• nat sharp

5 ways a small business can win business and compete with big brands

Updated: Mar 16

Are you fed up of losing business to the big boys? Do you think you don't have a fighting chance of winning business with big brands?

Never think it isn't possible to compete with the big players. Even with a small budget, you can create impact and cut though the noise.

Here are some pointers to help.

1. Fully exploit search engine optimisation

Forrester research shows 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. And HubSpot claims 75% of users never view past the first page of search results so getting to that first page on Google is key. And you can do it with a bit of patience and perseverance.

First and foremost, ensure you are registered with Google My Business. A Google My Business registration is a free local listings service which helps you be found online. You can also register for free directory listings. And lastly, ensure your website is fully optimised.

2. Develop a true niche

It is much better to choose your niche and tailor your communication to make it resonate with your audience. You won’t appeal to everyone, but a generic bland message won’t have much impact. It may be feel daunting to feel like you may be missing out on potential business. Your market may be smaller, but your conversion rates will be higher.

3. Enter awards

Award wins or even being short-listed, provide instant credibility. There are many types of awards from international industry awards to local business awards. Some can be expensive to enter, whilst others are free so check before you commit.

Read thoroughly the entry criteria and look at previous award winners to give you a feel whether you have a good chance of being successful. If you do win, then ensure you leverage this. In addition to PR, create blogs, newsletters and include on your stationery and email signature for instance.

4. Show due diligence

Have your processes documented and even better rubber-stamped. Do you have any accreditations or if not can you apply for any? All of this shows you are a credible business. Developing a customer charter and publishing this, is also another good way to reassure prospects.

5. Generate thought leadership

Thought leadership is particularly powerful in business to business due to the complexity of the decision-making process. According to research by Edelman and Linked In, nearly half of business decision-makers said thought leadership has directly led them to award business to an organisation. It also has tremendous PR value.

We all have knowledge, experience and a point of view that can be relevant so why not leverage this and start by providing tips on hot topics you are an expert in and that your audience would like to know more about.

You could demonstrate this expertise by speaking at events and conferences, creating a podcast, and engaging on social media and blogs. Videos are a highly effective way to get noticed and can have a big viral impact.

Discover more tips on how to develop the perfect sales pitch, how to create a sales strategy and to refresh your website.


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