5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Beat Bigger Businesses
Even large powerhouses go at it in the ring once in awhile. Take, for instance, the issues Pandora is having with Apple: Pandora had always been a staple in Internet music streaming until Apple Music came along. The success rug was swept out from under Pandora, plunging stock prices to their lowest in two years. In one day, 35% of Pandora’s shares were wiped out, resulting in a market value loss of $1.4 billion.
If this happens between media giants, what’s a small business owner to do if it happens to them?
You may not have many of the resources a large corporation in your industry has, but your small business does have some advantages over them. Here are a few ways you can capitalize on opportunities and play in the same sandbox with larger industry businesses.
Although bigger companies may beat you on the manpower aspect, you’re small but mighty! Small business owners can dedicate more time to getting personal with their clients. Overall, 89% of companies expect to compete on the basis of customer experience, which is great news for your small business.
Whether you’re a service-based or product-based business, keep detailed information on your prospective and booked clients: what are they like? Describe their income, their homes, and their personal tastes and styles. Taking this extra step — a step the big companies overlook because they’re too busy mass marketing — allows you to tailor your product or service to your customer’s needs and desires.
Embrace the Difference
Being small actually has great benefits. Generation Y, or more commonly known as the Millennial Generation, tends to engage more with small businesses than larger corporations. With the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet, Millennials tend to know about what companies do to give back to society.
Purpose is a big motivator for Millennials, which means if your product serves a greater good or even if you donate a portion of your net profits, you’re more likely to nab a prospective buyer. As the Millennial generation grows, they’ll have more money to spend on companies whose mission, products and services they support. By 2020, Millennials will contribute more than $1.4 trillion in spending power. Focus your online content to attract this growing market.
Opt for Quickness over Bureaucracy
Many times, larger companies or corporations become caught up in the inability to accomplish anything because they have rules. And while rules can be a good thing, they also can slow down responses to changes in the market. As a small business owner, use this to your advantage! If you see an opportunity, take it. You don’t have the same bureaucratic tape larger companies have, which puts you ahead of them by leaps and bounds.
Learn to Barter
Big companies usually have a nice chunk of change they can throw out for marketing or social media management. Chances are, you aren’t so lucky unless you’ve invented the money tree. Starting a small business on limited capital can be challenging, but knowing how to barter can ease your start-up stresses.
You’ll probably want a website for your business, along with brochures, business cards, and other marketing tools. As you contact vendors, see if they’re open to bartering. There’s a good chance you can provide them with something other than Benjamins to compensate for their time and service.
Measure Quality ALWAYS Over Quantity
Knowing your worth in small business is something that takes experience and practice. Let’s say, for example, you’re a painter. You could make 50 paintings a year at $500 a piece that are okay but aren’t perfected. Or you could invest more time and effort into 10 paintings and charge $3,500 for your work. It may sound challenging to make $3,500, but you have to market to the right group of people.
As long as you can pinpoint the right niche market, you’ll always want to focus on quality over quantity. This simple change will differentiate your business from the corporate giants who are trying to sell as much as possible at the highest price point possible. By focusing on 110% quality in all you do, you’re ensuring your clients are always happy, which leads to increased word of mouth marketing, and there’s no better gift than that!
As you grow your business, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and expand. You’ll approach a time where you can’t manage everything yourself. Embrace it – this is when your business will really start to take flight.
For those smaller companies out there - know that you CAN compete and coexist with bigger companies. The key is to capitalize on the things that make small businesses unique.