For those of us who have started or at least experienced working for a small business, we know all too well the problems small businesses face from day-to-day running, to longer term strategies. Being new and unproven can pose many challenges such as raising finance to fund expansion, difficulties finding clients especially in saturated markets, and generally competing with the big-boys who have more resources to pull from. Sometimes, therefore, one of the ways a small business is able to compete with bigger competitors, is to look and act like them. Below we look at a few ways with which a small business can look bigger than it actually is.
Have a great website
It is surprising how many large businesses neglect their websites. In this day and age they are usually the first port of call when someone wants to find information about a business, so it is only right that it is welcoming and user friendly. However, many large firms are complacent in this sense and fail to invest in a top quality website. Slow loading times, poor search engine optimisation (SEO), and failure to update and upload information and content regularly can contribute to a poor performing website. Excessive red tape and signing off that is a hallmark of large companies can slow down this process, and this is where smaller businesses can take advantage. By keeping their website updated regularly and generally being active often, smaller businesses can be (or give the impression that they are) more active and approachable, a problem that larger companies seem to struggle with as they scale up. Doing the simple things well usually leads to growth.
Have your small office running efficiently
You may think that big businesses’ offices are well oiled, efficient machines, but often this is far from the case. They can grow so large that it becomes hard to control and ensure that a certain standard of quality is maintained. Think of how many times you’ve been put on hold while trying to contact your phone provider or bank and you will understand they scale they must be running at. In contrast, think about the time you call a local plumber or mechanic and how quickly they pick up the phone – usually much quicker. If you have an office with meeting rooms, think about installing a meeting room booking system. This is not just reserved for the big dogs and is in fact a very good way of making the whole meeting process more efficient. You can book meetings and check the status of rooms all from your phone, while a display system outside the room will show the details of ongoing meetings. This will certainly impress any potential clients and give the impression that you are working at a bigger scale than you may be.
Focus on a niche
Why spread yourself too thin and do average work when you can focus on one thing and make it your expertise. Being known as the authority in one field will garner you a lot of attention and give an all-round impression that you are bigger than you are. As a small business it is very important to network, and focusing on one niche will allow you to attend specific events aligned with your interests. By attending only the events that matter, a small business – even if it is just one person – will be able to associate with those that really matter to them. Being seen constantly means that you may soon be considered a “big business” thanks to your constant visibility. Not only will you seem bigger, but you will likely benefit from improving your expertise in that area.