As a small startup, you’re going to have a large amount of competition to deal with. What makes matters worse is that most of your rivals have been established for years. So, you have to burst on the scene and try to cause disruption amongst many companies that are already going steady.
Hang on, it gets even more challenging for you! Amongst your rivals, you have big businesses within the industry. Sometimes, you are directly competing with them – these are big-name brands that people know all over the world. Competing against them might be necessary to help your business grow, but there are certain dangers you should be wary of…
A Lot of Financial Firepower
Big businesses have a lot of money, meaning they can pretty much out-invest you whenever they like. If you start running a great marketing campaign, they can invest more money to improve theirs and do things you can’t. Put simply, they can solve a lot of problems and win many battles through money alone.
Consequently, when looking to compete with bigger companies, aim to one-up them in areas that don’t revolve around money. Or, more accurately, things that they can’t solve by spending money. For example, focus on your small business persona and emphasize that things are maybe homemade or local.
In conjunction with the previous point, big companies are always looking to take down smaller businesses by uncovering legal issues. We saw this in the BrandTotal lawsuit a few years ago, which was when Facebook sued an upcoming ad agency. The details are a bit unclear, but it basically seemed like Facebook was suing them because they directly competed with its ad platform.
This goes to show that, if you start ruffling some feathers, big companies will start looking for ways to take you down. Be aware of this, and always ensure that you are within the law so they can’t even attempt to sue you!
Lastly, many big brands establish fanatic loyalists that will pretty much swear by the brand no matter what. Apple is a fantastic example of this, with so many people refusing to buy other-branded tech products, regardless of how good they might be.
For a small business owner, this makes it hard to try to capture customers as you have to deal with all these loyalists. Instead, you need to focus on presenting your brand and products as unique, displaying how they are better than the bigger brands. Also, it helps to avoid getting caught up in converting the fanatic loyalists and focusing on the people that are more on-the-fence about things. These customers are easier to convert to your own, and this is where you will start establishing your own customer base.
There is every chance you will come up against a big brand competitor in your industry. Yes, they do present some dangers, and you need to be aware of them to understand the best plan of attack. However, you can definitely still compete with big businesses, and it can be beneficial to do so.