Small businesses do not have the budgets to compete at the same scale as large businesses. Because of this inherent disadvantage, smaller businesses like yours need to understand how best to get the most exposure to the market with the lowest amount of money. There are at least 5 areas that a small business can focus on that will give you a competitive advantage comparable to that of a larger company.
1. Focus on the Advantage of Being Smaller
An advantage that your business has over a larger competitor is actually the fact that you are small. You should learn to use being small as an asset, as opposed to a liability, when competing in the marketplace. As a small business you can respond to the needs of your customers without having to move through a large and inefficient corporate bureaucracy to do so. You are seen as being more accessible to your customers because of your size, and customers can approach you with questions or concerns more readily than they can a larger competitor. Small size makes you nimble; use it to your advantage!
2. Be a Part of the Community
Small businesses are an important part of the communities in which they serve. Small businesses engage with their communities by sponsoring little league teams, hosting car washes for the local high school cheerleading squads and even attending community festivals. The more a part of the community where your company does business you are, the more connected your customers will feel to you and the more likely they will be to support you in return.
3. Show the Value of Being Local
There is an eco-friendly aspect to being a small local business. Customers do not have to give thought about the amount of fossil fuels used to ship your products across the country or world as long as you maintain as local a presence as possible. There is a tremendous amount of value that comes from being a local business that can be seen as a competitive advantage for you.
If you want to control your local market and have your customers to see you as part of the community, you should try to do business as locally as possible whenever the opportunity arises. If you can do business with vendors and providers within your local community, you help further sustain and support the local economy and further impress upon your customers your commitment to the area in which you do business. This helps further incentivize their continued patronage and support.
5. Cultivate a Good Reputation
Your reputation as a small business is much easier to manage than it would be if you were a large corporation. In a large business, an errant comment made by an out-of touch CEO can have a ripple effect throughout your supplier-chain down to the businesses that have a relationship with you and even the customers. As a small local business (particularly one where you as the owner wear multiple hats) the buck stops with you. You can control your image and messaging and take care to maintain a good reputation throughout the community.
Focusing on these areas of your small business gives it the competitive edge your company needs to be successful in the business world. Recognizing the strengths your small business has, that a larger business does not have, will allow your company to excel and grow.