There are many advantages to working in a small business model rather than a larger operation. Small companies are generally more agile, flexible, and able to make quick decisions. The tricky part often comes when you need to secure a contract over a larger company with more resources. So what can you do to stand out as a small fish in a big pond? We have five hacks that will help you compete.
Project a Big Business Image
While size doesn’t equate to expertise and a larger company won’t necessarily deliver better results, large and well-established firms often manage to convey an air of solidity, prestige, and reliability that can give them an edge when pitching for business. However, you can emulate this by projecting your own highly-polished and professional business image. Start by setting up a virtual office. A virtual office offers small organizations a distinguished inner city address, a professional receptionist service, and an impressive location to host business meetings. You can project the image of a bigger business for a relatively small investment.
Find Your Niche
Many businesses fail because they try to offer something for everyone. If you know your point of difference and the area you excel in, then you can focus on this niche area and invest your time and resources into targeting a specific audience with a particular offering that meets their unique needs. An excellent example of this strategy is Lefty’s in San Francisco, who offer an extensive range of kitchen, stationery, and gardening tools for left-handed people, who make up around 10% of the population. Instead of trying to appeal to the entire community, they focus on catering exceedingly well to a smaller segment of the market.
Be Very Targeted in Your Approach
Taking a targeted approach is also smart when you start putting together your marketing strategy. Since digital advertising allows you to be very specific about who sees your ads, as long as you know your core customer well, you don’t need to waste time or money targeting anyone else. Instead, use this to your advantage and tailor your message specifically to this audience. If web marketing isn’t your area of expertise, it may be worthwhile consulting an expert to help you refine your message and creatively appeal to your core audience.
Create a Best-in-Class Website
Your online presence is often the first experience the customer has with your organization, and as the saying goes, first impressions count! You can make your business stand out from the competition by creating a user-friendly site that is easy to navigate, mobile friendly, polished, and professional. Integrating helpful tips and how-to guides will also help build your brand image as a trustworthy expert.
Deliver Exemplary Service
Offering personalized service is the perfect way to turn your small size into a big advantage. Look for ways to make each customer feel recognized and valuable to your business. Depending on your client base, this could range from corporate gifts at Christmas time to a loyalty program, or it could even be as simple as making a note of their children’s names to ask about them the next time they visit.
The cloud offers small businesses many ways to automate previously labor-intensive processes. Innovative technologies such as automated accounting software, freight management software and others can save you enormous amounts of time, resources and money.
The trick is to make your size work for you, not against you. There are many advantages to running a smaller and more agile organization, so leverage these differences to give you an edge over your competition.