Too often as small business owners, we can often feel that we are playing on an uneven ball-park with our bigger rivals. Our larger competitors have access to more resources (people and finances) and can simple out supply and outpace us in many areas.
We shouldn’t, however, be so quick to assume that we will be outplayed. Small can still be beautifully formed! Here are the top 10 benefits that give small businesses the opportunity to compete (and beat!) their larger, corporate rivals.
- Personal Approach
Being big, often means a fixed product or service offering to a larger customer group. Small businesses can focus on creating a more personalised and bespoke service. By investing time in understanding their customer’s needs and requirements they have the potential to create a tailored solution that is perfectly suited to their audience and that comes with a higher premium.
- Disruptive Innovation
Small businesses have unique elements that set them apart from their larger competitors. Your small business is successful in its sector because larger rivals are not looking after their customers. Don’t be afraid to emphasise and showcase the unique and innovative aspects of your products or services and how they can benefit your audience and their sector.
Adaptability is key to having a competitive advantage. Smaller firms don’t have to deal with the red tape and extensive approval processes of the corporates and can be flexible in their approach. They can be adaptable in their dealing with customers and suppliers and how they reward and recognise their people.
Creativity is actively encouraged in smaller businesses, whereas in larger companies consistency and standardisation are preferred. Small businesses can take an agile approach, reacting faster to market forces, developing creative solutions and building a niche for themselves. They don’t have to go through layers of management or shareholders to implement change.
- Customer Support
Small businesses have the advantage of building personal relationships with their audience. They do this by providing their customers with a named-person who can look after them and manage their account. Customers at larger organisations are at the mercy of whoever picks up the phone. Most people they speak to don’t even offer a direct line number or personal email address. The type of people who choose to start (or work in) a small business more often than not enjoy what they do and are customer-focused, so customer retention rates are higher.
- Passion and Purpose
Passion and purpose are a lethal combination and successful small businesses have this in endless supply. When they connect with a customer’s passion, they create the perfect foundation for a long-term relationship.
- Listen and Hear
Unlike their bigger rivals, small businesses can create a two-way communication with their customers and get feedback quickly and respond in kind. The feedback from customers can affect the direction of the business, product benefits/features and the addition or removal of key services. This collaborative approach supports the process of consumers becoming stakeholders and raving fans.
As a smaller company, you can react quicker, make decisions faster and deliver small batches of products customised to client needs. You can become more than a supplier – a trusted resource for your customer. By caring about the detail and responding in small ways you will be the first port of call when the bigger companies are still trying to get management to say ‘yes’.
- Greater Connection
The advantage that smaller businesses have over larger companies is their ability to connect and build long-term, beneficial relationships with their clients. These connections are always stronger than those from larger companies and can be seen as an extension of their client’s team. it is an area the small business can excel at. The personal touch is something that large corporations, no matter how hard they try, simply cannot match.
Small companies have no reason to feel inferior to their larger rivals. They are perfectly placed and formed to capitalise on their strengths. A critical benefit in a competitive market.