3 Ways Small Businesses Can Get a Leg Up on Their Behemoth Rivals

From the outside, bigger companies seem to have an advantage over their smaller competitors operating in the same industry.

Big companies have more money, more employees, more brand recognition, more access to markets and retailers, and more political leverage. But all that more comes at a cost, and smaller companies still hold numerous advantages over their behemoth rivals.

Check out these 3 ways your business can aggressively maintain those advantages and get a leg up on your bigger rivals.

1) Speed When It Counts

Smaller companies have less internal bureaucracy and are therefore better suited to act quickly when it counts. Whether it means getting involved with a local issue affecting the business, working cross-promotionally on events with other businesses in the area, or being first to respond publicly when industry-related news breaks, small businesses simply move faster.

But to effectively utilize your speed, your business has to be proactive. That might mean personally developing relationships with other local business owners and local news affiliates in the area, so your company is first in their minds when it matters. It also means you have to be more aggressive in your response time to those owners and affiliates to establish and maintain reliability.

2) Controlling the Workforce

A juicy scandal may not outright kill a big company, but it will always tarnish the brand—especially when that scandal could have been prevented. Smaller companies have the advantage of better monitoring employee behavior and defining policy standards more efficiently because there are fewer workers to control.

But this means you have to monitor your policy standards and make sure they’re adhered to. If your business has policies that need updating or better enforcement, consider hosting mandatory employee retreats/team building sessions twice a year. These types of events allow you to express concerns, reinforce standards and workplace expectations, and strengthen the employees’ stake in maintaining those policies.

3) Innovating and Shaping

Small companies are the source of innovation. Google, Facebook, Starbucks…sure they’re giants now, but all of their innovative ideas came about when they were small and able to ask a simple question: what if?

If you feel as if your small business lacks originality or is often imitating your bigger competitors, you need to define what makes you different and unique. Try sitting down for brainstorming sessions once a week with co-owners, managers, or administrators and simply look for ways you can set your business apart from your rivals.

And never stop asking: what if?

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