David vs. Goliath. This battle between a giant and an underdog is probably the most popular one-on-one battle to have ever taken place.
Goliath was bigger and stronger than anyone else, but his weakness was his lack of agility. Although David was much smaller than Goliath, he was able to defeat the mighty giant with a sling and a stone.
Similarly in business, there are plenty of advantages small companies have over giant brands.
As a startup owner, you may think that getting a leg up on your bigger competitors is an uphill battle. But that is not the case.
Even if the idea of competing against behemoths strikes fear into your heart, don’t wait around.
This post will inspire you to put a well-rounded strategy in place and compete with the big guys. Just like the young David, every small business has a chance to accomplish the seemingly impossible in winning against larger competitors.
Table of contents:
1. 4 Ways Your Small Business Can Compete With Industry Giants
If you run a business on a budget, I know how tough it can be to compete with bigger competitors, especially when you cut costs like crazy to keep your cash flow in check.
You might have found yourself wondering how you can ever hope to sell against the big boys and win.
Truth is, a little bit of creativity and a good grassroots marketing strategy can go a long way.
Here are some effective tips to help you go toe-to-toe with giants in your niche.
1.1. Differentiate Your Product or Service
Product differentiation (sometimes referred to as USP – Unique Selling Proposition) is what makes your products or services unique.
So, just exactly how can you make your product or service more appealing to customers?
Provide high-end products? Possibly. Add a unique feature? Maybe. Use a competitive pricing strategy to increase sales? Not always.
Here are a few ways you can distinguish your offering from others that are vying for your audience’s attention:
- Add a unique feature or ingredient
Typically, customers are willing to pay more for a product or service with a feature or ingredient that others don’t have. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a significant change, but something that makes your product simpler, faster, or more convenient than any other product.
- Leverage innovation
Proprietary technology refers to patented products or services owned by your business. Put simply, proprietary technology is the secret sauce that makes your product or service completely unique and cannot be duplicated. Innovative products provide small businesses with a great opportunity to sharpen their competitive edges.
- Differentiate with design
Product design has a great impact on user experience (UX), especially when it comes to software. In fact, you can use design as an effective strategy to position your product. UX Magazine has published a very insightful article on how to differentiate a product with design, so I suggest you spare a few minutes to read it.
- Differentiate with packaging
Packaging plays a key role in marketing success, creating opportunities for small businesses to stand out among competitors. Yes, most of the time, packaging is meant to be thrown in the trash, but it has the power to call attention to your brand in many ways. Whether you focus on shape, graphics, or unique messages, creative packaging can go a long way in differentiating your product.
1.2. Personalise Your Customer Service & Customer Experience
Ok, you already knew this one, but it’s a key factor that can help you compete with the big guys (and win).
Typically, small businesses deal with fewer customers, so they have the opportunity to focus on personalisation.
With a small client base, it is easier for you to tailor customised services for your customers and show the human side of your business.
Big enterprises often lose touch with their target groups as they blast an impersonal message to a large audience. That’s why customers get the sense that their specific needs and interests aren’t so important for these brands.
But as a small business, you have the chance to stay closer to your customers. For example, you can compete against industry giants by learning your customers’ history and past purchases.
Even if you run a startup on a shoestring budget, you can use the professional and friendly voice of a virtual receptionist to provide personalised customer service. A virtual receptionist helps you get a leg up on big companies that typically offer customer experiences that feel impersonal, mechanical, and disinterested.
However, personalisation does not only apply to customer service. You can personalise the experience your customers have with your business throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey.
Read this post if you want to keep a finger on your customers’ pulse and compete with giants. It will teach you everything you need to know about personalisation in customer experience, plus some nifty tips to help you take your customer experience to the next level.
1.3. Leverage a Narrow Niche
Competing directly with industry giants isn’t an easy feat. However, you have good chances to capture market share if you tailor your offerings to a specific niche.
The more narrowly you can define your target audience, the more opportunities you have to compete with larger competitors.
While many industry giants have a little of everything, you can make your business stand out by providing a few products tailored to a very specific audience.
Start by identifying market gaps and leveraging them to determine a profitable niche.
Once you have narrowed down your niche, you can start harnessing the power of grassroots marketing (that I have mentioned at the start of this post).
While big companies’ campaigns aim to reach as many people as possible, grassroots marketing aims to target a narrow group of people.
What’s more beautiful about grassroots marketing is that it’s incredibly cost-effective and makes smaller campaigns viable.
There are many ways you can develop your own grassroots campaign. For example, you can create engaging content that appeals to the emotions of your target audience. Then, use a carefully-planned SEO strategy to draw more people to your content.
You’d be surprised to find out that you can create a successful grassroots campaign without any SEO knowledge and without spending too much money on marketing.
1.4. Harness the Power of Agility
Remember the story of David and Goliath?
For the mighty giant, David seemed small and fragile. However, David’s victory was assured by his agility, and your business is no different.
Business agility refers to the ability of a business to adapt to market changes. This means an agile business is ready to roll with the punches and rapidly adapt to internal and external changes.
Being agile means being quicker than your rivals. As a small business, you have the opportunity to be more nimble and flexible and make quick and firm decisions as opposed to the slow standardised processes that large enterprises typically implement.
For big companies, it can take years to implement major changes. For small businesses, these changes can occur in just a few weeks or even days.
For example, small businesses can use a flexible virtual office to avoid being tied to long-term lease agreements.
What’s great about virtual offices is that you can customise your package as your business grows or shrinks so that you can rapidly respond to changes and dynamic market conditions.
In addition, virtual offices enable you to keep overhead costs low so that you can reduce spending and maintain a healthy budget.
Conclusion: With more resources and huge marketing budgets, industry giants seem intimidating.
However, this doesn’t mean you should quickly throw in the towel. You can easily gain the upper hand over your competitors if you apply the tips in this post.
Just like the young David, you have the opportunity to turn the tables in your favour using advantages that industry giants don’t have.
Are you looking for ways to make your business more nimble and gain a competitive edge? Look no further since we have it all here. B2B HQ can provide you with all the necessary tools and services your small business needs to overcome competition and stand out in a crowded market. Contact us today, and let’s chat about what your business needs to compete with corporate giants and win.