One of the biggest challenges a small business owner faces is keeping up with big businesses. These larger companies—with their big marketing budgets and bulk purchasing power — can easily overshadow small businesses, both physically and in the digital world. While it may seem like you’re fighting an uphill battle, there are plenty of advantages that small businesses have over their larger competitors. Read on to learn about seven ways your business can get a leg up on regional and national chains.
This is perhaps the most important way your business can stand out from the larger competition. As a small business owner, you have the ability to develop a deeper, stronger, more personal relationship with your customers. Customer service has just as much value as any product or service you offer. Customers appreciate and pursue relationships and experiences, not just end results. If your customers know you provide a relationship they can’t get at that big business, they’ll come to you first—even if it costs them a little extra.
For small businesses, with their a smaller staff and less formal processes in place, is often it much easier to innovate than it is for a larger business with a corporate structure. Yes, larger companies may have the budget to try a new platform or build a mobile app, but time is of the essence.
Your small business might not have the bandwidth for massive new ideas, but it does have the advantage of executing and iterating quickly—which is the key to getting the results you want. With less red tape to cut through and a more centralized location to brainstorm, plan, and execute, your small business can actually use innovation for its competitive edge over big businesses.
Innovative ideas don’t have to be brilliant new social media campaigns or the implementation of cutting edge technology. Innovation can be as simple as taking an existing process and putting a new twist on it, or introducing a tool that makes a daily task more efficient.
Large businesses tend to be bogged down by stagnant legacy processes, as it requires resources to implement changes across the board. With a small business, on the other hand, the owner or even an employer can introduce a new way of doing things and set it in motion almost immediately. This could apply to marketing and lead generation strategies, customer service procedures, fulfillment processes, and more.
As a small business owner, if you feel a change in strategy can benefit your employees or customers, you can make it. You don’t have to run it up the corporate ladder to get the wheels turning.
One of the great benefits of being a small business owner is the closer connection you have with your target audience. Consumers like businesses that engage with them, such as on social media, but it’s extra meaningful when the owner of the company is the one writing blog posts, responding to reviews, or commenting back on social media posts.
Also, by engaging with your target audience directly, you can discover new needs and services they are looking for much faster than a big business can.
Being a big business doesn’t necessarily mean being seen as big. There are many large corporations out there that have a mediocre presence across the nation. There are also many small businesses out there that have a big name in their community. Being a small business that has a well-earned reputation in your surrounding area, and that receives daily praise, in person by its customers can be much more rewarding than a larger business that may not enjoy such benefits.
While bigger businesses focus on reaching a broad range of demographics, being a small business gives you the opportunity to reach specific markets more effectively. The competition may be making purchases and investments based on national or regional sales trends. You, however, have the advantage of knowing what your local customers want most.
Employees make your business, so naturally, the better workers you have, the more successful your business will be. Big businesses may have more employees, but you can have great employees—something your customers will notice. Your employees might enjoy working for boss directly involved in the business as well.
These are just a few of the many ways in which small businesses across the country are competing with larger businesses every day. Which of these advantages are you already enjoying? Which ones can you work on for your business?