There are many small businesses competing against one another, but when you start a company of your own, you don’t just have competition in your own lane to worry about. There’s also the big guys, the companies like Amazon that have many more resources and much more money behind them than any small venture does. It may seem impossible to go up against the big dogs, but being small comes with perks. You can hone in on the details and build close relationships with your customer base.
Small doesn’t mean less.
Read on for some great tips on how to compete with the big companies.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
The key to competing with bigger companies is to make sure you understand where your strengths lie. What’s unique about your product? What do you bring to the table that no one else does? Once you
know your strengths as a company, you let everyone know about them -starting with your employees
and pushing that message out to your client base.
NARROW YOUR FOCUS
Once you know your strengths, make them your main focus. Incorporate them into to your business plan, marketing plan and long-term goals. Big businesses—especially those that are based online—offer so many items and services that a customer can become overwhelmed just trying to navigate their website.
By narrowing your focus and keeping your business all about what you do best, you’ll be able to put all your energy into doing one or two things well, rather than stretching yourself to cover all the bases.
Think of how you might keep your business in a particular niche and how to market your business as such.
Marketing and having the ability to communicate with your customer base are two musts, so setting up a stellar website is essential. Establish a website that clearly states who you are and what you’re selling.
Depending on your product you may want to consider different approaches to your host platform.
For example, if you have a clothing store, ensure that your website will stand up against a company that has made its name with online shopping. This means finding a platform that is secure and dependable. InMotion , for example, offers a wide array of features. Another great option for new businesses is Big Commerce boasting best-in-class SEO and an extremely user friendly site.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
Make it a priority to keep customer service at the top of your list, because this is one area in which big companies just can’t compete. A huge benefit of having a small business is that you can control just about everything, which means that if there are any challenges can easily be remedied, taking steps to improve the situation immediately. You have the ability to make change happen by taking charge and providing personalized customer service. Engage your customers offering services that they can’t get anywhere else, and don’t forget the details, like email reminders when you’re having a sale or when they need to restock on an item.
HOLD TIGHT TO REPEAT CUSTOMERS
Once you find customers who come back time and time again, it’s essential to hold on that relationship tight. You can offer them things that many big chains cannot like personalized rewards and incentives for being loyal to your company. You might think about starting a rewards program that is specific to your business; this is a great way to earn a customer’s trust and to build a relationship with them. It will also
give you a chance to get their email, home address, and/or phone number so you can maintain in contact and personalize their service even more.
In some ways, it can be hard for a small business to compete with the big guys. However, with a little imagination and some hard work, you can make sure your customer base keeps expanding year after
year no matter what your competition is doing.
Lindsey Weiss is the co-creator of Outbounding.com, which connects your organization with the publishers and webmasters who care about your vertical.
Venture Out Business Center is managed by Samantha Pierce.