5 Ways Startups can Compete with Big Companies
For a start up the initial hiccups regarding raising funds, finding customers and clients, and raising cash to keep business will keep you on the toes from day one. However, as the business starts to tide over the these troubles, the presence of big competitors would be a challenge to overcome for your venture to achieve growth. Anywhere you go, customers may be inclined to talk about the big brands that are already offering solutions or products.
However, you must realize that at one point of time all the big brands were startups and they also faced competition or introduced a totally new idea and established a market for it.
Here are 5 ways startups can compete with majors
1. Take Quick Decisions
A small firm can take decisions faster than a big enterprise which may be bogged down by bureaucracy and hierarchical decision making. It may be difficult to get across to large establishments except through call centers or the registration form on website. Even emails may not be answered quickly. When it comes to introducing new products or tapping emerging opportunities, a big enterprise will be slower. Use this to your advantage.
2. Focus on Lesser Number of Features and Personalized Service
A big brand may be having products rich in features and quite highly priced. You could focus on lesser number of features at an affordable price or add a feature which is not there in competition. If you start a new restaurant, providing home delivery may help you tide over bigger ones who don’t offer that facility.
If you are providing home décor service, customizing to requirements of clients may bring more business for you as bigger brands may have fixed patterns or models.
3. Tread on the Marketing Path Set by the Bigger Brands
Big brands may have used various media channels such as newspapers, magazines, and websites to popularize their concept or products. Contact the same journalists, product reviewers and writers who wrote on this domain to explain what distinguishes you from the competition by preparing a good press release and talk to them personally. Many publications now encourage startups by carrying box items if the product or service is quite unique.
Understanding the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques and intelligent use of Google Adwords may help reach the target audience at lower budgets.
4. Reach Out to Customers and Clients
A big company may not take the pains to reach out to a potential customer and may think interested customers will come to them. You must get connected to potential customers or target audience via email, phone or mobile messaging. Participating in trade and consumer fairs may help you get visibility among a large audience. When you sell products, get their feedback and be willing to replace or compensate for any loss of performance.
5. Raise More Capital and Resources
Your company cannot compete with bigger names if you remain small despite having the potential for large orders. For that you need money. Seek the help of venture funds or angel investors although it means giving a stake in your company. The quicker you scale up your operations with additional funding, the easier it will be to compete with big brands.
In the industrial era, companies took much longer time to get established. However, in the dotcom and mobile apps era, more startups are getting noticed due to the high expectations investors have on them. A few such ventures failed to catch on the initial euphoria and succumbed to market pressures. However, in the long run, a company would be sustainable only with a robust business model with clear revenue streams (or model).