When operating a small business, it can be difficult to compete with the big boys. It’s a classic David and Goliath story. How are you expected to grow your company when you don’t have the resources that the bigger companies have at their disposal? Well, it isn’t easy, but then it’s not impossible, either. Customers will gravitate to larger companies because they equate size with success. However, you shouldn’t cower in fear and give up at the first hurdle because you don’t think you can win the battle for customers. By increasing awareness and appearing professional, even if it’s just you sat in your bedroom with a computer, you can still increase your chances of gaining a foothold over the competition.
Remember, however, that you can do things that the big boys in business can’t. You may be able to offer a personal touch to customers that bigger business don’t have time for, for example. These are the other things you should focus on.
Focus on your website
You may be able to whip up a fairly good looking website using one of the many free services online, but that is no substitute for having something up and running that looks better and performs flawlessly. For that reason, we recommend you invest in a professional web designer to create a website for you. They will ensure it is optimized for mobile devices, increase functionality to incorporate all the features a customer expects, and use SEO to get a better search engine ranking. A website that looks and feels good will automatically create greater confidence in the customer, and make you comparable to a larger company.
You should also pay for your own domain name. If you have gone down the route of making your own site using a free online service, then you are going to be stuck with their domain title. Going for your own domain name will make you appear more professional. Extend this to email services. G Suite and Office 365 are among the best email hosting services, and having your company name at the end of your email address, rather than gmail or hotmail, will give you added credibility.
People need to know and hear about you, even when you’re not in the same room. Getting word about your business into the open world is imperative, and the more people talk about your business, the bigger they will think you are. Therefore, spread the word.
For starters, get to grips with social media. You don’t need to have an account across all platforms, but Facebook and Twitter are a must. Get word of your business out to all of your followers, and then get them to do the same with theirs. Constantly update your social media platforms, ensuring your followers (including customers) are aware that you still exist. The more you post, the more people will have to share and talk about.
You should also create a brand for your company. Check out the tips we gave you on our site to form a successful brand. All the big boys do it, from Coca Cola to Apple, and you are bound to recognize the logos and slogans they use due to the constant bombardment in the media. Again, you should do the same, so emblazon your brand across your website, business cards, media advertising, etc. Think of it this way. Don’t be the generic brand of cereal pushed at the back of a supermarket shelf. Having your own brand will push you to the forefront, allowing you to sit with pride next to your competitors, no matter how big they are.
Finally, become a thought leader. Work to get your own articles published in trade magazines and niche websites. Speak at industry forums and conventions. Invest in a quality video, using a corporate video production company to highlight your business, rather than something for YouTube in your bedroom. Your company may be small, but you can amplify your reputation by getting your name and the name of your company, out into the wider world.
You may not win the battle against the big boys, but is it really about winning anyway? Provided you can survive in business; you can still go toe to toe with them on a daily basis. A professionally produced website and positive word of mouth will give you credibility, giving you the basis to keep going in business for a long time to come. Good luck.