Name an industry and the chances are good it has one, two, or three major “players” at most. How do the smaller guys and gals ever have a chance of competing? Most struggle at the task and fade out after years of hard work to keep up with the big dogs.
However, there are many small companies that have managed to carve themselves out a niche in an industry dominated by major corporations. They do so via a number of tactics and benefits, the most common of which are listed below:
Efficient outreach: Spreading the news about deals, offers, and opportunities to current and potential customers is critical for companies of all sizes. To rise to the level of outreach conducted by large competitors, small businesses are forced to spend their limited time marketing instead of focusing on the products and/or services being provided. Or, as many successful small businesses have discovered, the trick is to use technology to make outreach more efficient and effective on a small scale. Utilizing a predictive dialer service or taking advantage of social media are just two of the ways to achieve this goal. Such resources are easily scaled, so as the company grows, the outreach efforts stay efficient.
Powerful partnerships: Big companies and giant corporations are able to take care of a variety of processes and systems in-house. It’s seen as a cost-saving measure, but such self-reliance can slowly make a business isolated from the interconnected world around it. The result is often an ivory tower mindset within a business monolith, where conservative measures and cost-cutting tactics are prioritized over everything else. Small companies, on the other hand, are more likely to find themselves within a network of interdependent businesses. The benefit is a “take off and go” approach to new ideas, thanks to a compartmentalized, contracted out workload. This, compared to the lumbering and bureaucratic policies of large corporations, makes for swifter sales action and marketing execution.
Tailored growth: Once big businesses achieve their momentum with a specific product, service, or marketing approach, it becomes very difficult for them to change course. This despite glaring complaints from customers and clients about certain aspects of the product or service, or easy to perceive weaknesses in advertising potential. Small businesses, on the other hand, are in a position to be more reactive to market change and trends. They can better tailor their operations to the preferences of clients and customers, as smaller companies can typically recalibrate themselves without it leading to millions in lost revenue.
Reading history: Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a small newcomer to an industry dominated by major players is the ability to read their histories. Learning from the mistakes of the big boys enables small startups to avoid dead end efforts and flat-line investments. At the same time, what didn’t work in one instance doesn’t mean it will always fail; small companies may be able to identify the misstep in an otherwise clever effort by a competitor, replace it with improved footing, and turn it into a successful strategy for growth.
Seizing trends: The struggle of the small business is “in” right now. That is to say, consumers are eager to support startups over established alternatives so long as the product or service is sound. It’s important for small businesses to seize this popularity and use it to their advantage. Don’t be afraid to make a point in advertising or outreach about the humble nature of the brand. Once something companies liked to hide, “mom and pop” status is one of the greatest assets a small business can have in attracting new customers. Of course, grow too much and the charm becomes at risk of being lost – but you can worry about that when you get there.
Being a major player in an industry no doubt comes with its advantages. Yet small businesses have a box of tools at their disposal to help them compete. Ranging from streamlined operations to capitalizing on the current appreciation consumers have for the “little guy,” these resources help to not only keep startups afloat, but powered full steam ahead.