In this vast and burgeoning business world where big brands take the centre stage, small businesses face the challenge of keeping up with them. It can seem like an uphill road when you’re trying to compete with the bulk purchasing power and big marketing budgets of big businesses. It can be frustrating, making you want to give up on your ideas. While it is true that bigger brands can easily overshadow small businesses, you should also remember that small businesses have their own set of advantages that can help propel them towards greater success.
Every small business should follow certain tactics in order to stay ahead in the game and compete with the big boys. What are these smart strategies? Let’s see.
Passion – Passion takes you very far in your endeavours irrespective of how big or small the goal is. Most small businesses start with a dream, a passion to do something big, and this passion leads the business towards its goal. It keeps you motivated throughout. While the big business executives face frustration, small businesses comprise a smaller team, with leaders full of enthusiasm. So let your love and passion for your work do the talking, and see how well you progress.
Innovation – Innovative ideas will make you stand out from the crowd, so make sure to build your business on innovation and creativity. If you have an idea in mind, simply plan your next step and execute it. You don’t have to wait to get people together for a long board meeting. You are the master, you’re the driver; so use the advantage of agility and innovate even before your competitor gets there.
Personal Brand – When you are just starting off with your new venture, you ought to have a personal brand. This will help in gaining position and recognition in the market. Once you have built your personal brand, you will have a good chance of climbing the ladder of success, by making good relationships with stakeholders, strategic partners, target market and the community. It is also a good idea to build a personal brand even before launching your new venture.
Customer Service – Exceptional customer service is one of the most important things that every business should focus on. While bigger brands could face issues in providing quality service, owing to unforeseen situations, small businesses can put in a lot of effort in meeting customer expectations. Smaller size and agility of small businesses can help in setting realistic expectations and delivering more than what’s expected.
Agility – An advantage of being a small business owner is agility. You can move quickly in any direction, whether it’s an innovation or a big mid-project change. Whatever direction you are in, you can quickly re-route without causing any negative effect on your business, unlike the bigger brands. Make use of this benefit to fuel your decisions, market execution, innovation and everything else. So when your competitor is still analysing the pros and cons, you would have already begun delivering your services.
Niche Market – Unlike the big businesses, smaller ones should concentrate on niche markets at an early stage and grow deep quickly. Business expansion can be worked upon later. So while your competitors are still figuring out their plan, you would have made your decision and gone one step ahead of them. Knowing your target audience, focusing on their requirements and serving them in a way that big businesses cannot, will help you build strong relationships and see faster growth.
Scalability Planning – Good planning will take you a long way, so do not hesitate to buy quality materials that the business needs. If you focus on cost-cutting when you have just started, it can cost you at a later stage and bring down your business. So think big and believe in yourself. Buy that computer with the best rating, install the best software versions and deliver top-notch services. Plan your investments well right now so that you can stay on top of your game and avoid unnecessary expenses later.
Social Media Campaign – When you are launching your venture, kick start with a bang. Mobile marketing is the need of the hour if you wish to step up your game. So plan a social media campaign well in advance and launch it even before you get started with your business idea. Doing so can save you from last minute chaos and unplanned campaigns. Waiting until the last minute will only lead you to Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs), which will eventually affect your brand name negatively.
Influencer Program – Get to know people who are interested in the same target audience as you. Entering their community serves as a key point for small businesses in that it can bring quick results. So design a good influencer strategy that will ensure good results on execution. See to it that you are not spamming the influencers’ accounts. Reach out to them just one or two weeks prior to your business launch and wait for their response. When you respect their time, it is most likely they will respect your brand.
Take it Slow – Lastly, the secret to success lies in planning well before executing. Don’t be in a hurry to put your plan into action. Your early impression will stay with your audience so know what you are doing. Slow down, take one step at a time and be sure that every step brings you closer to your goal. However, do not get into over-analysing everything. Do all your homework and then jump in.
These are some of the quick tips that you can follow and face the competition efficiently. So go ahead and see how customers choose you over your bigger competitors.
— Swathi Bhat