According to a survey, 92% of people gave a favourable rating to small businesses, compared to 69% for bigger companies. This means that if you are a startup, the public would rather work with you than a big corporation. Since majority of people are in your corner, this would seem like ample encouragement to dive in and go toe to toe against the big boys, but then again, succeeding as a startup will take more than just opening your doors to the public. This statistic is especially important to startups, since one of the most intimidating things they face are multi-million-valued corporations. The resources these corporations have often guarantee that they win when pitted against smaller companies. As a startup, here are 5 ways you can compete with the big corporations and win!
- Never let them intimidate you: Though everyone might know you are a small company, you don’t necessarily have to act like one. The competing firms might spend ten times your entire operating budget on advertising alone, but it doesn’t necessarily make their product or service better. If you put together a strong team that can develop top-notch products and put everything into their work, it proves that you are a leader who can take your brand all the way. Be confident, demand the best results and believe that you can achieve what you’ve set ou to do. Keep in mind that the only ceiling you have is the one that you give yourself, so don’t give yourself unnecessary constraints.
- Stay connected to your clients: When companies grow to a certain level, it becomes easier for smaller businesses to compete with them, because they almost always lose the close connection they had to their customers. At the same time, small businesses can use online tools to be more productive and responsive than their small size might indicate. It has gotten consistently easier to compete with big companies, because the illusion of a big company as the only one who can get quality work done for you is starting to fade. People prefer having personal interactions with a company who cares about your project or business. When companies grow so large, they sacrifice having such connections with the customer. Big corporations get things like a good brand and a customer base down, but personalization – one of the things that delights customers is usually lost. Focus on personalizing your clients’ service by figuring out how they work best and meeting them there. When you show your clients how much personal care and customization they’re getting, they get more likely to ditch your corporate competition forever.
- Listen to your customers: Another way you can one-up the big corporations is by taking advantage of their almost general deafness when customer opinion is concerned. There are innumerable instances of shelf products that the producing companies refuse modify – even when their customers beg them to. Small businesses can easily do the opposite – give their customers a listening ear.clients will tell you exactly what they want and as long as these demands are reasonable, you only have to deliver.
- Deliver fast: The bureaucracy in big corporations makes them slower to deliver to customers. Protocol more often than not, slows them down and startups can again, use this to their advantage. Everyone hates slow service, so if your startup has a culture of operating with speed: responding to emails within minutes, delivery done in as few weeks as possible and personnel trained to make the best decisions in the shortest time, your client base will increase just as fast. Big things aren’t built to be fast, so use this weakness to your advantage.
- Be patient: Understand that company growth doesn’t happen overnight, but that if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, a reasonable timeline and a team that can deliver, you will get there in time. Don’t get discouraged because the first 10, 20 or 100 sales calls go nowhere. It only takes one break to change everything, and you never know when that break is going to come. Once you get your big break, work even harder. Take nothing for granted. After a few more big breaks, you will have another problem: You’re not a small company anymore, and you have to learn how to scale.