5 Ways Small Business can compete with Big Business

As a Small Business Owner, you may be frustrated by the seemingly unfair competition presented by Big Business. Often, they are able to offer products and services at more affordable prices. Sometimes this is due to a compromise on the level of service and quality, sometimes not.

Customers flock to these Big Businesses who have built a name for themselves over the many years they have been in business. The question that comes to mind is – Can you compete with Big Business and survive?


Ignite your Success Quickly

Pam Moore in her article “10 Ways Small Business Can Compete in a Big Business World!” explains that many Startup and Small Business leaders get intimidated in a competitive market place but they must know what levers they can pull to ignite their success quickly. I will share 5 “levers” that stand out to me later in this article.


Go After one Specific Market

Russell Fujioka shares some Big Business Strategies that Small Businesses can use in his article 5 Big Business Strategies That Will Help Launch Your Startup on Inc.com.

Big business strategies can be complicated, convoluted and take entire armies of employees to implement. But the theory behind some of them can be extremely useful to small business owners, especially when they’re working on becoming more productive.

He says most businesses that have grown to become big businesses usually started by going after one specific market, dominating it and then moving onto the next vertical. He points out that they all focused on the customer and how to make them advocates, generating sales and loyalty.

It doesn’t cost a lot to change the way you think about your small business but it can help you become a big business, or at least act like one, sooner.


Here are the 5 Levers I mentioned earlier:

  1. Personal Brand – You are your brand when you are first launching a business. It is all about relationships and how you are positioned in the market already. This will determine if you be able to quickly enter with success or not, particularly if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand to make it happen. Pam warns if you don’t have a Personal Brand, do not wait until Launch. Work on it now!
  2. Agility – Make use of your small size to start and stay agile. Small businesses don’t have the red tape of big business. If you see you are headed in the wrong direction, make a quick pivot. Pam says: “Don’t be afraid to take risk. Learn to fail fast and learn from each success and failure along the way.” I really like that – Learn to fail fast!
  3. Service – This will always be on the list for me and it should be for you too. You have something that Big Business can’t offer in quite the same way. You can use your personal brand, personal relationships and human touch to make your customers feel special. Now that is something magical!
  4. Plan for scalability now and save time later – I understand the need to keep costs low but don’t always buy the smallest server, lowest version of tech you need to implement. Instead plan for growth. If you can, choose options where you can easily upgrade later if the best fit it isn’t feasible now. Pam says you should believe in yourself, your vision and that you will achieve your goals and warns that what seems like a short cut or cost savings now could really become a problem later down the road.
  5. Slow down to speed up – Pam encourages Small Businesses to take time to plan, set goals, research your market and kick some serious butt! Putting yourself on a turbo track to market before you have a product, know your audience or have built your brand architecture is only going to set you up for failure, not success. At the same time, she warns that you shouldn’t over analyze and fall into analysis paralysis!  You must embrace imperfection perfection. Sometimes really good is good enough.


So the question was, can you compete with Big Business and succeed?

I believe the answer is yes. Yes, you can compete. You can look at what they have done successfully and where they could improve, what they lost over time and what you think is important that your business never loses.

Share your thoughts in the comments below or give me a shout on Twitter @webassistantza

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