How can small businesses compete with large brands?

Owning a small business gives you two unique advantages over a larger company. These are:

  1. You’ve got a lot more flexibility and freedom  
  2. You can offer a personalised approach to the customer

In most cases a larger company will always take longer to implement changes to their normal processes. They also lack the ability to get to know their customers, just because they’re doing everything in such a large scale.

While you might struggle to overtake them in size, you have a LOT of different opportunities to win on a small scale locally or within a specific niche and take customers away from the large businesses.

Offer a personal service

A big complaint many clients have when working with a large business is the complete lack of personalisation. This is something larger companies try to accomplish with automation and an omni-level approach to marketing, but the solutions can never compete with the 1:1 personalised approach a small business can implement.

Think of it this way, if you walk into a pub and the bar staff know your name and your normal order it makes you want to go back right?

A personalised approach can literally give you the same reach as an omni-channel marketing strategy implemented by a large corporation. Why? Because the 1:1 engagement compounds itself. For example, Sally the women you bent over backwards for will end up telling the other mums all about her fantastic experience on the school run. Word of mouth is ridiculously powerful and as long as you can ensure that service never drops, you’ll be drowning in success.

Think of the 1000 fan theory – i’ll summarise this just in case you’re not aware of it. The 1000 fan theory basically says most of your income can be earned from 1000 fans. Sure, if you’re a small business you could focus on 100 fans. A fan is classified as someone who will come to all your gigs, buy all your new products, engage on social media etc.

Use the fact you’re a small business to your advantage and build close relationships with your customers. If you’re a slightly larger business there are some things you can implement for a few different strategies.

For example, you could add an account manager if you’re a service based business or have large paying clients. This means you can get rid of automated phone systems and will allow your account managers to spend time with all your clients.

If you’re in retail, ensuring you’ve got enough floor staff also helps. However, you can amplify the quality of experience they provide by training them and making sure they always consider the customers experience.

This can then be amplified by rewarding staff who do a great job, performing customer satisfaction reviews and implementing mystery shoppers every now and then.

Additionally, if you want to personalise the customers journey from start to finish you can implement other Face to Face marketing strategies. This is something Acwyre can assist with.


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