You have started your business with a product/service you think people are going to love. But, then there is a thought in your mind- “How am i going to compete with the big fish of the industry? How would my business make a brand identity for itself?” To tell you the truth it’s going to be hard, in fact near to impossible would be the words that can best describe the scenario. So, should you give up your dreams? Absolutely not. Remember the bigger brands that you are fighting against once themselves were a small business and have made their way to the top by perseverance, proper planning and great team. Now, there are several tips and tricks that has been used by these small businesses to fight against bigger brands. We are sharing some of these tips that would help you to compete with large competitors in your business-
Pick your niche- One of the major mistake a small business does is to try to build too many thing in a given time. Now, developing the product takes time and as said by Jason Fried “The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is too launch.” So, what would be the best scenario for small business. Focus on a specific niche during the initial phase. Suppose you have a graphic design business then you can initially focus on logo design, tshirt design or any one of the specific field. Get clients who need such services and put your heart out in those projects. Remember, your present client can be your best source of marketing and your recurring customer in future. Therefore, our advice would be to focus on one product/service in the initial phase to create a market for your company. This would also help you to easily select who your competitors are and make your plans accordingly to tackle them. Build Personal Relationship- The biggest advantage small businesses have over bigger brand is the option to create a personal touch with their customers. For bigger brands it’s nearly impossible to be in personal touch with each and every customer. However, for smaller brands this can turn into a big advantage as they can easily maintain a personal touch with their customers. The reason being that smaller businesses have small number of customers, who most probably belong to a certain market type, region, etc. Here are some tips on how smaller brands can create personal relationship with their clients- a. Send greeting cards on the special events in your client’s life like birthdays, anniversary, etc. b. Always have a customer support number through which your customers can contact you. c. If your customers are based in a particular region only, then you can easily create a contest, event in that area inviting your customers. Define Your Target Market Area- As a small business you can not target anyone and everyone. You need to define your target market area to be successful in your venture and eventually help it grow. Here are some ways you can define the target market area- a. Age- Are your target audience kids, adults or older people? Your product, marketing strategy and everything would depend on who your target audience are. b. Region- If your target market is spread across a wide area then you might want to use digital marketing as your advertising medium as offline marketing can prove too costly. c. Purchasing Trend- Does your audience prefer buying the product/services online or are they more interested in personal visit to your office or store. The research on your target market area would greatly help you in creating your marketing strategy. Do not compete on pricing- A common mistake small business do is that they try competing with bigger business on pricing. They generally launch the product at a price that is cheaper than their competitor. Now, the problem arises when the bigger brand starts lowering their prices. With a large amount of money in hand these organisations can easily beat small businesses in pricing. The advice we would give is not to compete with bigger companies on pricing. Rather then you should create a special value for your product/service. Make your present and prospective client realise the value that you provide and create among them a feeling that they would miss something amazing, if they do not avail your service. Create your brand value in such a way that customers know that you are there to help them with their problems and not just doing business. This can be done in many simple ways. For e.g. if you are in a website design business you can provide your customer with free tools like slogan creator, logo generator, etc. that can help them in their business activities. Partner with locals- If you are a local business, then partnering with other local businesses who are not your competitors can provide a real boost for your organisation. The important thing is that one should not go on randomly associating with other businesses. First research where your target customers might be going, see if these businesses are not your competitors and then trying partnering with them. From allowing banners of your business in their store to presenting offers for partner store you can look for multiple type of partnership with other business. Fail Forward- For a small business, one important advantage is that they have flexibility to change their product, business model, etc. as per the current scenario. On the other hand it becomes very hard for for a big brand to make big changes as they would have already done a lot of marketing, have customers using that product/service, etc. So, as a small business think of the market as an empty canvas which you have to paint. Your initial decisions might be bad but they would definitely give you a lot of experience about market and more importantly what not to do in the business. Thus, take the advantage of still being in a nascent stage and fail forward till you succeed.
Use Technology to Your Advantage- Years back, the cost of reaching masses was too high to bear for a small organisation. But, now the scenario has changed. With social media becoming the best place to advertise your brand and reach the target audience it has become very easy for small business to create a buzz about them. Also you can use tool for bulk mailing, live chat support, etc. Therefore, we would advise you to use every possible tool at your disposal to create a buzz about your business. To compete with big brands one needs to think strategically, have good planning and above all believe in the product that you offer. Using the several tips we have mentioned above, small business can easily hold their ground against big businesses. What do you think? Do share your views.