Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Getting your small business noticed in a world full of large established companies can be a challenge and intimidating. Especially if your small business operates in the same market as corporate giants.
But don’t lose heart! While your business may not be a corporate giant with a million dollar marketing budget, there are tried and true business practices you can start implementing today to make your brand stand out. Here are three ways your small business can compete against large companies:
- Provide first class customer service
Large companies may have a large team and marketing budget but they may not always have the best customer service. As a small business owner, you have the ability to concentrate on small details such as delivering a great customer experience. And don’t take this for granted. Customers who are made to feel special and who are treated with respect and kindness typically turn into loyal customers. Something as simple as having a human answer the phone instead of a robot or not forcing your customers to leave a voicemail and hope you get back to them, can go a long way.
A larger company can afford to lose clients if they complain and they typically want to get through every request and question as quickly as possible because they have so many customers. Providing your customers with great personalized customer service will keep them coming back to you over the larger competition.
This personalized customer service is also a good marketing angle. Let people know that they’ll never have to speak to a robot or wait for days to get a response. This could give you an edge over your competition.
- Focus on niche markets
Small businesses need to focus on niche markets so they can be the leader in that specific niche. Look at what your competition is doing (or isn’t doing) to find a niche that is missing from the marketplace. Make a list of all your competitors and inspect what they do well and what they are failing to do.
Determine what it is that sets you apart from the larger companies. Do you provide a service, feature or product that can’t be found with the competition? Are your prices cheaper? Do their customers repeatedly complain about the same issues?
You can research the competition by looking at their social media, reading online reviews, attending a trade show, or even shopping their location. Another way to research your competition is to call them as a “customer” and get the low-down on some of their See if you can find a unique angle that no one else is focusing on to see how you can improve what the current competition is doing. If you have something that your customers won’t find with any other company, you just found your niche.
Be careful about becoming too niche, as this will greatly limit your consumer-base.
- Be flexible
Large companies tend to standardize their products and services and they typically cannot customize what they offer to the client. Small businesses are much more flexible and can easily customize products and services to meet their clients’ needs.
For example, small companies have the great advantage of being able to be flexible on prices. With a much lower headcount than a large company and lower bills to pay, small firms end up having lower overhead costs than larger firms. This typically allows the smaller companies to offer quality services for a much lower price than a larger company would be able to.
This flexibility also allows extends to your marketing strategies, allowing you to design/re-design your store as you see fit, and test new messaging and ads without having to get permission from a corporate office. For example, managers of retail clothing stores are given floor plans that they must adhere to. These floor plans range from the window display to what clothes to put on the mannequins. Smaller businesses have the freedom to do what they want, when they want.
Use this to your advantage! If the window display in your small clothing boutique isn’t attracting customers the way you wanted it to, change it! If the email campaign you created isn’t generating enough clicks and leads, change it!
You should know who your competition is before you launch your business and come up with a plan of attack. And while it can be intimidating, all the cards aren’t in your competitors hands, the tips and tricks in this post are proof-positive of that. Capitalize off your business’s strengths, keep your eye on your competition and adjust your practices based on what you see. It won’t be easy but just because you’re small doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. Go get it!
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