Safeguarding small businesses: strategies to counter the threat of corporate dominance

David hook Gioliath

As a small-business owner, I know firsthand how relentless you need to be to go up against the big corporations with deeper pockets. But there are a few things to note that can go further than money can.

Recently, Australian designer Katie Perry made headlines after winning a 14-year trademark lawsuit with the more-famous American singer Katy Perry.

I found Katie’s story fascinating and asked her to speak on my podcast, Financial Survivor Stories. Something that raises huge concerns for me, was that although her story was a major win for local small businesses and IP – it was also tremendously sad that she has had to go through this battle for so long even with her IP protected!

The ongoing mental toll the entire ordeal had on Katie as a small-business owner protecting her baby was an immense struggle for her business and personal mental health, and recently, the popstar Katy Perry appealed the decision of the court. Something Australian Katie says will cause her to lose everything if she loses.

If the result does swing in the popstar’s favour, this will be a major blow for Australian small businesses that play a vital role in fostering economic growth, innovation, and diversity within local communities.

So, it poses the question – will the ongoing emergence of large organisations looking to grow pose a significant threat to their survival?

In order to ensure the resilience and longevity of small businesses, it is crucial to adopt proactive measures to protect them from being overshadowed or taken over by corporate giants. Here are a few tips on keeping corporations from coming for your brand:

  1. Embrace authenticity: What is it that makes your business unique? Usually, bigger companies can sometimes lose sight of the values or goals of a smaller business. Your business being smaller has advantages, for which you can embed your culture and process faster than a bigger entity. Use that authenticity to build trust, attracting customers who appreciate your genuine approach.
  2. Be strategic: Forge partnerships with other small businesses, particularly those owned by people who align with your goals. This collaborative approach, by connecting resources, sharing expertise, and cross-promoting each other’s offerings, can collectively compete against larger corporations while amplifying your reach and impact.
  3. Cultivate a personalised customer experience: Women entrepreneurs often excel in understanding customer needs and building relationships. Leverage this strength by providing a personalised customer experience, tailoring your products or services and going the extra mile to make customers feel valued and appreciated.
  4. Social media influencers: Collaborate with influential people in your industry or local community who align with your brand values. Engage them as ambassadors or partners to amplify your message and increase brand visibility. This doesn’t have to cost the earth. You could do a swap on products or services to help each other.
  5. Protect your intellectual property: Safeguard your intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Consult with legal professionals specialising in intellectual property to ensure your ideas, brand, and innovations are adequately protected. This safeguards your unique offerings from imitation or exploitation by larger businesses.
  6. Embrace digital transformation: Embrace digital technologies to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and expand your reach. Use online platforms, e-commerce, and digital marketing strategies to connect and automate your communication with customers and compete on a more level playing field with larger corporations. If you have no idea how to do it, learn, or hire someone!

While the presence of big organisations may seem intimidating, small businesses can protect themselves by leveraging their unique strengths. There is room for us all, your personal strength is what separates the survivors from the rest.

Alone we are strong, together we are stronger.