Your small business wasn’t meant to stay small, right?
Research shows the main reasons people start businesses include:
- Wanting to make more money
- Wanting to improve a product or market
- Having a passion for business
- Wanting to empower others
If you had any one of these motivations your business plan was focused on making it big:
- Money lies in great success
- Only large corporations can employ many people and empower them to move up through the ranks
- Business is about growth, not keeping the status quo
- You will gain respect of the market and your peers as your business grows
So how do you succeed in growing past your competitors? I have a few ideas.
1- Build Relationships
Here’s a surprising fact: Customers aren’t only after the best and cheapest products. They’re after the best customer service. And much of that has to do with quality relationships. How good are you at building them?
A consumer hopes to get treated with respect and to find people he or she can engage with. If you provide this more than the big corporations you’ll gain the client’s loyalty:
- Respond to inquiries fast to show respect for people’s time.
- Reply to social media comments to engage in conversation.
- Develop an app to stay in constant communication with clients.
This is something you can easily do better than competitors without a huge capital investment. And loyal customers are a valuable asset and one of your best marketing tools. Make sure they talk about you to their friends!
2- Let Your Website Distinguish You from the Rest
It’s tough beating the big companies at their game. Can your service or product really outplay them?
Surprising fact #2: Your products or services don’t have to be better. They simply have to be unique.
Your website is a showcase of your wares. Yes, you must give detailed information so people know exactly what they’re paying for.
But don’t waste time listing only the benefits. Consumers are used to hearing how amazing products are. But they’ll eventually commit to something that is different than anything else.
Here’s how you do it:
- Mention that you’re faster than others in the market.
- Are you using the latest equipment?
- State how your products are the only ones offering a new feature.
- Do you have a unique delivery feature so they get their orders faster?
- Can you claim to be eco friendly?
- Do you respond to inquiries instantly while competitors make customers wait?
- These facts will all be more compelling to your site visitors than any expensive ad.
Remember, your product range is smaller than what the big brands offer. So you can’t compete on that level. But being different is an excellent marketing angle. Don’t you love finding a novelty too?
3- Study Your Competitors
It’s a war, isn’t it? And no army wins without knowing its opposition. Study who you’re up against.
You have three main goals.
Learn from their strengths
Big corporations already did the ground work with market research and studies. So learn from it and use it to your benefit:
- Which target market do they focus on? Is it time you adjust who you aim your marketing at?
- Did they publish blogs or eBooks about the industry? Can you learn from this? Don’t let pride prevent you from growing and bringing immediate positive changes.
- What marketing mediums do they focus on? Follow suit because big brands don’t waste money on ineffective methods.
Benefit from their weakness
No company does everything right. What did the big brands forget about that don’t require much funding? If they focus on Facebook but not Instagram you’ve found an audience to capitalize on. Any gap left by your opposition needs to be filled by you.
Read their reviews and see what customers comment on. This is what’s important to your audience. Make sure you get it right so you don’t get the same negative feedback.
Find a niche that they are not focusing on
You can find ways of beating big brands at their own game. But it’s even smarter to look for niche markets the corporations don’t provide for.
Big companies don’t always care about niche markets because they bring in lower revenue than popular products. But imagine your income if you can target all of them.
Perhaps it won’t pay off in a land based store. But with online business you can reach people no matter where they are. This results in a large enough niche audience.
Now you create your own playing field instead of competing at a disadvantage.
4- Stay Relevant
One of your competitors’ mistakes may be falling into marketing ruts:
- Using the same ad campaign
- Never rebranding
- Not using modern marketing methods
Make sure you stay up to date with your online content. This puts you in contact with customers the big brands may never reach:
- Consumers spend a lot of time on social media. Are you using this platform?
- Images and videos are more popular than text. People love this and it boosts your SEO. A catchy video you create will be shared and seen by more people than your competitor’s boring text posts.
- Hashtags are everywhere. Add them to your posts so your ads get picked up by more browsers.
- People don’t want to hear about your products. They want to hear the latest gossip. Create posts about newsworthy items and then connect that to your business.
Yes it calls for some creative thinking. Big businesses lose out because they don’t go the extra mile anymore. Don’t make the same mistakes they do.
The Bottom Line:
You’ve decided to enter the business world at an exciting time. Websites and online sales make it more exciting. But if you don’t show your competence and get this right, make peace with your business staying the size it is now. Will you be satisfied with that?