t impossible. It’s been done before and it’ll happen again.