A CNN article entitled “How to compete against a corporate giant – and win” recently caught my attention. It gives a lot of great advice on how small businesses can stand out against the competition in surprisingly simple ways.
1. Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to spread the word about your products cheaply and effectively.
2. Focus on what makes your products unique. You must differentiate your brand to get people’s attention.
3. Gather customer recommendations to show other potential customers. Your website should be full of powerful testimonials from happy customers.
4. Sponsor events or organizations that tie into your target market. This is a good way to get in front of people who are looking to try new products like yours.
5. Respond promptly to customer requests and feedback. Some customers prefer doing business with small businesses because of the quick and personal responses they get.
6. Personalize your customer service in ways larger companies can’t. When you have a small customer base you can have customers speak to the CEO on the phone and do other things that you would never expect from a giant corporation.
7. Use inventory control software that offers the same features that large corporations have. This will help you optimize inventory levels and cut carrying costs.
8. Run as lean as possible without sacrificing quality. Eliminate as many unnecessary expenses as possible by using inventory control software to identify and fix problem areas.
9. Create an open corporate culture that empowers employees and eliminates red tape. You can make up for your comparative lack of resources with a lot of innovation and employee engagement.
10. Earn people’s trust. Position your company as an expert problem solver in your field through blogs, social media, videos, etc. People are more likely to trust companies that give them useful, impartial advice.