Date Published: 3-Oct-2016 | By: Uma Sri
Competing against bigger and more established firms has always been a challenge for small and medium businesses. Some SMBs stay under the impression that they cannot compete with major players because they don’t have enough budget and resources to support their business. While others have realized that it is hard to compete but not impossible to succeed. Even though they don’t have enough marketing budgets, they are able to withstand the competition by establishing a special niche with their product quality and value added services. Basically, SMBs find it hard to compete on cost with big players because they cannot decrease the price of their products and services beyond certain level. However, they can have a good market presence by identifying the customer needs and tailoring their business solutions for those specific requirements.
Here are some of the strategies that can help small and medium businesses to compete with major players and withstand the market place in their business segment.
Create a Niche
Typically big companies come up with generalized products and services which may not be the right solution for all customers. Some may require customized solutions. These firms claim they can work on many products and services simultaneously and be good at all of them. But in reality they often tend to fail in withstanding the competition because focusing on too many things makes them unable to deliver the expectations of various customer segments. However, in case of SMBs, they can define their target markets and create a niche to identify themselves as different from others. Once the niche is created, SMBs can work towards enhancing their products and service offerings which will let them compete successfully and profitably.
Many small businesses wrongly believe innovation is possible only for big companies and that it requires huge budgets to maintain formal R&D research activities. This false belief is restricting SMBs from leveraging innovative ideas in their organization and is preventing them from growing into profitable companies. Innovation is all about doing things differently from others in a better and cost effective manner with the existing resources. It is about identifying the market needs at the right time and offering the effective solution of products or services at a better competitive price.
Sometimes when businesses grow into larger companies, it becomes harder for them to offer customized solutions to all types of customers. Since their client base is much bigger compared to small companies, it is difficult for them to tailor their products and services according to each client needs. This becomes an added advantage for SMBs because they are agile and can quickly adapt to the market & customer needs. They can well connect with the customers, understand their needs and build a better experience that the big companies could never match.
Streamlined Marketing Efforts
It is not a good idea to imitate big companies as large organizations can afford high budgets for promoting their products and services through marketing campaigns. SMBs have limited funds and cannot afford the same investment on creating and executing marketing campaigns like big companies. Further, methods that work for big companies may not work for small and medium businesses. For example, big companies reach out to potential customers via TV campaigns in addition to their efforts of doing business through known people. However, SMBs should leverage the word of mouth of initial customers and reach out through their existing network of friends and well wishers via social media, email, SMS and even Whatsapp broadcasts. One of the viable options is, SMBs can focus on making their marketing efforts as effective as possible so that the message can reach out to the wider customers. Spreading the word through online resources like social media is another affordable option which can turn out really well if targeted to the right audience.