While facing tough competition is a part of any business, it can be intimidating when trying to pitch your small business against a corporate giant. In fact, it might seem impossible, especially when you consider that your small business has a limited number of staff and a tight budget, while larger companies can splash the cash and hire staff when needed.
However, no matter how small your company, there are a number of ways you can make your business stand out and compete with the biggest corporate companies.
Upgrade Your Technology
One of the best tools that small businesses can utilise is technology, for two major reasons: efficiency and customer reach. For the former, by upgrading technology and systems, essential tasks can be completed faster and with greater flexibility, fostering innovation in the work place. In terms of the latter, improving software and processes such as ensuring that your website is compatible on multiple platforms, means that your customers can access your business, anywhere, anytime, potentially boosting sales.
Connect Your Employees
While connecting your work force once meant picking up the phone, sending an email or arranging a meeting, the digital revolution has created new ways to bring your employees together. To foster a more creative, collaborative and efficient work place, you could consider utilising video chats and conferencing, installing an office-wide instant messaging service, uploading documents to an online cloud storage facility so that they can be accessed everywhere, or opening up physical office space to allow team work.
Present the Right Image
Your company’s image is everything and could instil a sense of trust and professionalism, or harm the reputation of your business. In days gone by, this might have meant dressing in a business-like manner but in an internet-driven world, it means so much more, including social media and effective online marketing strategies. If your businesses operates from home or a small office, think about renting a meeting room from the likes of CitizenM (they even offer rooms in airports – perfect for international trade), to present a professional image.
Invest in Your Customers
Your customers are the lifeblood of your company and therefore if you hope to improve the efficiency of your business and compete with larger counterparts, it’s vital that you invest in the customer experience. There are a number of ways to do this, including providing instant customer support via social media or online chat features, listening to your customers and providing them with the chance to give their feedback, offering incentives and membership clubs, and actively responding to complaints or criticism.
Outsource to Specialists
While investing in customers is essential, it’s also time consuming. Thankfully, for small businesses whose limited time is precious, there are other ways to increase customer satisfaction – outsourcing. By assigning tasks to a third party, your business can spend trading hours more efficiently, helping you to compete.
In addition to customer service, you could also outsource business tasks such as: accounting, employing a virtual receptionist, handing over administrative tasks, or paying for a social media expert.
No matter how small your business, or what industry it’s in, utilising these five tips could help your business to become more efficient, saving you time and helping you to grow, in turn, meaning you can compete with bigger companies.