As a small business owner, you are bound to face many challenges especially in the startup stages of your business. Competition from larger companies is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges you will face.
Bigger companies have extensive marketing budgets which enable them to make bulk purchases and this can make standing out for small businesses next to impossible. This can easily make you feel powerless as a small business owner.
As much as you may feel like you are no match for these giants, your small business does have a lot of advantages over large ones and capitalizing on them can give you an edge over their bigger, more established counterparts. I’ve put together some helpful tips to guide you on how to face competition in business to help your small business compete at a level playing field with the sharks.
1. Pick a Niche
Purpose to provide something different that other companies aren’t already providing. This minimizes the already existing competition and ultimately gives your business more room for expansion.
Identify your basic consumers and then focus on their basic needs, and then make sure you provide them with exactly what they need.
Targeting a particular market ensures you get sky-high sales, which ensure your business has more revenue for marketing so you can create a following for your business. Having a huge following means you can easily expand your business.
2. Enhance your customer service
As a small business out to stand out and beat the stiff competition posed by the bigger enterprises, you need to make great customer service and relationships your best friend. This should be easy for you as a small business owner since you can communicate directly with your customers without the protocol that is associated with bigger businesses.
Great relationships and experiences are just as important to your customers as your great products are. Ensure your customer care team always remains courteous and respectful to your customers.
A lot of them will often come to your business first if they know you provide a relationship that it isn’t available in the big businesses, even if it your products and/or cost a little more.
You can improve your customer service by solving any complaints and concerns that your customers may have, sending personalized, handwritten thank you notes, etc.
Remember, being attentive to your customers needs ultimately makes them feel special and valued and they spread the word to their friends or leave you great reviews – automatically doing your marketing for you, for free. This in turn results in more customers for you.
3. Captivate your customers
This goes hand in hand with offering great customer service. As a small business owner, you are better placed to create closer connections with your target audience. While doing my research, I found out that clients are more drawn to businesses that engage with them.
Some things you can do to create closer connections with your customers especially on social media include responding to questions, reviews and emails. By directly engaging with your target audience, you are able to discover any new products and/or service needs they may have, quicker than big business can therefore be in a position to provide.
4. Be innovative
Change in business, just like in every other aspect of life, is inevitable. Keep in mind that the market is being flooded by new companies everyday that do what you do, posing more competition to your small business and the competition you already have never sleeps when it comes to innovating their products.
Embracing change and being bold and innovative with your products and services on a regular basis makes you a hard act to keep up with.
5. Identify and solve customer needs
Another way that your small business can deal with competitors in business is by identifying your customers’ needs and providing solutions for these needs.
Find out exactly what your customers crave while using your products or services by asking unanswered questions, then endeavor to meet these expectations and furnish them with what they require instead of what you want to sell them. Filling the gaps that your competitors aren’t as focused on will see your sales skyrocket.
6. Get your pricing right
You can’t afford to play around with pricing of your products and services when dealing with competitors in business. Your prices should be standard and they should offer the best value for money.
This does not always mean reducing your prices. Identify your target market; it could be lower, middle or upper class, then set your prices accordingly.
7. Be efficient
Efficiency is vital when facing stiff competition in business. Being quick to respond to your customers’ rising needs will give you an edge over larger businesses.
This should be fairly easy for your small business since you don’t have to go through a long chain of command to get approval for the resources you need to implement new ideas.
Simply identify what changes you need to effect to improve efficiency and put them into motion. Bigger companies on the other hand cannot lift a finger without the go ahead from management.
8. Employ the right people
The kind of people you hire in your business automatically determine how well your business does.
In short, your employees can make or break your business. Your few employees may not be much of a match in terms of numbers for the bigger companies, but they can be better.
If you have great employees who know your products and services and give personal attention to your customers, you can easily knock these sharks out of the business
9. Create a reputation
When you and your employees know your customers well, serve them quickly and pleasantly, when you offer great products and services at unbeatable prices, then you make a good name for your small business in the community. You build a reputation. This is a major win when dealing with competition in business.
There you go. These few tips should arm your small business with everything it needs to face off against business giants. Do not let the size of your business or your team discourage you. You can successfully compete with and beat the larger businesses in the business game. All the best!