All small businesses are afraid of large corporations. With its aggressive trade policies they are usually made quickly with a huge market share, wiping out smaller competitors operating in each zone. In many cases, SMEs are only the crumbs; but if these are few, barely they allow subsistence.
Typically for an entrepreneur, except with large sources of capital or with the support of a business angel, it is that his career starts founding a company of moderate size, with few employees and limited resources. In these cases a complete recklessness would pose a frontal attack strategy strongest competitor. Especially because the smaller players are always the same problems: weak bargaining power with suppliers; structure costs less adjusted and balanced; lower investment volume; unachievable levels of prices?
Clearly, to give an easily understood example, a small fruit store newly opened has complicated to compete in price with a consolidated surface in the same area. But it can offer its customers higher quality products, or a more personalized and close treatment. To make ends meet, the entrepreneur or the trader who seeks to break into a highly competitive market must be distinguished from large corporations. You should analyze very well what their strengths and weaknesses are most important? And those of its competitors, learning from them and creating added value through innovative solutions to the problems of others. It is best to define a consistent strategy to put to alternatives to multinational customers, showing them that those pesky bugs that will detail below do not occur in a small business.
Take care of your sales network
Whether you’re the only seller, as if you have a template of business, dependent or customer service staff, you have to take care of your whole sales network is perfectly formed before starting to cater to any client. But, much as some theorists consider it appropriate not form a newly incorporated vendor to prove itself well before investing in it, my recommendation is that the experiments were done with gas only.
In the highly competitive today’s environment, you cannot miss opportunities lightly because of a malformed commercial. It is likely that a failure in the customer? The same as an inadequate response or poor product presentation? Lead to the loss of it forever. Failures ever forgive less and buyers prefer to deal with someone who really knows what he’s doing. Therefore, the best investment of an SME is hiring good trade, which must be given continuous product training, sales techniques, customer service, resolution of claims and disputes.
Large multinational commercial teams have weighed down by excessive rotation, uncontrollable many occasions, where the problems are continuous and rarely well resolved. It may be that their networks to the public are discouraged. Even many corporations have chosen to outsource their sales departments, placing all their trust in outsourced companies specializing in sales forces or task forces whose sole aim is to close as many possible operations. That causes us to be in more than one occasion the other side of the table or counter to individuals who treat customers with neglect because they are not happy with the conditions of their work.
Either in person or by phone, we’ve all ever suffered inattention and bad manners by an employee of a multinational. Probably in the upper echelons of the corporation are as aware as you that commercial, the clerk or the call center are the only links between the company and the customer. But its structure is so big, so complex, so difficult to comprehend, which often are unable to resolve quickly any incidents that arise.
If your main competitor suffers such problems, you are presented with a unique opportunity to provide a better service, more individualized, in which your sales team and customer should shine. But for that we must continually motivate, train them properly, provide acceptable working conditions and pay adequate remuneration.
Meet the best competition they themselves
Everyone, before starting a business, a market study draws more or less comprehensive. But once the activity begins, with the passing of every day, many forget to investigate further competition, as if suddenly this had ceased to exist. It is an unforgivable mistake. It is convenient always look askance at competitors, having them present in everything you do. Only then you will be ready to react to the emergence of a new competitor, or to a change in their strategies that can catch you off guard.
The great asset of a small business is its ability to react and adapt to changes. Something that does not happen to multinationals, however bulky to be their marketing departments. In addition, more than once, since the plants are unable to understand market problems locally and cannot establish corrective measures of incidents that appear. Not to mention the overabundance of overly rigid structures, highly bureaucratized, whose activities are secured by strict operating manuals apply without the slightest flexibility, although it is found that these procedures do not always work.
Facing described in the preceding paragraph, the SMEs must be flexible enough to quickly implement changes depending on the movements of competition. This topic information is power, so if you are the manager of a small business should know like the palm of your hand to all companies competing in your same market: the number of employees, their prices, their sales volume, how to serve customers, what are your strengths, what are the things that make it worse?
Rapidly evolving business reality and what was good yesterday, not worth anything today. No matter how professional you are, you never sleep on our laurels. Even though enjoyments of leadership in your industry, do not settle in your head and banishes the impression you’re the best. Everything can be overcome; because anytime you can break someone willing to expel you from your position of power. You need to be always replant what you do and how you do, always looking for new areas for improvement and by anticipating the movements of your competition.
Loyalty to your current customers
One of the concepts that are repeated over and over again like a mantracansino in this era of relationship marketing is that of loyalty. Long – term relationships with existing customers are much more profitable than focusing solely on the conquest of new consumers. It is something that multinational well known. However, when concrete action loyalty by many CRM programs that implement, fail to generate more than artificial relations, which are detected as insincere by buyers.
Certain corporations, rather than interacting directly with your customers, choose to send occasionally a personalized, printed letter with the president’s signature blue. With that relationship ersatz they believe that is enough to emotionally connect to their clients. But that is not so. In my case, I have always preferred a clerk in a department store call me by name and remember what my hobbies are, my tastes and my latest purchases, the president of that company congratulate me for my birthday in a e-mail generic.
Large businesses, because of their size, are required to perform such mailings automatic to try to inject some warmth to a generally cool, distant, artificial and forced relationship. Against that, as head of an SME, one of your main tasks should be to regularly deal with customers. Even though you have selected and trained good template sellers with the idea that they are the ones who attend them daily.
Because, with you, the sales team must also worry about cultivating with members of its customer base a friendly, sincere and lasting relationships. Through personal courtesy visits, periodic calls, emails or messages through social networks, they have to make them see that they think of them, care about their needs and solve their problems. And this should not only be carried out in the pre-purchase time, but throughout the period between one operation and another.
But this work is not exclusive of the sales department, as the entire staff of your company also has to strive in braiding warm relations with customers. It is something that, if done well, can be in the high added value of a small business. Many people are inclined to buy at a shop smaller because they greet you by name and they know what they like, something that rarely happens in a multinational, whose size creates a more absorbed constant coming and going of new employees for their own problems (which today are basically keep their jobs and fulfill their own individual goals) that satisfy its customers.