David versus Goliath, that is the eternal story of how small businesses compete, and win. While small business continues to be the engine which drives the economy, it has never been tougher to run a small business. Sure, the tax breaks help but if your business doesn’t qualify for the 20 percent deduction, then your are at a disadvantage.
Then there is the march off big businesses across the country. Just drive through any town and you will see the chain restaurants, Dollar Generals, and other big companies crowding out local retailers. But let’s face it, owning your own business has never been easy, and for many, that is part of the allure. With that in mind here are five ways small businesses can beat big companies.
Small is Fast
Big companies might have all the resources, but they are also extremely bureaucratic, and this can lead to a form of paralysis when it comes to making decisions. Compare this to small businesses which are closer to their customers and their communities and this creates an opportunity to be fast.
Another advantage of being small and fast is that it is much easier to recover from a mistake. The only catch is that you as the owner must possess the ability to accept when something is wrong and then move to make it right. This can be hard but if you can do this it will bring you closer to the customer and this is always a good thing.
Full Court Press
By definition, big companies are, well, big. This means that they always try to be everywhere and try everything; however, this is close to impossible. Again, this is an advantage for small businesses as they can run full court presses when required.
What does this mean? As a small business owner, you can work closely with each member of your team and even with each customer in a way that the leaders of big companies could never hope to do. This is an opportunity to build relationships in a way which large companies could never hope to achieve, so again here is another way build a successful business.
You need to be fearless to run a small business. For starters, the odds are stacked against you and this means that the last thing you can do is dwell on the downside. Sure, big businesses are also faced with numerous risks but in many ways, the downside is less personal than it is for the small business owner.
As the story goes, when Cortez came to the New World, he ordered his crew to burn their ships. Even if this story isn’t true, the lesson is simple – let go of your fears and embrace the new reality as it is the only way you can thrive.
How do you make this happen? For starters, be confident. Now, there is a fine line between confidence and a sort of blithe ignorance but if you want your business to grow then you need your team and your customers to believe in what you are doing.
Another way to be fearless is to learn to let go. This could be the delegation of authority within your business or it could even be outsourcing certain non-core tasks, such as accounting and bookkeeping to firms such as LYFE Accounting which focus on the issues faced by small businesses, so that you can focus on taking care of your customers.
Remain Connected with the Community
While big businesses like to show that they are connected to communities around the country, the reality is that there is a disconnect. Sure, these companies employ hundreds, even thousands, of people across the country. But when it comes to making decisions or getting truly getting involved with communities there is a limit to what they can do.
Compare this to your business. You are in the community; your customers are your neighbors or the coach of your daughter’s softball team. This means that you always have a chance to be involved in the community and in doing do so you better understand the issues of importance as they impact your life as well.
If you are the CEO of a big company, then you are measured by one thing alone – quarterly results. In simple terms, the CEO of a big company needs to meet their numbers every 90-days or they will be in trouble with their shareholders. Granted, small business owners don’t have it easy but not having to answer to shareholders every quarter is another advantage, and this can give you the time needed to beat a big company.