Competing with big brands as a small business

With smart thinking, small businesses can effectively compete and win against well-established big brands.

By Henry Brown

As exciting as it is to build a small business from the ground up, it can be quite daunting to compete with established organizations in your industry. Winning over consumers in your target market comes down to the way in which you brand your business, and you’re competing with companies that have already established reputable names for themselves. If you want to compete with big brands as a small business, you need to find a way to turn heads in your industry and start building your own reputation. Here’s some advice in that regard.

Conduct frequent market research

A smart way to compete with big brands as a small business is to conduct frequent market research. In the world of business, information is power. You have to pay attention to your rivals and your potential customers. That’s the best way to spot gaps in the market and find your opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

[amazon_link asins=’1717293190′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’65c2316c-9b04-11e8-9326-4dc3e7f5d1af’]Research is also crucial when it comes to delivering the best possible service to your clients. You might even want to use CRM (customer relationship management) software to analyze information from your business’ website, social media pages, and emails to learn more about your customers. You can find an explanation here if you want to learn more about this type of research approach. The point is that you need to keep up with your industry if you want to stay ahead of the curve. You need to know your customers and your competition.

Get your money organized

If you really want to compete effectively with the big names in your industry, you need to know what you’re doing with your business finances. Making sales is only the first step to success. You need to have an organized monetary plan. You need to know how to keep overhead costs low so as to reduce margin erosion and give your company more money to invest towards growth. But you also need to keep costs low without compromising on quality. Think about unnecessary costs that can be avoided. For example, you don’t need paper in the digital age. And you can save money on energy bills in the office by reminding people to turn off lights or computers when they’re not using them. Small things make a difference.

[amazon_link asins=’1881052540′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7a6231ce-9b04-11e8-a76b-cbbb7dfe09dd’]Foster strong relationships with customers.

Reputable brands might be very successful, but some bigger businesses can struggle to connect with customers in the same way as a smaller business. When you’re dealing with a massive client base, it’s hard to give each individual customer the level of attention they might want. As a small business, this is the area in which you can shine. If you’re trying to build a reputation for yourself, you should aim to foster strong relationships with your existing customers.

You need to reward customers for choosing your company – that’s how you start to build a long-term client base. For example, you could email customers with a discount or a voucher as a way of expressing gratitude. When you’re trying to retain clients, customer incentives often work. You might even want to thank big clients by sending them a handwritten letter of gratitude for choosing your business as their supplier for a particular product or service. In this digital age, a gesture such as that will stand out and really make it hard for a client to forget your small business in a hurry.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.


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