5 Ways Your Business can compete with Bigger Companies

Date Posted:22 September 2014 

There are over 2 million small businesses in Australia, employing more than 5 million people. Competition is part of any healthy economy, but business owners have a reason to worry when their locally-made clothes are slowly being overlooked in favor of foreign fashion chains, or community grocers, butchers, or dairy shops closing their doors after being unable to compete with supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths.
For those who continue to provide products and services despite big companies threatening to overpower their markets, we salute you. We at PackQueen understand how it can be disheartening to lose sales or customers, but there’s no reason to give up just yet.
Here are 5 ways your business can compete with bigger companies:
1. Don’t compete. Co-exist.
Finding ways to compete with giants is a huge feat. Accept that there is no fix to reach the level of these giants overnight. Instead, focus on your business and learn how to co-exist. Study your competition, know the marketplace, and identify your demographics. Visit their company stores, identify which of their products sell, and decide if you still want to sell the same products.
Not only does co-existing remove stress for small business owners, it also allows you to find creative ways to sell or market your product. For example, if a supermarket chain sells regular milk in dozens of cartons, switch to soy milk. However, when doing so, make sure that your target market would take advantage of this switch.
2.Trust your product.
Whether you’re selling homemade candles, or providing baked goods for parties, never lose faith on your products. Many small businesses were born out of passion. Customers appreciate this and see the passion with each product they buy.
PackQueen receives e-mails from China’s giant packaging exporters with intentions of a “partnership” every week. We never entertain these e-mails, simply because we are proud of our locally made, quality packaging supplies. Our business grew from a young girl’s passion of gift-wrapping boxes into a full-pledged company.
3. Don’t be afraid of modern tools.
Online presence is just as important for small businesses. Get your products online, and give customers the option of buying/ordering on your website.
If you haven’t yet, create an account on the big three social media networks: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Social media allows you to have a voice, communicate with customers directly, address complaints quickly, and even advertise without hurting your budget. Facebook ads can target leads via location, interests, and demographics for as little as $2/day.
Aside from taking advantage of what social media has to offer, go outside of the box and find other modern tools that could help your business without spending a lot of money. In the U.S., start-up companies are supporting local retailers in bringing mom-and-pop shops to modern times. Small taxi companies now have apps to book and pay for cabs via phone or online; Small coffee shops have partnered with app creators who created coffee packages that could be bought online and consumed at the cafe.
4. Take advantage of flexibility.
One of the advantages of having a small business compared of a corporate-backed one is that you have the flexibility to change products, offer instant promos, provide freebies and customer loyalty programs, and develop a wide range of campaigns that could help your business. As a business owner, you don’t need to talk to the manager, area manager, marketing manager or other higher-ups just to offer a sale. You can do it instantly as the need arises.

Identify areas of your business which you can sacrifice, to improve on other areas and in turn, result in higher sales. For instance, if you can do away with buying retail product packaging, go for bulk and save more money, which you can now use for advertising or other areas of your company.
You can even set-up your business at home, reducing expenses completely. Packqueen has no physical store, but our showroom allows our clients to see and feel the products in person. 
5. Enlist allies. Build customer relationships.
There is no stopping giant companies in every industry around the world. However, you can enlist allies in your local community. If you own an urban clothing brand, look for sports stores, skate shops, tattoo artists, and other relevant business owners who you could partner up for a monthly event, or for bundled products. If you sell custom-made jewelry, find wedding vendors that are in need of providers for a wedding package.
At the recent Fine Food Australia trade show, we've come across some lovely home-grown businesses that now help us promote our products. In return, we help out by featuring their own items whenever we can. Helping out other small businesses results in increased visibility in the community and a bump in sales.
Of course, there is no better way for your small business to survive than to build long-term relationships with customers. Make their ordering experience a breeze, go beyond as far as you can when it comes to customer service, and you’ll gain loyal customers without spending a cent.

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