Competing Against The Big Guys

April 18, 2023

Small businesses and SMEs have a never-ending dilemma of how to compete against larger companies that target their same customers. Obviously, this situation is not going to change, so small businesses and SMEs must develop their own strategies in order to compete, remain profitable, and grow.

While larger businesses may have more resources and greater brand recognition, small businesses need to differentiate themselves and outmaneuver their larger competitors to become successful considering the intense competition in today’s marketplace.

Outshine the Competition

Rather than going toe-to-toe with larger competitors, small businesses and SMEs should do the following:

Focus on a niche market: Small businesses and SMEs can focus on a particular niche or a specific target audience. By catering to a specific market, small businesses can differentiate themselves from large companies, which usually cater to a broader audience.

Offer superior customer service: Whether a purchaser is an individual or business, customers love personalized customer service. This helps build customer loyalty and provide a competitive edge. Often times, it is difficult for large companies to provide any type of personalized customer service either before, during, or after a sale. Small businesses can surpass larger competitors in this category.

Leverage technology: Small businesses can leverage technology to reach out to a wider audience through social media and digital marketing. Additionally, small businesses can streamline operations and the sales process to create an exceptional and enjoyable experience for customers. 

Be agile and adaptable: By concentrating on being agile and adaptable, small businesses can quickly adjust to changes in the market and customer needs. Small businesses can normally make decisions faster than larger companies and change course if and when needed.

Lower overhead costs: Streamlining operations creates not only an efficient business but typically lowers overhead costs. This can be an advantage to a small business by allowing price reductions for products or services to meet or beat other pricing within the same market.

Build strategic partnerships: Strategic partnerships and alliances can be a key growth factor for small businesses and SMEs helping them reach a wider audience and gain more exposure than a small business could possibly do on its own.

Offer unique products or services: Small businesses can offer unique products or services that are not always available from larger companies. This is an excellent way for a small business to stand out in the marketplace and attract customers. If there is nothing unique about the business or its products or services, then the owner or manager should find or develop something unique to promote.

Build a strong brand: It is important for small businesses to build a strong brand by creating a distinctive identity for the business, its customer service, products, services, etc. Large companies do this all time. Small businesses can do the same. A strong brand can help build customer loyalty and differentiate the business from competitors...even large competitors.

Focus on quality: Superior quality is an excellent way for small businesses to distinguish themselves from larger companies that may focus more on quantity rather than quality. By offering consistent high-quality products or services, small businesses can build a loyal customer base for those customers wanting to ensure that they receive the same product or service all the time. 


While small businesses and SMEs may face challenges when competing against larger competitors, it is definitely possible for these businesses to succeed. By focusing on strengths and finding ways to differentiate themselves from competitors, small businesses and SMEs can certainly compete in their respective markets.

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