Sunday, November 29, 2015

When Small Business Beats Big Business

So often, owners of independent businesses think they're at a disadvantage when competing with bigger businesses. Often, they are. Just as often, however – especially in markets that are changing fast and where customization or service really matter – entrepreneurs have a clear advantage.

In a recent blogpost, business coach Andrea Novakowski related, “8 Ways a Small Business Can Beat a Big One.” They make a lot of sense.

Here is Novakowski’s list of 8 key "advantage" statements. 

1. “I really listen to you and can help you uncover what you want and need.” Small businesses are all about serving individual customers.

2. “I’m creative and I enjoy solving your problems.” Business owners really are passionate about their industries.

3. “My reputation is on the line.” Smaller businesses tend to serve communities (whether they're geographic communities, industry sectors, or communities of the mind). Reputation matters, and bad reviews hurt.

4. “When you call my company, you talk to a real person.” Because
call centres suck.

5. “It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond.” Big companies usually receive great service from small companies, because their business means so much to entrepreneurs.

6. “We’re more agile.” Independent businesses are usually more flexible than big companies, where changes from the norm usually requires layers of approvals.

7. “We make personal connections.” It’s easier for employees in smaller companies to know their customers. And when you know people, you want to satisfy them.

8. “I’m grateful for your business.” “Companies” don’t feel emotions, such as gratitude.  The people who work for small organizations know that customers pay their salaries, so they're usually more willing to give their all.

I would add only that not all small businesses enjoy these advantages. Too many businesses, large and small, take their employees and customers for granted. The winners are those who actually care for their employees, giving them the confidence and power to give customers the creative, personal service they want and need. Smaller size and greater hands-on decision-making makes this easier, but it doesn't make it automatic.

To read Andrea Novakowski’s original article, please click here.