Four ways to beat bigger competitors

How can your small town business take on the bigger competitors? Whether you’re facing the big boxes, the big city shopping, or the online big boys, you can try these four ways to beat them back.

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  1. Tell your human story. Your business came from somewhere, was founded by someone, touches real people. When you tell your story, you build relationships.
  2. Your culture and place matter. You have a better connection with what your people want, how they like to be treated, and what touches their emotions than any big company can.
  3. When you have a competitive or better price, hammer on it. You have to overcome people’s perception that small town businesses have higher prices. It doesn’t have to be on every single thing, but I’ll bet you can be competitive on many prices. Plus, you may represent a better value because of what all you add. Make sure you show people.
  4. When you have better quality, tell that story. This is where people’s perceptions work in your favor. The general perception about quality at big companies isn’t good. Take advantage of it.

You can tell these stories in your ads, in your online presences, in signs and displays, and most importantly by making sure all your people know and share them, too.

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About Becky McCray

Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband own a retail liquor store in Alva, Oklahoma, and a small cattle ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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  1. says

    As a small scale industry ,one will have low operating costs,flexibility in decision makings,speedy decision and ability to give credit to reliable parties.These facilities are not usually enjoyed by big corporate houses,who in turn may be a big competitor for your business.In the present days the basic principle will be ability to supply quality goods at lower rates.Development of own Brand is very much necessary.For this purpose ,the unit should be able to store huge volume of stocks when the prices are low and release them when the prices go up.Another way is to purchase when there is margin or raw material conversion to finished product margin.As far as possible risk of any kind is to be avoided by having adequate risk coverage policies.Physical cash handling should be avoided and as far possible online cash transfers have to be adopted.The organisation should maintain cordial and ethical relations with both suppliers and buyers.In case of worst business situations application of humanity is essential.long term relation is more important than short term gains.However these are not exhaustive but only illustrative to compete with big competitors

  2. says

    Excellent tips. We would add another: support each other. You’ll benefit from the personal service of people you know, and they are likely to return the favor. In other words, we scratch each other’s backs.

    Our firm focuses on the accounting, tax, and business consulting needs of family business owners. We have heard from some of them that larger firms shunted them off to junior staff. So they did no get the benefit of the senior partners’ experience and expertise. Family business owners are our bread and butter, so they get the full attention of our firm from the top down. We also have the flexibility to customize our services to the exact needs of each business owner.

  3. says

    Madhusudanrao, thanks for adding. I can’t agree about stockpiling a huge volume of product because price is down. That in itself is a huge risk. I can agree absolutely about being cordial and human with your suppliers and buyers.

    David, you’ve made an excellent point. We do have to support our fellow small businesses for us all to succeed.

  4. says

    How about using service as a advantage? And a big one.

    Some months ago I needed paint for my house. I went to he local big box store and got a blah experience. Sure, helpgul, but the fella I spoke to was no expert…..

    Then I went to a small paint store that’s close by, where I got lots of advice and spoke to someone who knew what he was talking about.

    Sure, they were more expensive but they also knew what they were talking about and inspired more confidence.