About Time: Your SMB Competed with Big BusinessBy Angelica Malin
Congrats on turning your side hustle into a career. Now the real work begins. As scary as it sounds, taking a leap of faith and launching a start-up is only the beginning. Once the licences are acquired and the permits obtained, you’ve got to fight hard to avoid being part of the 60% of new companies that fail within the first three years. The key is to compete with the big girls. Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that can attract attention nationally and internationally at the expense of their more esteemed counterparts tend to be successful for longer. And, while it sounds impossible, making the correct moves can make it probable.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Forgetting about mobile technology in the 21st-century is a sin, especially for SMBs that do the majority of their trading online. Unfortunately, it’s a transgression that’s committed regularly by small and medium-sized businesses. Of the predicted £43bn UK shoppers are said to spend on mobile purchases in 2020, less than 20% of SMBs have an optimised platform to take advantage.
It isn’t only the gap between what customers expect from sites and what they receive that should encourage you to invest more in mobile. The online casino is a leader in using mobile products such as virtual slots, and as the industry highlights, businesses stand to become market leaders if they are mobile-friendly. For example, STS is now an international bookmaking company with a market share of 45%. How did it reach this milestone? Through revenues generated by online channels that equate to 80% of its yield. Seriously, don’t forget about mobile.
Localise Your Strategy
Concentrating on local shoppers can feel as if you’re not going to get the traction you require to compete with bigger brands. However, it’s smarter to see a localised marketing plan as the foundation of your success that will allow you to scale your efforts in the future. People listen when you speak to them directly, which is part of the reason big brands have failed when expanding into different markets.
Groupon, for instance, suffered $46.4M in net losses with just $2.1M in revenue within seven months of entering the Chinese market as they didn’t partner with a local brand to increase trust or adapt an easily recognisable name. Whether you plan on taking over a sector you understand or one that’s unfamiliar, Groupon’s failure only goes to highlight the necessity of localising your campaigns to resonate with locals.
Deliver Superior Customer Service
Some things are out of your hands because you’re an SMB and they’re a globally recognised brand. Still, this isn’t an excuse to throw your hands in the air and admit defeat. When David takes on Goliath, the little guy should focus on what they can control, and customer service falls into that category. As a smaller company, you have the ability to go the extra mile and develop a reputation for excellent service. Big brands don’t as they do the bare minimum, so this is an area where you can prove your superiority. If you’re wondering whether it makes a difference, remember that 44% of customers who receive excellent customer service are motivated to promote these brands.
Business is done in a global marketplace with few boundaries, so it’s vital to understand that you compete with established companies and must take action to chip away at their lead