How to successfully compete with the giants

Nigel Collin

You wouldn’t be wrong thinking that each week the headlines seem to reveal another leviathan of enterprise putting a stake in the ground claiming domination of it’s sector. For a small business, this can be not just concerning but downright scary. However, your size could be the thing that gives you an advantage when you compete with the big players.

Yes, the big guns have leverage to create price squeeze and yes, they have massive marketing dollars and strong brands to back them up. But that doesn’t mean small business can’t get the jump on them.

Be nimble
By your very size, being a small business also means you are far nimbler than a massive entity and as a result you can improve systems and processes faster, respond to customer needs quicker and when needed change course on a dime. Don’t underestimate the importance, especially for customers, of being flexible and your ability to do so.

Give your customers what they really want
This is one of the biggest weapons small business has against large players. Forget competing on price. It isn’t going to happen but instead give your customer what they truly want. Good old fashion service, a sense of feeling wanted appreciated, quick response times, expert advice, a friendly face and extra value. In a world where most buyers know more about your product than you do and where they have already shopped around on price, tap into what they really want because it’s those small touches that will win their loyalty and you can do that better.

Focus on the small things
It’s the small things that make a big difference. It’s attention to detail that helps you stand out. It’s those small improvements to everything you do, put in place consistently that ultimately gives you an edge over the big guys. While they’re making the big moves focus on the little things that keep your customers coming back, spending more and boosting your bottom line.

Take action
While other businesses are wondering what to do about the big competitors it’s the perfect time for you to leap ahead. It may sound unfair but many small businesses have their heads stuck in the sand and are paralysed with inertia which gives you an opportunity to take action. The challenge is to focus on what can you do to make you stand out, draw customers in and grow revenues and then act on those things.

Nigel Collin, Business Coach and Author of “Game of Inches”