It seems like the world is run by conglomerates. These are companies that offer services seemingly all over the world and, as such, are recognized by a large percentage of the world’s population. From Amazon to McDonald’s and Starbucks, we all know these businesses and we all use these businesses. It can seem like an uphill struggle for a smaller venture, perhaps run from a home laptop in the owner’s free time after work, to compete with the likes of Amazon. However, there are several ways for small businesses to compete with the established rivals and their multi-billion-dollar revenues.
How Small Businesses Can Compete
A Product Niche – Choosing a product is of the utmost importance. Most businesses already have an idea of what they would like to sell before starting out. Sourcing the product is crucial too. There is an abundance of wholesalers from which you can procure your product. Designer sunglasses, for example, are an ideal item for a small business to sell, and Olympic Eyewear offers authentic designer sunglasses wholesale. Offering one product can be an advantage for a smaller business, as opposed to the plethora of items sold by other online retailers.
Target Audience – Once the product has been chosen, the target audience follows suit. Larger companies often focus on reaching a massive range of demographics. Once again, being a smaller business can be an advantage here. Allowing focus on one demographic and selling one (or a small number of) products which suits this demographic can make for a more successful venture. Sites like Amazon or eBay are so ubiquitous that it is more than likely that they will already be selling a similar product. Despite this, getting to grips with who you are selling to and appealing to them is crucial. Unlike a physical business, for an online company, it is not as easy as knowing the customers that live in the area or are likely to walk by your storefront.
Online Presence – Speaking of big conglomerates, there are few that are larger or more omnipresent than the social media giants of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Around two-thirds of Americans use social media as their primary source for news, and there were 79 million people shopping on social media in the United States. As the statistics show, this is a major part of where online businesses appeal to their customer base. Having a strong social media presence allows small business owners to imprint their personalities. This in turn can help to build a community and attract more customers. Instagram can act as free advertising to help show off your product, Facebook can show product reviews and feedback from buyers, and Twitter is great for communicating with customers. The personal touch can make small business owners stand out from the comparatively faceless entities of some of the larger corporations.
Communicate with Customers – Most, if not all of us, have had experiences with the customer services of big companies. It can be frustrating and time-consuming, as well as impersonal. For most of the larger businesses, individual feedback from prospective customers is not of the highest importance; the handling of one complaint or query will not make or break them. Smaller businesses do not have this luxury, but they can personalize customer feedback, and this in itself acts as its own free positive advertising. A business that responds to comments or complaints from its customers, and then acts on those comments, will build trust within the community and attract new customers. This, more than any other strategy, is how smaller businesses compete with major retailers.