Taking on a well-established industry giant when you’re an up-and-comer is undoubtedly a tall order. But despite the seemingly bottomless marketing budget and all-too-powerful brand recognition of the proverbial industry Goliaths, you can still beat them at their game. Here are some solid strategies that you can start implementing right now to create your very own ‘David and Goliath’ success story.
Know what you’re up against.
First thing’s first—if standing out amidst the competition is your objective, then it’s more than prudent to get to know who they are. Beyond that, you also have to know their product and service offerings and observe their strategies. Canada Business Network explains that understanding your competition on a deeper level will not only help you price your own offerings competitively, but even enable you to come up with campaigns that can rival theirs.
In the hospitality and events business, for instance, this can entail doing the legwork and even wining and dining at the competition. There are, of course, other ways to track the competition, both online and off, so make sure not to skip this step of due diligence. In addition to using a tracking tool, sign up for their newsletters, explore their websites, and read through their blog posts. Knowing thine enemy is a wise way to ensure they don’t have the upper hand.
Speaking of online reconnaissance, it can be argued that today’s technology has leveled the playing field for small business owners. Take advantage of the many technological advances at your fingertips to grow your business and perhaps even topple the competition while you’re at it.
To start, peruse the wealth of information that’s easily accessible over the internet today. A quick search will give you a host of e-commerce wikis and guides that will teach you all about starting, running, and growing a successful business. Topics range from marketing techniques like search engine optimization and branding to operational topics like customer service and growth hacking—the list goes on and on.
Additionally, utilizing various software can keep business operations running smoothly. That being said, you can — and should! — grow your team by tracking their time with software like QuickBooks. Time tracking software can actually help you save on payroll costs, and it simplifies tedious tasks like scheduling, managing teams, and reviewing real-time reports. Setting up a solid time tracking system will help to put your business on the path to success.
Build your brand.
At the core of every narrative of small businesses beating their much-larger competitors against all odds is branding. As WordStream points out, what made these businesses so successful is how they understood the concept of branding so thoroughly that they went beyond the customer experience to develop brand identities that reflect their respective value propositions.
With this in mind, it’s important, therefore, to take great pains to reach your customers and clients at a deeper and more personal level by creating a brand persona that’s not only recognizable but more importantly, relatable. As a small business, you have a real opportunity to do so. The disconnect between companies and customers tends to widen the larger and more impersonal the former becomes. In this way, your size becomes your advantage—use it!
Win customer loyalty.
Hand-in-hand with brand identity, you must cultivate customer loyalty. Indeed, acquiring customers is just half the battle; you also want them to come back for more and, better yet, spend more. It’s essential that you have the right measures in place to build customer loyalty in order to ensure the longevity of your business.
Suffice it to say, you will have your work cut out for you as a small hotel or business trying to gain a foothold in a competitive industry. But by simply taking heed of these strategies, you already have a fighting chance of holding your own against the bigger players. In time, you might even surpass them.