Connect with Shama

Shama.TV: Running with the Big Dogs – Keeping Small Business Competitive

Today we’re looking at how smaller companies can compete against the big dogs. There are five main things you can do if you’re a smaller company trying to compete with a bigger one.

First, it’s all about your mindset, so change it already. Stop looking at being small as a weakness. Look at it instead as being a strength. When I first started the Marketing Zen Group, I didn’t reveal to our clients how young I was and at that time I was 23. I hid it because I thought it was a weakness. That was quickly dispelled when one of our clients told me that they’d hired us because I was young and they wanted a young person leading their digital strategy. It came as a surprise when I realized what I had considered a weakness was really considered a strength. Smaller companies can be more nimble; they can get more creative. Use that as an advantage.

Number two, get personal and get everyone on the team involved. One of the challenges that big companies have is that they can’t get buy-in from all the other employees. At a smaller company, you certainly can. Make sure you know every individual strength and network and leverage it to the fullest.

Next, pick a niche or create a completely new category for your business. Would you want to start a circus? Probably not, because the industry is pretty competitive and there are a lot of circuses out there already. Cirque du Soleil didn’t either, but they created a brand new category for themselves by targeting a different crowd. Pick a niche where you can stand out.

Number four, don’t compare. I know it’s hard, but if you compare yourself constantly to bigger companies, you’ll never get further in your own business. Instead measure progress. Look at where you were last year and plan where you want to be in the next year.

Last, team up with the big guys. They may seem like a competitor, but they could be an ally. Look at where your strengths might compliment their weaknesses. Perhaps they have resources you need and vice versa.

Do you have any tips for David versus Goliath? Share them in the comments!